The only thing holding back the launch of the first Android-powered phone, the HTC Dream, was approval from the Federal Communications Commission. That approval has now come through, and T-Mobile can launch the phone. The filing asks for a November 10 release date, but (as Matt Marshall at VentureBeat points out) T-Mobile could launch it earlier.
This means that Android will be on track to debut before the holiday shopping season. The device is expected to have a touch screen, WiFi, a “jogball” (like on a Blackberry), a full Web browser based on the same WebKit as Safari on the iPhone, and Google apps like Gmail, Maps, and YouTube. It should be fab.
But don’t expect it to catch up to the iPhone anytime soon. At least Android will finally be in the game, though, and the other Android phone manufacturers and carriers will be able to learn from any missteps that the HTC Dream makes. On the other hand, if the Dream lives up to its name other Android partners might hurry up and launch their devices as well.
Update: There are also some signs that Google may be getting ready to release an updated software development kit so that apps can actually be made for the device. (That would be a good idea).