Android, Android, Android!

Google's OS is wasting no time making friends and fans across an ever-increasing network.

Much like a pushy little sister, Google's mobile OS is garnering all the attention.

Android's Open Handset Alliance made 14 new friends this week -- including Ericsson, Garmin International, Sony Ericsson, Vodafone, and AsusTek. This brings the total number of OHA members to 47, and while it is unclear exactly how the OHA garners membership (there is ambiguity about whether any company can join or must go through a vetting process), one thing is certain: The names on the roster now include major manufacturers holding major potential to spread Android far and wide.

[ Learn more about Google Android in InfoWorld's special report. ]

With the notable absence of companies that hate sharing their toys, such as Apple, the OHA has managed to build itself a sizable community. Other companies that have not yet embraced OHA include Nokia, AT&T, Microsoft, RIM, Verizon, and Palm. However, that's not stopping Android's momentum; already HTC, Sony Ericsson, and Asus have made claims that they will be releasing Android handsets in the next year. HTC has said it intends to have something appearing on shelves by summer -- and hours later, an announcement (and a video) of a hack allowing an HTC Touch to run Android hit the Web.

Although it does seem that China's QiGi i6 is managing to run Android with fewer bugs and problems, and the Kogan Agora will get Android to Australian customers by the end of January, it is promising to see Android continue to flourish across new screens. It will be interesting to see where Garmin will take Android, and the word "Nuvifone" has been tossed around more than once. Google has even begun using its AdWords program in Android. That's enough progress to get a lot of people rubbing their hands together in eager anticipation for 2009.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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