Google with Mobiles
Last year, it was the iPhone. This year, another company will Grab the Limelight for its new phones: Google, with its Android model. But Google can make it in the mobile market? And what is it offering on the new handsets? Here’s a guide to Google’s great white hope.
What is Google’s phone and what does it do?
Google, with the help of several operators and handset manufacturers, has come up with a new mobile phone operating system called Android. Currently, it consists of a touch screen system that supports easy Internet access and e-mail, includes lots of Google’s applications (such as Google Maps and Google Docs) and promises thousands of new applications to come that will not be available on Microsoft or Symbian smart phones.
What can a Google phone do that others can not? At present, very little. The potential appeal of a Google phone is not the physical capabilities of the phone, but the way the operating system works and how new applications written for it will enhance productivity. Games, business applications and social networking programs are expected to become available for the platform, and they will not work with phones using Microsoft, Symbian or Apple.
However, for this strategy to succeed, Google needs developers to start creating business and leisure applications for its system. To make this easier, the company has the system largely based on open source standards, meaning as few barriers as possible to writing programs for it.
Will developers make applications for Android?
That is a chicken and egg situation. For a developer to spend time and effort making applications, it needs to have a market. To build a market, Android applications needs. Google has been doing its best to kickstart this process, however, by setting up a $ 10 mil lion fund to give awards to young developers who come up with the most innovative applications for the operating system. Will Google’s Android make it as a mainstream mobile phone alternative to Nokia’s Symbian or Microsoft’s Windows Mobile? Only if it gets youth and business users, its two most important target markets, pretty fast.