Reuters reported Wednesday that Google had taken top market position with its Android cell phone operating system, with a third of all smartphones sold in the quarter that ended June 30 running the system.
That move put the BlackBerry OS out of first place, the article says, for the first time in three years. BlackBerry’s share was 28 percent.
Apple’s iPhone OS was in third place with 22 percent of the market.
This follows a strong move by Android in the first quarter of 2010, when the system moved past the iPhone OS into second place behind BlackBerry.
I like this, because I like variety. I’ve had devices that use all three systems. I own a Motorola Droid now, which replaced a BlackBerry Storm. I still have an iPod Touch – which is close enough to an iPhone for my purposes.
Each of those systems has real pluses.
If the iPhone had been available for Verizon customers when I renewed my contract, I would have given it serious consideration. It’s the sleekest of the three by far and even my iPod Touch is bristling with apps that I paid nothing for that I like very much.
The Storm worked very nicely; I liked some aspects of its handheld calendar functions better than I like those of the Droid. I still have that phone; it’s my fallback should I douse my Droid in a swimming pool or get drenched by one of these five-minute thunderstorms we have these days.
The Droid is the least limiting of the three, though. I was already using Google for its Gmail and Google Calendar; those are on my phone. I use Google Docs regularly. I don’t have to port anything over from some other system. I have real drag-and-drop simplicity for files from my computer to the phone. I can update the calendar and email on any computer or the phone and the other is updated simultaneously. It’s very easy to see the four Google calendars I use, sometimes all at once, or to limit things to just my personal calendar. And the Droid came with a 16-gig card standard for the price of the phone.
Google can stumble, for sure. Wave went away on Wednesday. I have a Google Voice account, but I’ve never used it. (That second one could be me stumbling rather than Google, couldn't it?)
And in some ways, it feels like the Droid is copping ideas from the iPhone. If I go to the “Market” rather than the “App Store,” how different is that? (Although I don’t have to sign in to download an app on the Droid as I do with my iPod Touch.) I can “swipe” my three different Droid home screens; I know how to do this because my iPod taught me.
But who’s got email, a widely adaptable calendar and universal document access – all of it free, and the calendar and documents easily shared – to rival Google, no matter where you are or what machine you’re using?
The thing is, you are generally stuck for two years with the phone you choose. A few years ago, I picked a Palm Centro and it was really great. The Droid is my fourth smartphone and, so far, the best I've had.