Device operating systems

Android Transformation

10:55 AM -- Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) gave me a Samsung Transform to test out for a couple of days and I think the carrier has hit the right note with its Sprint ID packs. (See CTIA 2010: Sprint Finds an ID and Sprint Announces Sprint ID.)

The phone's Android operating system and the Android marketplace app store are too big and wide of a blank canvas for most consumers. ID packs ease you into the world of setting up your phone and downloading apps. Switch on the phone, push a button, pick an ID, and a pack of apps will show up on your phone. This capability will be especially useful for corporations who want all their employees to have the same corporate identity, access to a lot of the same forms, capabilities, benefits, etc.

But such bells and whistles only stand out if the network can handle the call to action. In San Francisco, where I first tried the Transform, I noticed that Sprint's data and voice reception were very good all over town. In buildings, outside, on the move, the Sprint phone kept me connected and didn't drop calls.

My iPhone, however, performed as expected. Let's leave it at that.

In general, phone makers and their carrier partners are smoothing out Android's rough edges and the entry-level prices for a phone as capable as the Transform are going ever lower. There is, indeed, finally a safe haven for those who long to leave the BlackBerry at work and don't want to be locked into Apple's all-vanilla ice cream parlor.

All this makes me wonder: What compelling reason is there at this late date in the smartphone revolution to even be remotely curious about a Microsoft Windows phone?

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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