For those of us who want a pure experience, the way Google intended, we now have an(other) option.
Like most people, I hate those skins that manufacturers put on top of Android to try to differentiate their product. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer phones are coming out without some sort of manufacturer overlay to dilute that experience.
Thankfully, T-Mobile, the carrier that originally took a chance with Android, offering the G1 almost two years ago, is now offering the follow-up to that phone, the G2, for pre-order today and delivery by the first week in October. As you can see (right), it is stock Android 2.2, pure and simple.
For those customers who bought the G1 at launch in October 2008, the G2 will make for a natural upgrade.
Off topic:, it is hard to believe Android isn't yet two years old.
The bigger question is: Why does Google (goog) allow manufacturers to muck up Android with their overlays without bringing much improvement with them? Danny Sullivan talked to Google CEO Eric Schmidt about just that very topic.
Schmidt's answer: Google's interpretation of Open Source requires them to let carriers/manufacturers do whatever they want with the Android OS as long as it doesn't alter the experience to a certain level. With Bing all over the Verizon Fascinate and alternative Android Markets planned, you have to wonder where that line is drawn.
At the same time Schmidt mentioned that Android was selling like crazy and that the market would force the carriers to give people what they want -- if a pure Android experience was in fact, what customers were after.
Here's the video of that exchange below:<!-- more -->
I've yet to hold a G2 in my hand (next week hopefully), but it is exactly the type of phone I want...on a carrier that doesn't take too many liberties with my loyalty. I really hope these sell well, for the reasons Schmidt mentions above (so that other manufacturers are forced to remove their overlays).