Last week Google hosted a conference that was geared towards developers, and during the keynote they showed off some of the cool things that the Android mobile operating system was capable of doing. In it’s current state I would say that Android doesn’t appear to be quite as polished as the iPhone, but the functionality is definitely awesome. Here are a few things that I wanted to point out from the demonstration, which I’ve also included below:

  • Slide to unlock patterns – With the iPhone you just need to swipe your finger across the screen to get started, but Google is looking to make the slide-to-unlock feature a little more robust. On the screen you’ll have 9 dots that you’ll be able to create a pattern with, and that pattern is what’s used to unlock your phone. We all love to connect the dots, right? ;)
  • Notifications – You can bring up a central page that contains all of your notifications (calendar events, new email, etc…). Having this all in one location is really smart.
  • “Real” desktop – Android users will actually have a desktop that is reminiscent of their home computer’s desktop. You can create shortcuts for contacts or websites, and place them anywhere on the screen by dragging and dropping them.
  • Street View uses compass – The Android devices will include an optimized version of Google Street View that looks pretty sweet. You can take your finger and spin the map around, or you can enable the compass view that will rotate the 3D imagery according to the direction you’re facing. Man, I can’t wait to see if/how Google plans to use the Street View with a GPS!

Here is the portion of the keynote presentation that demonstrates all of the stuff I mentioned above, and more.

The icing on the cake might be the fact that Google has now said that Android will be 100% open source! It will certainly be interesting to see what kind of Android variations we see people coming out with then.

Google I/O 2008 Conference
Thanks to Omar for the tip!