Google goes mobile

A new generation of smart phones debuted this week – and analysts say BlackBerry and iPhone should watch their backs. Cellphone carrier T-Mobile USA presented its G1, the first device to run Google’s Android operating system.

Like most buzz-worthy phones, the G1 is designed to do more than make calls. It crams in a full Web browser, GPS tracking with Google Street View, speedy 3G Internet connection, one-click Amazon shopping, and a QWERTY keyboard tucked underneath its sliding touch screen.

But the major selling point of the G1 and Android as a system is not the bells and whistles that come preinstalled, but the potential to download brand-new functions through the Android Marketplace, an online store of applications that will run on any Android phone. The G1 will cost $179. Other mobile carriers plan to unveil their own Android phones over the next year.

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