We know, we're a tad bit late on this. After all, it's already 12 days into 2009 but what's the old saying? Better late than never? 2008 marked an eventful year for us because well, that's the year that Android first released! And don't forget, it also marks the first year for Android Central.
Looking back, there were some great stories regarding Android in 2008 and even though Android has only been available for a couple months, it has already been considered a success. So let's take a look back at the year that was and see what was the best of 2008!
Hit the read link to see what Android Central thinks was the best of 2008!
Best Smartphone of the Year
The T-Mobile G1. There was some real suspense building on that one, huh? But don’t think we were just going to give away this award, the T-Mobile G1 truly earned it.
It was the perfect launching pad for Android. The G1 provided a plethora of input options that allowed smartphone users from other platforms to easily switch over. Blackberry trackball, iPhone touchscreen, hardware buttons, physical keyboards..it all worked wonderfully well.
Okay, it’s a little plain in design and the jay leno sized chin is odd. So what. No other smartphone runs Android better. And therefore, no other smartphone can be the 2008 Smartphone of the Year other than the T-Mobile G1.
Smartphone Innovation of the Year
Android Market. App Stores. This is the new standard. And to think that before these one-stop-3rd party app-shops popped up you had to go hunt down .cab files or send an SMS to receive third party software. Just Crazy.
This is going to change smartphones forever. Your smartphone becomes an ever changing and constantly growing platform. It’s easy, it’s simple, it’s fast. My only problem? Why did it take until 2008 to make App Markets and App Stores appear? How did smartphone companies not realize the potential? How did smartphone users not realize the sense? Windows Mobile, Blackberry, & Palm need to step their game up. Get an app store out by 2009 please!
Game of the Year
Was Pacman always this hard? Android Central’s Game of the Year is going to go to NAMCO’s Pacman which reminded us of the good ‘ol games of yesteryear and how timelessly frustrating they continue to be. We all got a sense of nostalgia wth Pacman as noted when Pacman quickly shot up the charts to become one of Android Market’s most downloaded game. One of the best aspects of the game? It was free!
We hope to see more attention to this category in the future because as fun as Pacman was, you’ll never mistaken it for a PSP or DS game.
IM App of the Year
Hello AIM! is pretty much everything we wanted the native IM application to be on the G1. The interface is clean, it’s stable, and it’s quite nifty switching chats. The only weakness is that it’s AIM only so those who use Google, Yahoo, or MSN for their messaging needs are left out. We at Android Central wish for an always connected, always on version of Google Talk in Android—hopefully that can come in the future.
My Favorite App of the Year
Locale. This is forward thinking innovation at its best. I can create unique profiles for my G1 depending on different criteria. For example, I can create a Work profile that dictates the G1 to set the ringer off according to my GPS coordinates. Or I can set it to turn off WiFi when the battery hits a certain level. Basically, my smartphone is finally smart enough.
Accessory of the Year
SPE Mini USB Stereo adapter for T-Mobile G1. This accessory adds support for a standard headset jack. Why the T-Mobile G1 chose to go the ExtUSB route is simply beyond me—the T-Mobile G1 is a consumer device and consumers need certain STANDARD features. Thankfully, this accessory helps as a stopgap solution. Here's our original review!
Smartphone Experts Screen Protectors (3-Pack) is also a great accessory to reduce both glare and fingerprints on the T-Mobile G1’s capacitive touchscreen. What’s great is that the screen protectors are of great quality so it doesn’t diminish sensitivity, in fact in my opinion, in improves on the tactile feedback.Here's our original review!
Bluetooth Headset of the Year
The Jawbone 2. We weren’t the biggest fans of the original Jawbone because it was a bit big and unwieldy. Compound the fact that the original Jawbone didn’t seem to fit in most years, it was definitely a tough sell. Now insert the Jawbone 2 which seemingly improves on the original Jawbone in every single way. It’s now sleeker, smaller, and offers a superb fit—what’s great is that the quality is still just as amazing.
Case of the Year
Technically our pick for 2008 isn’t a case but a skin. But Bodyguardz has done such a great job in creating this skin for the G1 that it deserves recommendation. The Bodyguardz Protective Skin for T-Mobile G1 offers comprehensive coverage on your T-Mobile G1 and protects it from nicks and scratches from daily use. Since the G1 has only been available for a couple months now, we’ll be expecting this category to become highly competitive in 2009.
Favorite Android Feature of the Year
This has to be the notification window on Android. Dieter touched on it before and it’s quite simply the best notification feature throughout all of smartphones. It’s versatile, useful, and incredibly unique. I love that it doesn’t interfere with your actions and gives quick little previews. Also, it provides a pseudo-quick launch of any necessary actions. If you haven’t seen this on Android yet—you need to pay attention. It’s that good.
Favorite Story of the Year
We could choose the release of the T-Mobile G1 and Android. We could even showcase our gallery of the crisp white T-Mobile G1. But after careul consideration, we’re going to go with how everybody ELSE felt about Android. When the first reviews hit in regards to the T-Mobile G1 everyone seemed properly satisfied—there was just enough polish to make things work right now and everybody saw the platform was oozing with potential. And when all of our editor’s got a hold of Android in the Smartphone Round Robin? Everybody came away impressed and hopeful. It seems like everyone wants to see Android succeed. Everyone is keeping their eye on Android and it’ll only get better!