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New Google Android Phone from Verizon and Motorola

Google and Verizon team up to bring you the ‘Droid’ you’ve been looking for.

This week, Verizon and Motorola unveiled the latest phone to make use of Google’s Android operating system. Dubbed “Droid,” the new phone includes both a touch screen and a hardware QWERTY keyboard. Like T-Mobile’s entry into the smartphone world making use of Android, the Droid’s screen slides out to uncover the keyboard.

The Droid will be the first Android-based smartphone to make use of the latest version of Google’s operating system for mobile devices, Android 2.0. The updated open-source operating system features enhancements to performance and a host of new features. Some new features include:

    • Voice activated search allows users to speak a query and the Google-powered search engine will deliver either web results or results from the phone’s memory. Results pulled from the phones memory may include photos, music, or contacts.

 

    • Turn-by-turn navigation for Google Maps, with which Android 2.0 has integrated its voice activated search feature. This feature allows a user to do a voice activated search for a destination such as “coffee shop.” The phone will locate nearby coffee shops and show them as pins on a Google Map. The user then ‘clicks’ the desired location and the phone will deliver turn-by-turn, spoken directions.

 

    • Android 2.0 allows users to add multiple accounts to a device for email and contact synchronization. This now also includes Exchange accounts, which promises to be a significant selling point for corporate and business users.

 

    • The Droid will come with a number of popular Apps pre-installed, and users will have access to thousands more through Google’s Android Market.


Other features of the phone not specifically tied to the Android operating system include:

    • A built in five megapixel camera.

 

    • Wi-Fi capability.

 

    • Bluetooth for headsets and other Bluetooth enabled devices.

 

    • GPS

 

    • A lithium ion battery boasting 6.4 hours of continuous talk time, and up to 11 days of standby time.


What this means to you
Fans of the iPhone are not terribly likely to ditch their favorite mobile device in favor of the Droid. However, it does present the best alternative to date in the market created by Apple’s dominate mobile device. While the Droid does not currently offer the ease of use of the iPhone for adding music and media, other features (like Exchange integration) will likely appeal to other users.

Just for fun

Motorola had to license the word “Droid” from Lucasfilm in order to use it on the phone. This is reasonable as Lucas coined the term “Droid” in his original Star Wars films.

Below is the teaser video created by Verizon to announce the Droid.

Here is one response from an iPhone devotee

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