To the tenth anniversary of T-Mobile G1 / HTC Dream …
Strange, but just ten years ago, the concept Android of a smartphone was a completely new concept. At that time, the mobile phone industry was dominated by three main operating systems. The largest player was Apple, which at that time was selling iPhone 3GS. Its iPhone OS (name at the time) was installed on 50% of devices on the market. It was followed by BlackBerry with 22% of the market and the brand new Bold 9000. Windows trailed in the tail already then, but, at least, still quite confidently showed signs of life. Devices such as the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 ran on OS from Microsoft, which ultimately helped it take 11% of the market.
In this environment, a bold new OS emerged, which at the time had been in development for several years and was largely controlled by Google through its 2005 startup purchase. Android not only enjoyed the benefits of Google's deep pockets, but also enjoyed being tied to popular Google services such as Gmail and YouTube. In hindsight, the transformation of Android into the most popular mobile OS in the world could be called a natural outcome, but in 2008 it was not yet clear what this title would mean.
Specifications HTC G1 / Dream: Display 3.2 inches with a resolution of 320x480 Processor Qualcomm 7201A GPU Adreno 130 192 MB of RAM 256 MB of permanent memory, expandable up to 16 GB Battery 1150 mAh Camera 3.15 megapixels Weight 158 grams, thickness 17 mm Android 1.0 with subsequent upgrade to 1.6 Donut Proprietary ExtUSB port No 3.5 mm jack
Yet, already at that time, Google's first step into the field of mobile operating systems was a serious event. It was made in the form of a manufactured HTC T-Mobile G1 smartphone, or HTC Dream, as it was called outside the United States. The G1 cost $ 179, which was quite budget at the time, and had top-of-the-line components on board.
In terms of design, it was a plastic smartphone with a cheap look, strikingly different from the refined iPhone 3G. True, its design had a pretty good slider that moved up, giving access to the keyboard, a similar move in terms of design was often used at that time. He was typically heavy and fat. It weighed 158 grams, just 19 grams less than the iPhone XS, a device that is significantly larger and technically more complex and thicker than any modern device. A final touch on the design side: the G1 did not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, but instead came with an adapter for use with the proprietary ExtUSB port. However, there is one of the features that is as close as possible to modern Android devices.
In terms of hardware, the reviews were mixed. For example, the design and autonomy of the device (5 hours of talk time) did not contribute to gaining popularity. But when it came to software, many agreed that there was enormous potential in this operating system.
Some international versions had an AZERTY keyboard
The G1 ran on Android 1.0 (not yet named for dessert) and had features like customizable desktops, widgets, multitasking (even for third-party apps), notification shade and Android Market, at launch of which there were about 50 applications and games in the catalog. Many of the aspects mentioned were new and interesting ideas that gave the open ecosystem comparatively greater importance and priority than other OSs on the market. Not to mention that Android has been publicly available for use and modification by device manufacturers as they see fit. This will be the key to success and longevity Android, which in 10 years will gain 85% of the market. The popularity and role of the main competitor Apple was not driven by the use of the OS by other manufacturers, but an open and collaborative ecosystem built around applications and customization. For Enthusiasts, Android became a platform for people who wanted their devices to be unique and personalized. At first, this advantage was not so obvious: Android was not immediately brought to mind, the OS had enough problems and bugs, but over the years it became reliable and stable.
Of course Android isn't perfect. Fragmentation is still a big problem (the percentage of users iOS whose devices are running on the newest version of the system is very large compared to Android), besides, Google collects too much user information. Yet this operating system remains the most interesting part of the mobile technology industry even now that the market has reached sufficient maturity and stability. Android continues to break stereotypes, be it live wallpapers or Google Duplex.
The 10th anniversary of this OS means a lot to the world of mobile technology, not to mention the evolution into new platforms, including cars, wearable electronics and so on. How it will change the world in the next 10 years is anyone's guess.
Author – Rosa Behar
I remember very well the first Android – a smartphone that I furiously wanted to buy – it was a used HTC Magic. As a result, the choice was made in favor of HTC Wildfire, even then I didn't really like the full-fledged keyboard, I wanted something new and more modern. Next to that device was the hero of this small material, but who would have known then that this is the progenitor of modern Android – smartphones. The passage about the top characteristics amused, nevertheless, ten years in the technological world is a huge abyss, you can't argue.
At the same time, I quite clearly remember the interface HTC Magic, every time passing on the way from the university to the bus stop I went to the store and turned the device in my hands, figuring out how much I could save for it from a scholarship of 1,200 rubles without deducting a travel ticket. Since then I have not returned to either UIQ3 or Symbian, occasionally used iOS and Windows Mobile (HD2!). It is gratifying to see what way the OS went, what the efforts of Google employees resulted in, and how the term Android has become a household name in many senses. Hopefully the OS has a lot of interesting things to do.