Even with Apple's new releases, Android was the major newsmaker in 2009. In just over a year, Google's OS has been put on 20 phones with 59 operators, and the Android Market now offers 20,000-plus apps. And don't forget about Google's $750 million purchase of mobile advertiser AdMob and the release of the Nexus One smartphone. Top 50 No. 2
Now every smartphone wants to be an iPhone. An estimated 37 million of them (including the 3GS) were sold in 2009 alone, and more than 3 billion apps have been downloaded in the past 18 months. Top 50 No. 2
The leader in mobile purchases, Amazon released shopping and Kindle apps for the iPhone and Android this year, and its new mobile-payment platform, which lets users move money and buy things with 1-Click, is beating PayPal. Top 50 No. 2
Arguably the most creative electronics firms implementing Android, the Taiwanese manufacturer was chosen by Google to design the Nexus One. Top 50 No. 31
The automaker has taken a great leap forward with its Sync in-car mobile-services platform by opening its car-computing platform to third-party developers. Its upcoming MyFord Touch platform can link mobile apps like Pandora with the car's digital screens and voice-control capabilities.
The remember-everything notebook app is beloved by 2 million obsessive project managers and forgetful creatives everywhere. Evernote's breadth of ways to access your info is its best feature—Mac, PC, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Palm, BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android are all supported. Everything is stored safely in the cloud.
The chip maker's superfast 1-GHz Snapdragon chip set is used to power both netbooks and smartphones, including Google's Nexus One. And even though the company focuses on higher-end devices, it shipped 450 million 3G handsets in 2009.
The next-generation wireless network, with funding from Sprint, is already in more than 25 markets, including Atlanta, Chicago, and Las Vegas. In contrast, AT&T and Verizon are mired in the planning phases of a 4G buildout.
The location-based game won immediate geek love when it debuted at the 2009 SXSW. By this January, it had an estimated 200,000 users, with some telling their friends where they were every second. Unlike many of its Web 2.0 peers, Foursquare is rolling out a viable revenue model, with ads and offers based on where users are shopping or dining.
Its AccuTerra app is one of the most ambitious pieces of iPhone software to date, winning an Apple Design Award in 2009 while in beta. The hyperdetailed GPS map app comes with elevation, hydrological data, trails, reviews, and weather, served up through an in-app shop that lets you download and store map data for a small fee, mostly between $1.99 and $3.99.