7 ways the new Android 2.2 OS beats the iPhone

Sorry, Apple -- you've been lapped by Google's latest mobile OS

The just-announced Android 2.2 (code-named Froyo) looks like a winner, with plenty of capabilities that put it well beyond the iPhone. Here are seven ways in which Android 2.2 is superior to the iPhone.

1. It tethers

Want to use your phone as a broadband modem for your computer? With Android 2.2 you can do it. With the iPhone you can't. In fact, even with Android 2.1 you can tether with an add-in, as I point out in "Don't wait for Android 2.2 Froyo; you can data-tether now."

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2. It turns your phone into a Wi-Fi hot spot

With Android 2.2, you'll be able to turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hot spot, giving Wi-Fi access to devices --- no USB cables required. You can't do that on an iPhone. To drive the point home, when Google did its Froyo presentation, it showed Android providing Wi-Fi access to a Wi-Fi iPad. Point: Google.

3. It plays Flash

Android 2.2 will run Flash. As you've doubtless heard several hundred times by now, the iPhone won't run Flash, and Steve Jobs has vowed it never will. That means Android offers access to far more content than does the iPhone.

4. It has open apps

Want to download an app? On the iPhone you can only download apps that Apple wants to let you download. Apple has censored many apps, even banning Pulitzer prize winning cartoonist Mark Fiore, until extreme embarassment made Apple change its mind. On Android you can download any app you want, either through the Android Market, or from the Web.

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