Android, a Google-backed operating system for cellphones, offers a legitimate alternative to the iPhone—in fact, many alternatives. Because the code is free and open-source, gadget makers can cheaply and easily alter it to create their own interfaces and to control many kinds of hardware, something that’s harder to do with other smartphone systems. About 10 Android phones have come out within the past year, ranging from the T-Mobile G1 and its touchscreen-keyboard combo to the Motorola CLIQ and its home screen that constantly streams social-networking updates. And you’ll only see a wider variety of choices in the future, as manufacturers adapt the code for use in more phones, portable media players and even netbooks, all of which can run the same 10,000-plus Android apps.
Phones from $100 (est.); android.com