I’ve been using my Motorola Droid for over a month now. Since I picked it up on November 6th I have been putting it through its paces and I can honestly say its a great device. Like any other gadget it’s not without its flaws. For example the reasoning for having multitouch support in Android 2.0 but Google leaving it out in its apps escapes me. As far as service goes Verizon can’t be beat in the US. Say what you will about them in other aspects but their data network is great when it comes to getting the most out of your phone. The Android platform itself is the first well supported open source mobile platform available. And because it utilizes the very stable Linux kernel it should have a strong developer base.
Now that the Droid has been rooted (it’s a shame you still have to break into your own device, one step at a time), everyone can begin playing around with different customized Android/Linux builds. Google has taken a huge leap forward in opening up this platform. Not only does it give end users more choices and control over their own devices, but it encourages innovation, as there is a horde of eager developers that can now take part in the development process.
As the platform moves forward there are a couple things to consider. First off it will be interesting if Google market can maintain adequate support and compatibility for the quickly increasing number of devices running various versions of Android. When the Droid came out apps didn’t work correctly for it, and at the same time older Android devices were left out in the cold when it came to the new Google navigator application that was only available for the 2.0 version of Android. The other worry is that the licensing for the Android platform is not GPL but Apache/BSD which could theoretically lead to a variety of problems. One example would be if one day Google decides to take its development tree completely private and stops contributing source back to the Android Open Source Project. Without the GPL in effect developers outside of google can only hope that the Google stands by its “don’t be evil” slogan.
The future looks promising for Android, especially with the Google Nexus One on the horizon.