T-Mobile myTouch Misses Android's Potential

T-Mobile's introduction of its second Google phone, called the myTouch, points out the differences between the three leading operating systems in this summer of smartphones. It also points out why--in releasing this "too little, too late" device--T-Mobile is an also-ran.

T-Mobile's new myTouch is a version of the HTC Magic phone that's already available in Europe. That T-Mobile announces only days after the iPhone 3G S launch and the same month as the Palm Pre, only points out how far behind the curve T-Mobile remains and how Google needs to take more control of who ships what and when.

Simply put: The myTouch doesn't present Google's Android operating system in the best possible light. An advanced, multi-tasking OS, Android is slated to power a number of more interesting devices due later this year from a variety of manufacturers.

Over the long haul, I would not be surprised to see Android become the top-rated smartphone OS--that is, if Apple stumbles even a bit. But, the myTouch introduction--the phone is due to ship next month--simply makes the Palm Pre look better. And not even better than it is.

At the moment, the excitement over smartphones stacks up with iPhone in the lead, Palm Pre several lengths back in second, and Android in a distant third.

Google would have been wise to encourage T-Mobile not to embarrass itself and Google by introducing such a so-so phone on the heels of the two summer stars.

I would, however, caution observers that the myTouch is certainly not the best Android, or even T-Mobile, can do. There are even some nice things about the myTouch, including an enhanced on-screen keyboard that vibrates when a key is "pressed."

Let's withhold judgment on what Android can do until later in the year, when we expect to see many new Google phones that will give us a fuller picture of, well, what Android can do.

David Coursey tweets as techinciter and can be reached via e-mail from the contact form at www.coursey.com/contact.

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