If you’ve ever been smartphone shopping then you’ve probably heard of Google’s Android operating system for phones and tablets. Officially launched in October 2008 with the release of the HTC Dream and has been growing in a big way ever since.
At writing, over 1 billion people use Android worldwide, and it accounts for over 80 percent of the global smartphone market. Android enjoys an enormous lead over its nearest competitor, Apple’s iOS, which powers about 15 percent of the world’s phones. The enormous success of Android can be attributed to a number of things, including the fact that the system has the support of a number of industry leading phone makers, namely Samsung, LG, Sony, Motorola, Huawei and HTC.
Here are our top reasons to consider an Android powered phone:
Unlike the Apple iPhone, Android devices come in a range of shapes and sizes, and more importantly, across a spectrum of different prices too. Samsung, Sony, LG and HTC all excel in making high-end premium device to compete with the best of the iPhone, while Motorola, Huawei, Alcatel and many others all make fantastic lower priced devices. It is easy to understand why so many people choose an Android phone when you consider how affordable one of these phones can be.
One of the most important considerations for smartphone shoppers tends to be app support. Can you get the latest apps on your phone? Back in the early days of smartphones this was an uphill battle for Android; all the cool apps went to the iPhone first and exclusively. Nowadays, app designers mostly make apps for both Android and iOS at the same time. It is difficult to think of any must-have apps which you can’t install on an Android phone.
Beyond apps, the Google Play Store is home to tonnes and tonnes of great media content. Movie rentals, books and magazine, plus unlimited music streaming with Google Play Music (which is a lot like Spotify).
To showcase the best new features in the latest versions of Android, Google partners with one of the major phone makers to release what are known as Nexus devices: phones and tablets. Typically, these phone employ the best combination of hardware and software, from a Google perspective. Many of these devices are sold through telco partners on phone plans, but if you’d like to buy one outright you can find Nexus phones under the Devices tab in the Google Play Store.
Google makes sure that when you turn on an Android phone for the first time that you have everything you need to get connected. There’s an awesome Gmail app, class-leading Google Maps, Google Calendar, YouTube, Google Drive cloud storage, plus apps for Google Movies and Google Books. You can add more apps to this list of course, many free in the Play Store, but without trying there is everything you need to start using your new smartphone straight away.
If you love watching TV and movies, or you’d like to share your holiday photos with friends and family, then Google’s Chromecast is a fantastic way to connect your phone (or tablet) to your big screen TV. Chromecast itself is a tiny computer that you plug into an HDMI port on your TV which connects to a number of apps on your Android smartphone, like YouTube and the Chrome web browser. You can even mirror your phone’s display which is great for when you need to give a presentation. The Chromecast device is sold separately, and will usually set you back about $50, which is a small price to pay for the functionality on offer.
For Australian customers there are plenty of Android mobile phone options available. Recently, the most popular brands have been Samsung, Sony, Motorola, HTC, and LG.
Due to overwhelming popularity the Android operating system is now the most popular in Australia and is well supported by Australian carriers.
There are hundreds of different Android phone and plan combinations to choose from. Android plans are available from:
The most compelling reason to choose an Android phone is quite simple - flexibility. Forget being tied to a single phone manufacturer, with Android you have plenty of manufacturers and handsets to choose from. This brings competition between manufacturers which means one thing for consumers - big savings!
Add to that the availability of over 50,000 apps and you can see why Android recently became the most popular handset operating system in the world.
Google Maps image via Shutterstock