Launch of the Android Era

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Hey, Android: Where are the Apps?

Early adopters of T-Mobile's G1 might be in for a surprise today when they open up their phones. The Android app market has been decimated with only about 13 applications available out of an expected 50 or 60 . . .It turns out the drop in Apps was due to a software change on Google's end, and that once developers have a chance to upgrade their programs we should see them available for download again. How long this will take or why Google suddenly changed its software is unclear, but I suppose that's the way it goes in the chaotic world of open source computing.

That said, the G1 is already promising to give the iPhone a run for its money with approximately 1.5 million G1s already sold via pre-orders. In the first three days of the iPhone 3G launch Apple said it sold over a million phones, launched the iPhone App Store with 500 programs and had approximately 10 million app downloads.

It will be interesting to see how the Android system does versus the iPhone, especially as other companies roll out their Android devices. Of course the beauty of the Android open source is that you have more freedom to roam cyberspace looking for cooler apps that may not be on the Android Market. Proceed with caution, though, as these "unofficial" Android apps may be more vulnerable to spyware or viruses. You also won't find the MySpace app for Android, which launched yesterday, anywhere but the Market. Other anticipated apps that launched recently include the music applications Imeem and Shazam.

Apple's iPhone 3G launched with a whimper due to major hangups with its online activation system and some iPod Touch users experienced problems upgrading their devices to access the iPhone App store. If the G1 can avoid those kinds of problems, it may find itself way ahead of the game.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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