or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Google unveils plans for Android mobile software platform
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Google unveils plans for Android mobile software platform

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Google on Monday confirmed its long-awaited foray into the mobile phone business by announcing the Open Handset Alliance, a team of thirty three other leading technology and wireless companies who have agreed to share in Google's development of Android, a new open software platform aimed at bettering the user experience on today's mobile devices.

As part of the alliance, the companies will strive to develop technologies that will significantly lower the cost of developing and distributing mobile devices and services. Android is said to be a first step in this direction, and represents software that has been under development for three years now, dating back to a Silicon Valley startup called Android Inc. that Google acquired in 2005. The platform is essentially an integrated mobile "software stack" that consists of an operating system, middleware, user-friendly interface and user applications.

Built on the open source Linux Kernel, Android was conceived from the ground-up to be "truly open" and allow developers to create mobile applications that take full advantage of all a handset has to offer. For example, an application could call upon any of the phone's core functionality such as making calls, sending text messages, or using the camera, allowing for richer and more cohesive experiences for users.

Meanwhile, users will be able to fully tailor their Android-based phone to their interests -- they can swap out the phone's homescreen, the style of the dialer, or any of the applications. They'll also be able to instruct their phones to use their favorite photo viewing application to handle the viewing of all photos.

"Today's announcement is more ambitious than any single 'Google Phone' that the press has been speculating about over the past few weeks," said Google chief executive Eric Schmidt. "Our vision is that the powerful platform we're unveiling will power thousands of different phone models."

Mobile phone users should not expect the first phones based on Android to surface until the second half of 2008. However, developers interested in the platform will only have to wait a week or so before the alliance unleashes its Android SDK on Nov. 12th.

Handset manufacturers and wireless operators will be free to customize Android in order to bring to market innovative new products faster and at a much lower cost, the alliance said. Meanwhile, developers will have complete access to handset capabilities and tools that will enable them to build more compelling and user-friendly services, bringing the Internet developer model to the mobile space.



"We see Android as an important part of our strategy of furthering Google's goal of providing access to information to users wherever they are. We recognize that many among the multitude of mobile users around the world do not and may never have an Android-based phone," said Andy Rubin, co-founder of Android Inc. and now Director of Mobile Platforms for Google. "Our goals must be independent of device or even platform. For this reason, Android will complement, but not replace, our longstanding mobile strategy of developing useful and compelling mobile services and driving adoption of these products through partnerships with handset manufacturers and mobile operators around the world."

Other big names listed as Open Handset Alliance members include Intel, Broadcom, eBay, HTC, Motorola, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Texas Instruments, and T-Mobile.
post #2 of 50
Yawn.

For starters, no Apple, no ATT, no Verizon, no Nokia, no Vodaphone, in the "OHA" alliance.
post #3 of 50
This is what I was hoping for. A Google phone platform has much more potential to positively change the phone market than a single Google phone would ever have.

Hopefully this will be a success. I still plan to get an iPhone, but competition will mean better phones everywhere; from Apple, from phones using Android, and from competing companies with their own proprietary software.
post #4 of 50
I'm a mix of the first two replies.
post #5 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

no Apple, no ATT, no Verizon

You say that like it's a bad thing.
Ridiculous lucky captain rabbit king, lucky captain rabbit king nuggets are for the youth!
Reply
Ridiculous lucky captain rabbit king, lucky captain rabbit king nuggets are for the youth!
Reply
post #6 of 50
It strikes me, that phone handsets are very limited, diverse enough devices that there will still be, very much, barriers towards ubiquitous software on this platform; I'm also interested in seeing if Google has done anything at all in the way of security provisions as malware wouldn't necessarily have quite such a barrier to entry, not having to draw to screen prettily, etc.

a step, possibly in the right direction. still too ambiguous to say.
post #7 of 50
I guess its time to get rid of my old microsoft shares, do to the fact that google CEO seats on apples board of directors this new free platform must be good, these big companies are all really at war specially google & apple Vs microsoft and Universal
post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringo View Post

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Who controls the networks?
Unless Google gets some bandwidth from the upcoming Fed auction... you still have to try and get your Gphone to work on these guys networks. And I know Verizon, for one, will not go quietly if at all.
post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post

Who controls the networks?
Unless Google gets some bandwidth from the upcoming Fed auction... you still have to try and get your Gphone to work on these guys networks. And I know Verizon, for one, will not go quietly if at all.

I'd never use AT&T or Verizon and I'd never recommend either to anyone. T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel are in the Alliance, that's perfectly acceptable to me. More carriers in the US would be a good thing, but look what there is to choose from.

Not seeing Nokia or Sony-Ericsson on the list bothers me, though. LG and Samsung are both decent, but I'm really not a fan of Motorola phones whatsoever.

Why is it that all of the US-based companies that are involved with mobile phones have horrible products or services? It seems like Apple is one of the only exceptions, and just barely.
Ridiculous lucky captain rabbit king, lucky captain rabbit king nuggets are for the youth!
Reply
Ridiculous lucky captain rabbit king, lucky captain rabbit king nuggets are for the youth!
Reply
post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by fraklinc View Post

I guess its time to get rid of my old microsoft shares, do to the fact that google CEO seats on apples board of directors this new free platform must be good, these big companies are all really at war specially google & apple Vs microsoft and Universal

A better reason to dump MSFT is that they've been dead in the water for years.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply
post #11 of 50
OT: The embedded YouTube video in the article makes my MacBook fans go max speed. I am running Leopard. Does anyone else have that issue? Generally I found Flash performance to be much improved in Leopard.
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Yawn.

For starters, no Apple, no ATT, no Verizon, no Nokia, no Vodaphone, in the "OHA" alliance.

An open platform which will get rid of WindowsCE (especially because of closed/licensing costs) and Verizon's idiotic lock-box, and the platform has a ridiculous number of partners at this stage in the game... and you find that boring.


You are ludicrously ignorant of what this means for the future of mobile handsets.
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
Reply
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
Reply
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringo View Post

You say that like it's a bad thing.

These are -- for better or worse, like them or hate them -- some of the heavy-hitters in the mobile phone business (yes, Apple included).

It is a bit odd to go public with something supposedly so big -- witness how the stock had run up in anticipation of this announcement -- without lining up some of these major players.
post #14 of 50
I agree with it being a bit odd to do it the way they did today.
post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

You are ludicrously ignorant of what this means for the future of mobile handsets.



And you, I suppose, are a seer of the future in this industry.
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ak1808 View Post

OT: The embedded YouTube video in the article makes my MacBook fans go max speed. I am running Leopard. Does anyone else have that issue? Generally I found Flash performance to be much improved in Leopard.

You're right...that is off topic.
post #17 of 50
If there's one thing it's not good for, it's Apple, and the iPhone.
post #18 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



And you, I suppose, are a seer of the future in this industry.

No, I'm just saying that even a complete retard would be able to see why this is so huge for the future of mobile.
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
Reply
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
Reply
post #19 of 50
I hate to be the "less space than a Nomad, lame" guy, but ths just doesn't sound that interesting.

Google has written a software platform for mobile phones. Ok, cool.

We have no idea what it is, what it does, hot it looks, how it works, what phones it will work on, and how much Google there will be in a typical phone running Android (versus how much, say, T-Mobile). That's not cool at all.

It's a partnership announcement, like what MS keeps having us yawn about. We don't get to see a product for another year, and when we do, we have no idea what it will be like.

Best case scenario: it's excellent software, customizable (by the provider) in a tasteful way, guaranteeing a consistent, google-class experience.

Worst case scenario: it's good software, customizable to virtual unrecognazibility by the same people who have been delivering crappy phones all these years, guaranteeing pretty much the same kind of confusing, ugly, all-over-the-place, T-Mobile-class mobile phone experience we've had so far. Only it'll be more webby and it'll have ads.

The reason I'm leaning more toward the second option is that Google didn't say anything today that prevents or opposes it.
post #20 of 50
Sounds good to me. They have to start somewhere. Maybe this will improve on the usability problems of most non-iPhones, and stimulate competition in usability rather than just bullet points.

Meanwhile, Google developing apps for their own Linux flavor probably won't harm their ability to keep developing apps for Apple's UNIX flavor
post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Yawn.

For starters, no Apple, no ATT, no Verizon, no Nokia, no Vodaphone, in the "OHA" alliance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

These are -- for better or worse, like them or hate them -- some of the heavy-hitters in the mobile phone business (yes, Apple included).

It is a bit odd to go public with something supposedly so big -- witness how the stock had run up in anticipation of this announcement -- without lining up some of these major players.

I have a hard time believing heavy-hitters in the phone market would ever support this open platform (until the end, at least). Doing so now would spell the destruction of the empire they've built. What -- a world where useful and powerful phone services are free-of-charge? How dare we fathom such a thing?!

A revolution in the phone industry has to come from the smaller players, just as a revolution in the computer industry had to come from an underdog like Apple.

If these guys truly have a superior platform, its adoption will eventually take place, even though the big names will try with all their might to stymie it.

-Clive
My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
Reply
My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
Reply
post #22 of 50
If there's one thing we've learned in the last 25 years, it's that integrated hardware and software designed make for the superior product and experience.

This sounds like the Windows model for phones -- lots of different hardware vendors making products for a widespread software platform.

However, the key to the phone market breaking wide is -- and will continue to be -- ease of use and consistency. The things that the non-tech oriented consumers will require.

I've not yet seen any of these hardware manufacturers really excel in either of these two realms, and this model does not really seem conducive to that changing... Until we see what they come up with, the jury is out on this.
post #23 of 50
This is good. I like the sound of Android.
It would also be cool to see an example of the project in action.. What's up with that?
post #24 of 50
One reason why T-Mobile here in the US signed on is because they are desperate for customers. They have the best plans, and the worst service.
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

It would also be cool to see an example of the project in action.. What's up with that?

What's up with that is exactly what's most shrug-inducing about this.

My guess is that there isn't much to show since this will be mostly a behind-the-scenes technology/service thing.
post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

I have a hard time believing heavy-hitters in the phone market would ever support this open platform (until the end, at least). Doing so now would spell the destruction of the empire they've built. What -- a world where useful and powerful phone services are free-of-charge? How dare we fathom such a thing?!

What in this announcement gave you the idea that useful and powerful phone services will be free of charge to YOU? Your provider will still charge as much as they ever have. Good luck having them pass the software development savings on to you.

This is primarily a business partnership announcement, from Google to providers. Customers will be affected by this somewhere in the margins. Hence no demo, no product to show, no cool YouTube video to ooh and aaah over.
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by RidleyGriff View Post

If there's one thing we've learned in the last 25 years, it's that integrated hardware and software designed make for the superior product and experience.

This sounds like the Windows model for phones -- lots of different hardware vendors making products for a widespread software platform.

However, the key to the phone market breaking wide is -- and will continue to be -- ease of use and consistency. The things that the non-tech oriented consumers will require.

I've not yet seen any of these hardware manufacturers really excel in either of these two realms, and this model does not really seem conducive to that changing... Until we see what they come up with, the jury is out on this.

Excellent points! Took the words right out of my mouth..... (although, I could not have said it remotely as well as you did).
post #28 of 50
i think its more about using this "software" to free phones from retrictions placed by the at&t, verizon monopoly, tmoble and sprint (growing marginal players) are using this to develop market share. "customers can use this the way they want...join us with our new 2 year contract and we will share this experience"

there has got to be a way to free customers from the crushing control of the moble giants, but there are many that want to fight this MS being one, at&t verizon.

it's a control WWF wrestling fest. if you can't build market share with new cool factor use a different approach. i'm sure palm simbian, and MS will have a counter punch

hope me and you as customers don't get run over. the cell phone is the new desktop wars.
here we go......
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
Reply
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
Reply
post #29 of 50
Where is the bandwagon for dead before it was born? I want on.
I never get tired of being right all the time... but I do get tired of having to prove it to you again and again.
Reply
I never get tired of being right all the time... but I do get tired of having to prove it to you again and again.
Reply
post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

No, I'm just saying that even a complete retard would be able to see why this is so huge for the future of mobile.

Then call me retarded because there is no way to predict what effect this will have in the long term. It sounds good but that doesn't mean it will really fly.
post #31 of 50
Who wants to buy a cell phone with Google ads where Google makes money? NOT ME!!!!!

That's what they are trying to do. What a joke.

Sorry Google. Not happening.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by RidleyGriff View Post

If there's one thing we've learned in the last 25 years, it's that integrated hardware and software designed make for the superior product and experience.

This sounds like the Windows model for phones -- lots of different hardware vendors making products for a widespread software platform.

I disagree.

The internet (TCP/IP) and the web (HTTP, HTML) show us that an open and free platform can result in enormous adoption, functionality and innovation.

This is different from the Microsoft model, which is a proprietary OS with a variety of hardware partners / licensees.

You're right, of course, that this might lead to UI monstrosities and devices with lousy functionality. Just like the web, where there are ugly, difficult to navigate websites.

I'm a big Apple fan. But the "walled garden" approach can be stagnant and insular. A lot of Apple's recent success comes from embracing open standards and partnering widely. The iPhone, in its current state, does seem arbitrarily locked down: not only in its AWOL API, but also in excluding IM, voice over IP, etc. I bet that a lot of this "closed-ness" is due to a need to keep AT&T and the other carrier partners happy. I hope that this Android announcement shifts the market enough that Apple either embraces it or imitates it by significantly opening up access to its platform.
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ringo View Post

T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel are in the Alliance, that's perfectly acceptable to me.

Right now, Sprint would jump into just about any body's "Alliance" if they though they could band-aid the profit hemorrhaging.

Hundreds of thousands of lost customers in the last 6 months doesn't exactly spell confidence in Sprint. They've screwed about every pooch in the kennel and are running out of executives to blame. Seriously, they're one of the worst cases of making bold future-tech promises that lead to nowhere...
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

They may be "open and free platforms", but the reason that they've resulted in "enormous adoption, functionality and innovation" is because they are the de facto standard.

Linux is an example of the former. OHA looks to be more along the lines of a Linux than a TCP/IP.

TCP/IP, HTTP, and HTML were not always the de facto standard.

Once upon a time it was Compuserve.
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

Right now, Sprint would jump into just about any body's "Alliance" if they though they could band-aid the profit hemorrhaging.

Hundreds of thousands of lost customers in the last 6 months doesn't exactly spell confidence in Sprint. They've screwed about every pooch in the kennel and are running out of executives to blame. Seriously, they're one of the worst cases of making bold future-tech promises that lead to nowhere...

Wow, that is a harsh assessment. Not necessarily off base, but harsh!

In any case, I am on the "too early to tell, wait and see" bandwagon.
I like the free and open platform idea in theory--if it works well.

I do think melgross:
Quote:
If there's one thing it's not good for, it's Apple, and the iPhone.

is being a little pessimistic. I cannot see how it would help the iPhone instantly, but it could
*Spurr more innovation from Apple if it pans out
*Force Apple to find a way to open things up for 3rd party inovation/customization without compromizing "security."
*Shift the balance of power allowing Apple to worry less about appeasing at&t
*It could become the shizzle, forcing all compeditors--including the iPhone--out of the market leading Apple to license their propriatary MultiTouch screen tech as one of the snap-on parts thereby allowing Apple to reap profits from the whole market--not just one segment...

Of course, it could also fizzle out and have no impact on the industry, but I think it is too early to say it would be catagorically bad for the iPhone
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
Reply
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
Reply
post #36 of 50
This sounds dumb. There is no iphone competition, are you kidding? There is no product. The idea will maybe turn into something maybe someday. Until then, keep yawning.
post #37 of 50
I'm guessing that if Apple had any second thoughts about opening up the iPhone to 3rd party apps, they're gone for good now.

Could be a good thing for software developers and the iPhone because now there could be some legitimate competition. Apple may have to support developers who develop apps for the iPhone. Otherwise they may just go to the Google phone platform.
post #38 of 50
Maybe I'm superthick here but what's in this for Google?

Do they give the operating system away to the manufacturers free or force them to install a suite of Google advertising apps?

This does seem like starting completely from scratch. What are the advantages to this approach that you don't get now with Symbian? ie, is Symbian slow? Old? Creeky? More closed? More expensive?
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypercommunist View Post

TCP/IP, HTTP, and HTML were not always the de facto standard.

Once upon a time it was Compuserve.

Nobody said "always". Please don't mis-quote.

I don't recall Compuserve ever being an "open and free platform": My recollection -- as a one-time user -- is that it was only available to subscribers.

The reason for enormous adoption of TCP/IP, HTTP, and HTML is that they were not just free and open (as you said) but also the fact that they became the de facto standard (as I was trying point out).
post #40 of 50
Posts are getting time-warped...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Google unveils plans for Android mobile software platform