Will Google and friends crack open the mobile web?
November 5th, 2007

The “mobile web” has taken a long time to arrive — think about how quickly the Internet-based Web grew — because the mobile phone has a chokepoint that the Internet didn’t have: operators who can nix developments on their closed platforms. While it looks like the Googlephone is at least six months away, Forbes reports on Google’s announcement of an “Open Handset Alliance:”

By creating a commonly shared software platform, called “Android,” Google executives contend that the future phone should be cheaper to produce compared to other high-functioning models. Those cost savings could either be pocketed by the companies or passed on to consumers. Google hopes–though it will take a year or more to find out–that the economics of a cheaper, easily re-engineered handset will create a phone-development environment far different from today’s proprietary closed models–in which a small number of service providers dictate to relatively few manufacturers what they want on their custom-designed models–and closer to the “fast and cheap” Internet design model.

The software development kit, along with software tools for building applications, is slated to be released to alliance members in a few weeks

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Howard — possibly. Certainly there should be a rush of new apps once the platform is opened up. But that shouldn’t stop phone vendors from coming up with useful ideas of obvious public benefit today.

Consider the fires in Southern California, and the need for people returning to convey pinpointed, photographic information to others who haven’t returned yet.

There is already software for geotagging cameraphone pictures today– but it’s not standard on all phones, and hardly available on every major current phone. Why isn’t it? Why don’t we see this as a public safety issue? I’ve started by writing Verizon.

Can you help this cause?

The mobile web experience will only improve with faster processors on mobile handsets and broadband 4G cellular networks. For a view of my ideal Android Mobispheric device, check out the specs on MarketingBeyond.


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