September 24, 2008

Mobile First for Must-Have Phone

By Josie Clarke

The first phone to use Google's Android software was launched yesterday.

Designed to improve the speed and quality of using the internet on mobile handsets, the much-anticipated T-Mobile G1 (pictured left) will go head to head with Apple's iPhone, the Blackberry and other smartphones.

The gadget has a keyboard behind a slide-out touchscreen to allow users easy navigation around the device and is being touted as a phone with the capability of a hand-held computer.

It provides access to Android Market, which allows third party companies to offer a raft of applications for users to customise their phone.

Available from November on the T-Mobile network, it will be free on price plans from Pounds 40 a month.

T-Mobile chief executive Jim Hyde said it would "change the way we use our mobiles".

"The T-Mobile G1 is the first device to run on the Android platform, giving customers unprecedented ability to make their mobile work just the way they want," he said.

The phone makes use of Google Maps, instant messaging through Google Talk as well as high-speed internet browsing and a 3- megapixel camera.

Users will also be able to use the phone's 3G and wi-fi connection to upload and post pictures and download music and videos.

Michael Brook, editor of the T3 gadget magazine, said the phone was a departure from models by Apple and other makers.

"The exciting thing about T-Mobile's G1 is that it runs on Google's Android operating system. Since Android is an open platform, it can be used for free," he said.

"While Apple's iPhone is the pinnacle of technology design, Google is attempting to change the way users can interact with their mobile phones."

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