Google Android: 10 Things Every New User Should Know About the Mobile OS

News Analysis: As an increasing number of people join the Android OS ranks, those folks should learn a few things about their chosen mobile operating system.

With the Motorola Droid X continuing to enjoy success in the mobile market, and alternatives like the Droid 2 and the HTC Droid Incredible also enjoying strong sales, there is a huge influx of new Android owners entering the market. In fact, Google said recently that 200,000 Android devices are being activated each day.

With such an influx of new customers comes a learning curve for those people. Since the majority of them haven't used Android-based devices before, they will need to learn the nuances of the operating system, and find out both what makes it appealing and what could make it a problem to work with.

Read on to find out what every Android owner should know about the mobile OS.

1. Android 2.2 is a major step up

Depending on the device consumers buy, they're either running Android 2.1 or Android 2.2. Currently, Nexus One and Droid 2 owners have Android 2.2 running on their smartphone. Droid X owners will have the new software in September. Realizing that, current Droid X owners will soon find out what Droid 2 owners already know-Android 2.2 is a major step up over the previous version of the software. Not only does it add several more features, but it delivers improved usability. When Android 2.2 is made available on all smartphones, every consumer should download it.

2. The Android Market is growing

Due to the success of Android OS, new owners will be happy to hear that the Android Market is growing rapidly. In fact, the store currently has more than 100,000 available applications, with many more being added each day. Although the store got off to a slow start, strong Android sales have pushed many more developers looking to turn a profit to embrace the platform. Expect many more useful apps to come to the Android Market in short order.

3. It's backed by Google

As Android owners already know, the software is backed by Google. But what they might not know is that it could be both good and bad. The good thing about Google backing Android OS is that the company has the vision and the cash to invest fully in the software, making it all the more useful. The bad aspect of it is that some are concerned that Google isn't living up to its motto of "Don't Be Evil" as much as they would like the public to think. What's more, its desire for mobile advertising revenue could drastically alter the way it makes Android-related decisions. Simply put, just as with Apple's iOS, there are some pros and cons to owning a device running Google Android.

4. More customers means better improvements

The best thing about being a part of the Android craze is that it gives Google and its partners the impetus they need to keep improving the platform. If Android couldn't compete with Apple's iPhone in sales, there would be little reason to continue to improve the software. But with Android starting to gain some traction the market, Google will be more likely to pull out all the stops to maintain its lead. Look for several incremental improvements to Android OS as Google's market share continues to grow.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...