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Android Turns 5 Years Old Today

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Today in 2008, Google executives stood on stage and announced the much-rumored T-Mobile G1 (also known as the HTC Dream). It was the first commercial product to run a new, Linux-based operating system called Android. It turned out pretty OK.

Des Smith, one of the members of the original Android team, shared some of his recollections on Google+. Things were different then:

I was worried that 50 "3G" phones might tear down the new T-Mobile 3G network! We switched half of them to WiFi tested them all out and packed up for the night.

I was so excited I couldn't sleep - we were about to change the world.

And here's how that world-changing announcement went down:

The G1 itself wasn't a life-changer from the get-go, but it showed promise. Enough that it seemed possible—if not a foregone conclusion—that Android could take off and make a serious impact in the world of mobile phones. With a capacitive touchscreen, augmented with a physical keyboard and a trackball, the G1 was a showcase for all the fancy tricks the brand new Android 1.6 "Donut" 1.0 could pull off, like email, Google Maps, and mobile web-browsing. Exciting stuff.


One billion activated phones since then, and Android is a completely different—and damned mature—animal. From its humble beginnings on an OK phone, Android has branched out to cameras, watches, even refrigerators. And there's no end in sight.


So happy 5th Android. We're pumped to see what the next 5 have in store. [Des Smith]