Android....open mobile platform by googleAndroid is an open mobile phone platform that was developed by Google and, later, by the Google-developed Open Handset Alliance. Google defines Android as a "software stack" for mobile phones.
A software stack is made up of the operating system (the platform on which everything runs), the middleware (the programming that allows applications to talk to a network and to one another), and the applications (the actual programs that the phones will run). In short, the Android software stack is all the software that will make an Android phone an Android phone.
It's a Linux-based mobile phone operating system developed by Google. Android is unique because Google is actively developing the platform but giving it away for free to hardware manufacturers and phone carriers who want to use Android on their devices. A modified version of Android is used in the Google TV, the Barnes & Noble Nook e-Reader, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and countless other devices.
Now that you know what Android is, let's talk about the important stuff: Why should you care about Android?
First off all, it's an open platform, which means anyone can download a software development kit and write an application for Android. That means eventually you should have plenty of Android apps that you can download to your phone. If you like Apple's App Store (one of the most raved-about features of the iPhone), you should be pleased with Android.
While the software will come from Google and anyone who chooses to write applications for Android you will have some choice in both hardware and cellular carrier. This is where Android differs sharply from the iPhone. The iPhone hardware is made by Apple, and your cellular carrier is AT&T (unless you jailbreak your phone, and therefore void any warranty). An Android phone can be made by anyone and made to run on any network. iPhone tries to create the best user experience by restricting hardware and software standards, where as 'the Droid' tries to insure it by opening up as much of the operating system as possible.
These are just a few of the reasons why Android has the potential for huge success. Now we have to see if it can live up to the hype.