The smartphone platform war between the Apple iPhone and Android is intensified with the latest release of the Google-backed mobile OS. While Apple believes that the competition is still catching up with the first generation iPhone, the fact is that Verizon has managed to take a huge mindshare with the Motorola Droid running Android 2.0. With Google's blessing, Motorola now has Android 2.0 running on the Droid, much sooner than any other manufacturer.
Android 2.0 is believed to be the evolved version of the open source mobile OS that would power some great smartphones in 2010. The expectation that Android would overtake the iPhone by 2012 now looks much more real. Two great things about the Android OS 2.0 are the support for different screen sizes and resolutions. Along with superior gaming support, that makes it a real iPhone competitor. A big headache for Android developers was having to cope with the varied hardware (dozens of smartphones for the platform with different specs). However the process to roll out some great apps for Android is now much simpler.
Besides all this, there is more to Android 2.0 that makes it a must-have. Google has a new navigation service that offers great turn by turn GPS directions (voice-assisted and with other amazing features); that too is completely free of cost. This beats the professional devices and $100+ paid service. Being first on the Android, this navigation capability is a huge attraction. And the killer punch with Android 2.0 is perhaps the multitouch support in its APIs. Now apps on the Android will be able to offer the multitouch magic soon!
The mega-hype, amazing multitouch UI, and the App Store apps make the iPhone the Jesus phone. But Android 2.0 sure is an accelerated attempt to catch up with the iPhone, with the road ahead set to conquer all of the iPhone advantages. The catch surely is the fact that WM and Symbian are left behind while the heavyweights fight it out!