November 6, 2007

Here is Gphone...Software

Following months of speculation, Google announced yesterday its official entrance into the mobile handset space by announcing a mobile platform for wireless devices that will support the company's multitude of applications and services. The open platform, called Android, is being created in collaboration with T-Mobie, HTC, Qualcomm, Motorola and more than 30 other firms.
Android is a complete mobile phone software stack and it includes everything a manufacturer or operator needs to build a mobile phone. Android will be made available as open source via the Apache v2 license. It was designed from the ground up to enable the best user experience possible on a mobile phone. It leverages web and Internet content to provide advanced services such as mobile mashups. Developers can take advantage of a comprehensive platform that gives them full access to the device, enabling them to develop innovative, integrated applications and more compelling services. They will also appreciate the rich built-in libraries that bring powerful and well-developed functionality that can easily be integrated into applications built for the platform. Open Handset Alliance members also plan to make it easier for platform developers to distribute and commercialize their applications.
Android does not differentiate between the phone's core applications and third-party applications. They can all be built to have equal access to a phone's capabilities providing users with a broad spectrum of applications and services. With devices built on the Android Platform, users will be able to fully tailor the phone to their interests. They can swap out the phone's homescreen, the style of the dialer, or any of the applications. They can even instruct their phones to use their favorite photo viewing application to handle the viewing of all photos.
Because the Apache license does not have a copyleft clause, industry players can add proprietary functionality to their products based on Android without needing to contribute anything back to the platform. As the entire platform is open, companies can remove functionality if they choose. Applications are not set in stone, and differentiation is always possible. For example, if you want to include Hotmail instead of Gmail, it will not be an issue.

There will be a publicly accessible repository, similar to how the Linux kernel is managed. Each platform module is assigned an owner who validates contributions, and new module additions are governed by the original contributor.The Android platform will compete with existing phone software platforms from companies such as Nokia, Palm, Research in Motion, Microsoft and Apple. An early look at the SDK will be available for download on November 12, 2007. The first phones with the Android software are expected to ship in the second half of 2008.