Google and T-Mobile say searching is faster with the G1 than with other mobile phones. Although many variables determine data speed, they say the G1's interface makes accessing browsing applications easier and quicker. Users can drag a search bar to the home screen for extra efficiency.
A full HTML Web browser enables users to see any Web page the way they would from a full-size computer. But, by tapping the screen, users can zoom in for larger pictures. Users can also activate a magnifier that enlarges regions of the page as they scroll across it with a finger.
If you want to share a Web page with a friend or e-mail it to yourself, as you browse, one click pulls up an e-mail screen that allows you to do so.
As one would expect from the company that gave the world Google Earth and Google Maps, the G1 is GPS enabled and gives users easy access to mapping applications.
To prolong battery life and protect the privacy of users, owners must manually turn on the GPS function. The default setting is off. Once users have activated the function, they can click on any address to launch mapping software that provides driving directions, street views and information about local businesses.
In what Google and T-Mobile say is an industry first, the phone's Google Maps feature syncs with a built-in compass to allow customers to use the Street View program to view locations and navigate 360 degrees by moving the phone with their hands.
Like the iPhone, the G1 allows owners to launch a YouTube application directly from the home screen to browse videos and share them with friends.
The G1 also includes a 3-megapixel camera and has a variety of photo-sharing capabilities.
The phone also comes pre-loaded with an Amazon.com application that allows customers to search for and download (for a price) Amazon MP3 tracks. But users can also easily connect the phone to a computer and drag music files into it as they would with an external hard drive.
A 1 GB memory card that can hold up to 500 songs comes with the phone, but the device can support up to an 8 GB memory card.