Android, Google's software stack for a touch-screen cell phone may be transparent for developers, but it sure is difficult to get a definitive look at the system in action. MobileCrunch's Android OS walkthrough seems to use an overly prototypical emulator and the YouTube video leaves few questions answered. T-Mobile's Web Site offers no information even though they are the exclusive carriers. With buzz centered around the iPhone, the Open Source Software Movement and Google Corp. Anything, Android and the HTC Dream were guaranteed prime


Android is built by the Open Handset Alliance. Open Source to its core , it does not differentiate between proprietary and third-party programs. This manifests itself in ultimate customizability that could never have happened on the iPhone. Even its dial-and-call engine can be replaced.

The Android Developers Blog announced a beta Software Developer Kit Monday, possible spurred on by a concrete phone build in the HTC Dream. Highlights of the version .9 include new applications (Camera, Music player, Picture viewer and SMS/MMS conversation messaging) and User Interface improvements. These improvements mesh aesthetically well with the familiar GoogleMaps interface.

So what sets the Android/Dream team apart from the crowd? No screenshots and online demos will wow iPhone users so far, but its beta status signifies that developers have a lot of work to do. Even in the past two days the UI has been uniquely refined, and the Android community flourishes in typical GNU-style.

This is where the most important difference emerges. Android will not be suffering from the sort of top-heavy bug-sputtering that Apple has been stumbling from recently because of the network and system infrastructures that have already formed. Secrecy and propriety have worked for corporations in the past, but Linux and its brethren have shown a more efficient and reliable alternative.