Whenever people talk about mobile phones nowadays they tend to start a debate about Android and iPhone. Which is better? You could probably answer that if you had any idea what Android actually is. It's understandable that even now, you might still be in the dark, maybe because you are resistant to change, or just aren't that tech savvy.

Obviously the next time you go online or into a bricks and mortar store (e.g. NZ: Telecom , Vodafone , 2degrees , or England: o2 http://www.o2.co.uk ) to check out phones, you will want to be in the know about the different phones that operate using Android.

Android aka Google's operating system for mobile phones and tablets, runs in a similar way to the Microsoft Windows operating system, or Apple's iOS. It is the fastest growing operating system today, with around 500,000 Android devices being activated each year. Basically they are a real threat to Apples iOS.

Android has had several different upgrades in the last few years, and amusingly they like to name the new versions after some form of dessert. For example; Android 4.0 (October, 2011) was named Ice Cream Sandwich. Each version has brand new improvements that tempt more users in. For example, better quality screens, cameras, smoother button navigation etc. One problem however is that the phone manufacturers customise Android to their device, this means that you may not be able to upgrade to a later Android OS unless your phone manufacturer provides a customised upgrade (This is not the case for Apple iOS).
The standard layout of an Android phone has a series of Home screens, which have short-cuts to launch the different apps on your phone. They can also have widgets for displaying social network updates and give you access to music etc.

The great thing about Android, is that manufacturers don't have to pay Google to use it. This is possibly why it has become such a success, because it is adaptable for different types of phone and tablet. Also, developers have much more freedom in distributing their applicaions as they do not have to be distributed through a central store as is the case with the iPhone. This generally means there are more Android apps however the downside is that the apps may not be quality tested and can cause problems with your phone. It is always good to do a web search to check the experience of other users.

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