Google's Android takes centre stage

Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was the first real outing for Google's Android software platform which is set to debut fairly soon, as early as the second half of 2008, according to Carolina Milanesi of research firm, Gartner.

LG electronics has already announced that it would start selling an Android-based mobile phone by the end of the year; LG Electronics is part of a 34-member strong group of telecommunications companies which have announced their support for Android.

T-Mobile and Taiwanese phone manufacturer HTC - who produced the gorgeous Touch - will also sell Android based phones this year according to Reuters.

Pocketlint has several pictures of a semi prototype - actually more like a PCB demo - running Android, courtesy of Qualcomm.

Yesterday, Google has updated its Android SDK, complete with significant UI and under the hood improvements like better file support, a cleaner user interface and sexier animations.

Other less visible additions include a Geocoder that allows developers to look for a business and translate the resulting address into a coordinate and the other way round but the phone package is still missing.

Google has offered the Android platform free to anyone who wants to use it, in a bid to foster the expansion of mobile internet which will ultimately expand the size of the market and provide with more opportunities.