Google is hard at work on Android, it just unveiled Donut -- version 2.0. In today's IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches what bloggers are saying. Not to mention geek advancement...
It sounds like la GOOG is serious about dethroning the iPhone. The company's certainly throwing money at the problem. Matt Richtel sets the scene:
By years end, there will be at least 18 phones on the market worldwide based on the Android operating system ... made by eight or nine different manufacturers. ... [It] intensifies a battle among some of the worlds biggest software companies to create the operating system for the worlds phones (of which there are now 4 billion). Chris Ziegler has the big news:
While the carriers and handset makers battle, a pitched and wide-open contest to control a new generation of higher-powered mobile devices is underway. ... Android goes up against a coming-soon new version of Microsofts mobile version of Windows ... iPhone ... Blackberry ... WebOS ... Symbian.
It's full steam ahead over at Google where engineers are already slaving away on the Donut branch that'll eventually come to be known as Android 2.0. Demoed today at the first I/O keynote were Donut's universal search (known simply as "Android Search"). Chris Moor has more on that Android Search thingy:
We also got a brief glimpse of handwriting gestures used for searching through list -- the live example was drawing the letter 'e' and going to that specific point in a list of songs.
The new search feature will allow users to search both online and locally on the handset through contacts, calendars, music, and some applications. Robert Evans is surrounded by ridiculous, scantily-clad girls [NSFW?]:
The Donut update will also include a text-to-search API that will allow Android developers to integrate Google Voice Search into their applications.
Android is moving forward fast, which is exactly what they need to be doing. Despite some impressive successes and expansion into several product lines, Google's OS still only controls about 1% of the smartphone market. The main advantage that Android has over larger OS's like Symbian is that, since it is open source, it has more opportunities for expansion and customization. Scott Webster muses on openness:
Right now, Donut is expected to come out for mass consumption around August, when HTC's new line of Gphones are set to hit the market. If you just can't wait to see what's around the corner, you can always get a dev phone and dig up the Donut that leaked a few days back.
If you are starting to pay closer attention to Android lately, youll likely notice some difference in how handsets are being branded. Some have the with Google on the back while others dont. Some handsets come from major companies like HTC and Samsung, and yet others are rumored from no-name companies. ... There are three distinct flavors of Android, each with varying requirements and obligations to the handset makers and wireless providers. Rob Jackson goes overboard:
- The obligation-free option: Handset makers are able to load Android with as many apps as theyd like except for official Google titles like Gmail ...
- The small strings option: Just like above except the handset makers sign an agreement to load Google apps on the handset.
- The bigger strings option or the no-censorship version: These phones have the with Google logo on the handset and include a range of Google apps. These apps are not removed by the carrier or the handset maker and there will be zero limitation in the Android Market.
They announced Android Developer Challenge 2! Thats right folks. Weve been waiting WAY too long for ADC2 but looky looky it is HERE! Submissions through August, winner announced at the end of Fall and looks like Google is the new American Idol
User Voting is now part of the judging process! So what's your take? Get involved and leave a comment. And finally... Previously in IT Blogwatch: Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch: Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter or FriendFeed, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: contact Richi.
Scratch American Idol
Google is the new Oprah. Everyone who attended Google IO gets a free unlocked Android Phone with 30 days free data. Are you freaking kidding me? ... That is 4,000 Android Phones they just gave away with the instructions for developers to GO DEVELOP!