Picking a new mobile phone can be a complicated business: once upon a time all phones did was call people and if you had the very latest technology you could text and play a game called Snake! Now you can FaceTime people, buy presents or your weekly shopping on the move and set your oven to warm up on your way home! With the world of the mobile phones moving so quickly many people have been left wondering, ‘Just what is an Android phone?’
To try and put this as simply as possible, Android is Google’s operating system for mobile phones in the same way that Microsoft Windows is the operating system for the majority of home computers. This is the little bit of clever magic that make the machines work.
There are two main types of operating systems for the Android that are maintained by Google, the 2.x and 3.x. The main difference between these two versions of Android is what they do with the screen space. Android 2.x devices include physical buttons whereas those run by Android 3.x have buttons on the screen.
The standard layout for Android mobile phones is to have a series of home screens containing short cuts not only to the standard items such as contacts, calendars and alarms but also to launch apps or widgets. These are small programs within the operating system which have a single function; the function depends upon the app but it could for example control your music or display your Facebook page.
It can be tricky knowing which of the many Android mobile phones is the right one for you, so apart from reading up on the latest mobile phone reviews your best bet is to go and have a play with them in a mobile phone shop. Of course you won’t be allowed to test them in your daily life, which would be useful, but you can get a feel of them and how they work to allow you to make the most informed choice possible.