This week marks the anniversary of the T-Mobile G1, the first Android phone

On September 23, 2008, the mobile operating system known as Android was released to the public. This week marks the anniversary of the first-ever Android phone, the T-Mobile G1. The Dream was the first commercially released device to use the Linux-based Android operating system, which was purchased and developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance in order to create an open competitor to other major smartphone platforms at the time, such as Symbian, BlackBerry OS, and iPhone OS.

The operating system includes a graphical user interface that can be customized, integration with Google services like Gmail, a notification system that displays a list of recent messages pushed from apps, and an Android Market for downloading additional apps. It was met with mostly positive reviews.

While the Dream was praised for its solid and durable hardware design, the introduction of the Android operating system was met with criticism for its lack of certain functionality and third-party software in comparison to more established platforms, but it was still regarded as innovative due to its open nature, notifications system, and heavy integration with Google services such as Gmail.

The G1 didn’t have the sleek design of the iPhone 3G, Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, Nokia N96, or Blackberry Bold 9000, but it did have a relatively unique form factor and a brand new OS experience. The phone’s main attraction was its 3.2-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 480 (180ppi). Unlike today’s near-bezel-free beauties, the G1 had a screen-to-body ratio of just under 50% and a 3:2 aspect ratio.

The G1 didn’t have a virtual keyboard at launch, so users had to rely on sliding out the display and using the QWERTY keyboard to type anything. Fortunately, a later update included the much-requested feature. There were also five physical buttons on the phone. The G1 had home, back, and menu buttons in addition to the then-standard answer and drop call buttons.

T-Mobile shipped one million G1 units in the United States in the first six months. As a result, it helped propel Android into fourth place in the US smartphone market, trailing only Windows Mobile (11%), Blackberry RIM OS (22%), and iPhone OS (50%).

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