Google’s Open Handset Alliance announced

Sure, we saw this one coming from a mile away but that doesn’t make it any less exciting: Google has gotten all official on us and has announced the details of its mobile OS strategy. No, it’s not called the “gPhone,” silly, it’s called Android and its the brainchild of the so-called “Open Mobile Alliance.” 

Here’s the deal: Google has buddied up with 34 different partners in the technology space (including NVIDIA, Intel, Texas Instruments, Synaptics, Marvell, Qualcomm, Motorola, Samsung, T-Mobile, Sprint, Skype, LG, HTC, KDDI, DoCoMo and China Mobile) to create the Open Handset Alliance (OHA)–a group focused on building an open, fully customizable alternative to closed operating systems like Windows Mobile 6, Symbian S60 and the iPhone OS. The OHA’s first product will be Android, an open-source mobile OS and associated application suite that’s built on the Linux operating system (and will be open-sourced via the Apache v2 License). The Android SDK will be made available to developers on November 12th and Android-sporting handsets will flood the market next year, from device manufacturers like HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung. These handsets will be available during the second half of 2008 in the U.S. (from T-Mobile and Sprint) China, Japan, Germany, Italy and Spain. As has been reported earlier, the Android OS will be targeted toward consumers and will be available to OEMs free of charge (the OS will be ad-supported, like all of Google’s other apps). A few observations:

  • It’s interesting that Google isn’t putting their own name on this but rather, taking a step back and pushing the OHA brand. While this certainly seems like a collaborative effort to a degree, it’s clear that Google is the driving force here–they’ve had the OS in development for three years now.
  • Will this force other carriers/device manufacturers (most notably AT&T, Verizon, Nokia, RIM and Apple) to open up their handset platforms? Let’s hope so.
  • Does this mean that just about every desktop developer who has thus far been shuttered out of the wireless industry will make a mad dash for that SDK in order to have an Android app out by next year? You had better believe it.

From the looks of it, Google and the OHA are sitting on what could be a real game-changer here, in terms of openness, user-customization and mobile functionality. If everything goes according to plan, Android could usher in an age where mobile devices operate more like PCs, with users downloading, installing and customizing to their heart’s content. At the very least, this probably means that powerful “smart” devices like those manufactured by HTC, LG and Samsung will finally have a more user-friendly, less ugly interface than Windows Mobile. And if that isn’t worth celebrating, I don’t know what is.

For more on Android and the OHA:
– watch these promotional videos
– read this New York Times article
– and see this press release

More stories about Sprint   iPhone   Skype   Linux Operating System   T-Mobile   Google  

Comments

wow….we can all look forward to a click counting, ad driven, open world

“…the OS will be ad-supported, like all of Google’s other apps” Oh great… Pop-up ads on my cell phone. Just what I always wanted..

I agree that we need to wait and see how they plan on advertising on the phone. However, I would highly doubt that there would be “pop up” ads. Google doesn’t employ them today, so why would they employ them on the phone?

I figure that the ads will be similar to the way they employ them on search results and within Gmail today. I have absolutely no problems with Gmail, so if it’s similar, then I definitely will not have a problem with it on the phone either.

I’m eager to see applications written for the phone. I ask, has anyone ever found the “perfect” phone? Have you ever gotten a phone that you thought had everything you wanted to find out that it fell short in some way?

I’ve yet to find the “perfect” phone and highly doubt the Android will be close to “perfect” either. However, with an onslaught of people looking to create applications for this phone, there will more then likely be a “solution” to any issues that I have and/or features that I would want enabled.

Where exactly google said that the ‘OS’ will be
ad-supported.
Whole miss understanding happened because
some news sources said the phone will be FREE,
so I guess they just assumed it will be ad-suported because thats how google generates income from their web services.
Please note, if it was said FREE anywhere it meant
FREE as in ‘Free Speech’ and not as in ‘Free beer’.
It meant Free as in open source.

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