Turn your phone into an Android

Time for an upgrade?

What kind of phone do you have now? Maybe you even have 2 cell phones, one is a spare phone for using with another telecommunications network or for talking to people you label “unlimited”. Perhaps you still have a trusty monochromatic phone that is very reliable but so worn, torn and old that it is in dire need of a “retirement”.

It could be time to consider getting a breath of fresh technology and take a peek at some lively new colorful touchscreen cell phones that have multiple uses; such as your unending media player, digital videocamera for social sharing on facebook, break-time entertainment gaming device, office voice recorder for reviewing gossip, and the ever dependable but annoying alarm clock, all-in-one.

There are more features packed in the newest line of phones available now than in your locker or briefcase, man-bag or purse. With so many newfangled tech features to choose from, sometimes it may seem overwhelming. Let’s get those things sorted out. 

Well you have several options out there to consider, there’s the tried and tested Nokia lineup of phones. Then again there’s the always stylish Apple brand of iPhones to think about, or the Blackberry brand for the pushy E-mail anytime fans, and the busy bee business savvy. I've read good reviews for 
Samsung Galaxy S

Just like Apple has the iTunes store, Google Android has its own “Market” where you can get access to free apps and paid apps too. Right now there are at least 70,000 applications available online and that list is growing FAST. Users can explore and download the latest utilities and games to play with. There are Google powered software that enable you to access their other services such as Gmail, Calendar, Youtube and search engine. These mobile versions of your favorite Google apps can automatically synchronize with your online account.

All your important information, from super-secret private password-protected personal files, official work documents and even your entire contact list can be saved online and backed up for safety. Once you have access to an internet hotspot like Wi-Fi or 3G through your telecoms provider, the Android software does all the work syncing up your data for archiving.

Some of the phones that are available right now have beautiful High-Definition screens, full QWERTY keyboards that slide out, Wi-Fi, and standard micro/mini USB ports. Some models slightly differ in screen size with low-end version having the most basic specifications. Newer high-end units have better cameras with higher Megapixels and LED flashes, HD video recording and ”4G” wireless connectivity.

One of the main draws of the Android is the open source community that lets just about anybody create custom applications to be shared online. Google users are more inclined to post free apps, and soon you too can make your own apps with Google App Inventor. I’ve made some apps myself on their beta-test and it’s so easy that kids can use it.

Here are a few answers to typical questions about the Android:

In what ways can I use it?

I personally use it as a laptop replacement sometimes for quick surfing and if there’s a speedy Wi-Fi hotspot nearby, I connect there and surf the web. I also go on my favorite social networks easily with the built-in software that lets me update my status, chat with friends, and post photos instantly.

A cool feature that I use a lot is sharing internet access with friends using my Android phone. The phone itself can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot! This is very useful when I’m out of town or at the beach because then I am able to share 3G internet to the laptops of my friends as they connect to me..

What phones are available now?

Your favorite brands most likely have their own Android models to choose from, a quick online search will give you results that vary depending on the specs that you want. This is very different from Apple’s approach to releasing a few select models.

Google Android on the other hand gives each phone manufacturer the flexibility to design as they please. I personally use HTC branded phones, I believe they have the most experience with Android software and they are the manufacturer of Google’s own branded phones.

What can we expect in the future?

There are top brands like Dell to watch out for with upcoming offerings and also some Chinese phone makers that are entering the market too.

Google periodically updates their software to add new features and enhance existing functionality. Look for units that will have the “FroYo” update, this is the latest software release.

Now there’s a growing number of Google Android smartphones available from the different manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Sony and other big brands in the USA, but they all have one thing in common; inside they use the Android operating system. This Android OS runs on different mobile devices such as tablet computers, netbooks and our cellular phones.
Android powered mobile phones are selling more units in the United States than Iphone and Blackberry, and will steadily gain market share leading to 2012 when it will be the most popular soon afterwards. This increase in users is based on the increasing awareness of this new smartphone and major ad-campaigns that highlight the differences in the way people use their cell phone. Emphasizing different phones for different folks.

This article was originally written for a magazine in the Philippines called "After Call" about Business Process Outsourcing. The content is targeted to their readers and the local market.


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