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Google Announces "Open Phone" Coalition, No gPhone [Updated] 225

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-isn't-that-special dept.
Ponca City, We Love You writes "USA Today has an advance story on Google's plans to announce a new operating system, geared specifically for cellphones with partners that include Sprint, Motorola, Samsung and Japanese wireless giant NTT DoCoMo. Although details won't be released until later today the new G-system will be based on Linux overlaid with Java and Google hopes to have a branded device ready for worldwide shipment by spring. Mobile Web browsing is notoriously slow and Google plans to change that by providing easy access to the Internet at PC-type speeds. Google plans to basically give away the software developer tools, used by programmers to write new applications. "If you're a developer, you'll be able to develop (applications) for the new Google Phone very quickly," said Morgan Gillis of the LiMo Foundation. AT&T and Verizon Wireless are noticeably absent from the coalition not wanting to support a device that favors Google over other providers. Sprint, the No. 3 carrier, supports the coalition, but it hasn't formally agreed to make the Google Phone available to its 54 million subscribers." Update 1727 GMT by SM: It's official, Google is releasing the mobile "Android" OS in place of the Google branded mobile phone that many expected.
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Google Announces "Open Phone" Coalition, No gPhone [Updated]

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Monday November 05, 2007 @08:34AM (#21240363)
    The new operating system will be called GNU/Goo/Do/Mo/SpriSamSun/Linux.

    I, for one, welcome our new alliterative overlords.
    • by mikael (484)
      Well, that sounds better than Windows Vista/CE/ME/NT/XP

      The Advert here [snipurl.com]

    • The new operating system will be called GNU/Goo/Do/Mo/SpriSamSun/Linux.


      Of course. Don't you realise how many extra minutes that'll rack up?
  • by $1uck (710826) on Monday November 05, 2007 @08:36AM (#21240393)
    So what version of Java? Micro Edition? or full blown Java?
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by musikit (716987)
      IMHO JavaME is a joke. it doesnt have anything useful that anyone would want. the spec most likely has changed since i last looked at it but when i was heavily into small device platforms i found a couple things wrong with it

      1. it didnt use AWT. instead they create yet another windowing toolkit specifically for micro devices. i dont understand why it was essentially a copy of awt.
      2. it didnt allow use of floats/doubles.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)

        1. it didnt use AWT. instead they create yet another windowing toolkit specifically for micro devices. i dont understand why it was essentially a copy of awt.

        AWT was intended to wrap existing widgets. This doesn't make sense in a mobile device where there is likely to be little or no existing widget set. Swing would work, but it has higher overheads. The needs of a mobile UI are quite different to those of a desktop one, so a direct port would not make sense.

        2. it didnt allow use of floats/doubles.

        Most mobile CPUs don't support floating point arithmetic. Removing floats from the language makes it obvious to developers that, if they want floating point functionality they are going to need to emul

      • by wed128 (722152)
        I don't know about AWT, but i can justify their disallowing of floats or doubles. Most microcontrollers on mobile phones don't have floating point units. They can be simulated in software, but this is very slow. This is why doing floating point math on a mobile is very discouraged.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by BorgDrone (64343)
        1. it didnt use AWT. instead they create yet another windowing toolkit specifically for micro devices. i dont understand why it was essentially a copy of awt.
        Why would you want the horrible, horrible AWT on a mobile ?

        2. it didnt allow use of floats/doubles.
        It does now, and has for ages. CLDC 1.0 doesn't support floats, CLDC 1.1 does.
        • by seanellis (302682)
          CLDC 1.1 does indeed support float (but not double), and the spec was ratified in March 2003.

          MIDP is actually quite a capable graphical platform these days, especially with APIs like the Mobile 3D Graphics (JSR184) and Scalable Vector Graphics (JSR226). Many high-end phones already have ARM11-class CPUs with floating point, and the new Cortex A8 and A9 also have FPUs on board. Dedicated GPUs are starting to penetrate into the top end of the mobile space. (Here's a recent link: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/hardw [zdnet.co.uk]
    • by Constantine XVI (880691) <trash.eighty+slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 05, 2007 @08:48AM (#21240501)
      AFAIK, Sun is working on deprecating JavaME, and since Java's OSS now, it opens up the possibility of Google porting Java to the platform.
  • It's offical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neokushan (932374) on Monday November 05, 2007 @08:37AM (#21240395)
    Open Platform? Available to all? No hidden charges? It's official, Google is the polar opposite to Apple.
    • Okay I'm not an iPhone fanboi, but what hidden charges are you talking about? And how is the iPhone not 'available to all' (in the same way that a Porsche is available to all if you want to actually spend your money on one)?
      • Re:It's offical (Score:5, Insightful)

        by timster (32400) on Monday November 05, 2007 @09:29AM (#21240885)
        Well, I am an Apple Fanboi (according to those with the time to track such things) so I'm obviously biased, but I'll answer your questions anyway.

        Hidden charges: the iPhone is sold at retail for $400, giving the impression that you pay $400 and own one, but that isn't exactly the case. The device will not function (even as an iPod or whatever) until activated with AT&T. The AT&T plans available aren't exactly out of line for unlimited data plans but they aren't discount plans either. All these limitations are because Apple also receives a subsidy from AT&T, which is a sort of hidden charge.

        As for "available to all", there are a few possible answers. As of now the phone isn't available outside the US and (without hacking) won't work with, say, Canadian carriers. Or if you speak in terms of development, right now nobody outside Apple can develop applications (without hacking).

        The iPhone is still rather great, at least for those of us who happen to live in a place where AT&T coverage is really far better than any of the competing coverage. But I think everyone is glad to see Google put on some pressure in this space. Apple makes some good software but can get stuck in a bit of a cathedral mindset that can make their platforms a bit stale.
        • That charge isn't hidden - I don't have one but even I know that you can only get it on a contract, it's quite normal to do that here in the UK at least..

          I also would have marked myself as an Apple fanboy until they got better known for their iPods than their computers! I'm still an Apple computer fanboy, but the iPod and the iPhone so far still seem like overpriced underspecced gadgets to me. The iPod is getting there though, have been slightly tempted by the Touch - a solid state player capable of hold
      • by m2943 (1140797)
        And how is the iPhone not 'available to all' (in the same way that a Porsche is available to all if you want to actually spend your money on one)?

        Among other things, if Apple lets you program the thing at all, it requires Apple approval to distribute the software, and you have to use iTunes to talk to the phone.

        I'm not sure whether "not available to all" is the right way of putting it, but the iPhone is one of the most restrictive phones in existence.
        • Hardly - it's just one of the most desirable to de-restrict in existence.. there are plenty of other Networks that restrict their handsets as much as possible.
  • Really.... how? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Monday November 05, 2007 @08:39AM (#21240423)

    Mobile Web browsing is notoriously slow and Google plans to change that by providing easy access to the Internet at PC-type speeds.
    There is so much wrong with this sentence that it makes me want to gouge my eyes out. I wasn't aware that PC-type is suddenly a benchmark for speed... and how exactly is changing the OS going to make cellphone browsing that noticeably faster?
    Also...

    One caveat: You'll have to use Google for navigation
    Do no Evil, eh?
    • by bogaboga (793279)

      I wasn't aware that PC-type is suddenly a benchmark for speed...

      Well, in my experience with Rogers Cable in Canada, which is a major ISP and telecommunications company, surfing at the same advertised speed using a cell phone and computer was never the same. The PC was significantly faster. Donno why though.

      I'd speculate that there is a "technical problem" [or trade off] with the way cell phones get their Internet access. But that's speculation so I could be way wrong here.

      • by Stonent1 (594886)
        I think a lot of the slowness in the cell phone is due to the limited resources of the phone. When I browse the internet on my EVDO phone it still seems like it takes about 10 seconds to display most basic websites. When I tether my laptop to it, the speed is nearly indistinguishable from a home broadband connection.
    • by swb (14022)
      It was put that way to frustrate pedantic asshats like you.

      Everyone else in the world knows what the fuck "PC-types speeds" means.

    • by node 3 (115640)

      I wasn't aware that PC-type is suddenly a benchmark for speed

      At a certain point, the benefits of increased bandwidth are lost due to the computer (phone, PC, game console, etc) being unable to keep up. I imagine this is what they are referring to.

      One caveat: You'll have to use Google for navigation

      Do no Evil, eh?

      It's Open Source, so this 'caveat' may not be so accurate. I'm guessing it's more like the iPhone where Google is the default and the nicest way to map, but it does nothing to stop you from using other services. They'd have to cripple the web browser to do that. The reporter is probably either playing loose with "have to u

  • I'm really interested to see how Linux can be overlaid with Java and Google.

    Or maybe someone needs to brush up on their punctuation.

  • Privacy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yuioup (452151) on Monday November 05, 2007 @08:43AM (#21240459)
    Let me guess... they're going to offer it for free/at a reduced price in exchange for giving up all your privacy.

    Y
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BuR4N (512430)
      Wonder if they plan to (with the assistance of the carrier) to serve up local ads based on where you are positioned when you make a search or accessing any other Google service.

      In metro areas where the phone network is fine grained, the positioning is quite accurate.
      • Yeah, like:

        Ej, CaptainZapp; in 20 meters to the right there is a sporting goods shop specialized on baseball bats. We have a FREE baseball bat for you. Come inside

        That would probably teach them about spamming my cell phone.

      • by Jeremi (14640)
        It seems to me that if it's truly an "open architecture" phone, it won't matter all that much what they "plan to do". You can buy your new gPhone, overwrite the pre-installed crapware with your favorite Gentoo Mobile distribution (or whatever), and then you'll have the behavior you like, not the behavior the Marketing Overlords like.

        And if it turns out that it's not really a open architecture (e.g. it comes with spyware that can't be removed), then it's just business as usual and there's nothing to see her

    • Re:Privacy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Monday November 05, 2007 @09:54AM (#21241107) Homepage Journal

      Let me guess... they're going to offer it for free/at a reduced price in exchange for giving up all your privacy.

      Privacy is just another asset I can use to barter. Why is it intrinsically "evil" for someone to choose to sell it? And yes, I understand that not everyone understands exactly what they're selling, but that's a consumer problem.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by moosesocks (264553)
        I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Google's privacy policy is probably a hell of a lot better than anything AT&T or Verizon have.

        (AT&T taps your line for the NSA without a warrant, and Verizon will sell your personal information to marketers)

        Google makes it plainly obvious that they're recording and storing what you do (and actually presents that data to you in a useful manner). A traditional ISP definitely has the capability to do the same exact thing behind your back. If the bit
      • 1. It were so simple a transaction of exchanging my activities on the device for some access provided by Google. You don't know how/what your data is being used for until it is waaay too late. If it were such a simple black-or-white transaction, I'd go along with you as the moderators have. But it isn't. Not even close.

        2. There's a **huge** personal data industry in the U.S. despite a maze of privacy standards. That suggests your personal data is worth way more than a little data access. If you don't
      • by mpcooke3 (306161)
        Most consumer don't read 30 pages of legalease in software clickwrap agreements either, how far do we go when saying it's a "consumer problem".

        When people click "OK" to giving away their first born child?
      • by node 3 (115640)

        Privacy is just another asset I can use to barter. Why is it intrinsically "evil" for someone to choose to sell it? And yes, I understand that not everyone understands exactly what they're selling, but that's a consumer problem.
        Because when you "barter away" your privacy, it makes it harder for me to maintain mine. *Anything* that makes it harder for me to maintain my privacy gets tagged "evil" by default, unless and until it becomes sufficiently justified.
      • by wall0159 (881759)
        Unfortunately, since you can't possibly know the value of your privacy, nor how someone will make use of your personal information, you will never get what it is worth.

        That is why selling/giving away/taking privacy is _inherently_ evil.
    • by div_2n (525075)
      If Google tracking every text message I send in order to text me occasional ads or whatever leads to a cheaper monthly plan, I'm all for it. Next to the big ticket items such as our mortgage, the monthly cell bill is the single biggest expenditure in our budget for two people.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Paradise Pete (33184)
        Next to the big ticket items such as our mortgage, the monthly cell bill is the single biggest expenditure in our budget for two people.

        That I just don't get. Cell phone usage is very expensive and rarely actually necessary. There's not typically a need for people to be constantly accessible, it's just convenient.

        Anybody in their twenties spending large amounts on things like cell phone bills is strangling their older self. When they are reaching retirement that compounded money will likely be rather imp

  • How open is open? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KenRH (265139) on Monday November 05, 2007 @08:46AM (#21240485)
    The article states it will be linux-kernel + java, and of course it will be google servises as default for everyting. That is all fine.
    But my question is; what if I want to use other services, will that be possible/difficult?
    • Re:How open is open? (Score:4, Informative)

      by pavon (30274) on Monday November 05, 2007 @01:02PM (#21243699)
      Here is the actual Open Handset Alliance [openhandsetalliance.com] Website describing Android. Third party developers will have access to all the hardware capabilities and software libraries that the Google software has access to. So developers can do anything that the phone is technically capable of. I imagine it will be fairly easy for end users to load new software onto the phone.
      • Who are the third party developpers we are talking about here ? Will there be some cyptographic scheme to prevent me from uploading whatever I want on the phone ? That's the main question.

  • Isn't openMoko and others (something QT) developing an open platform mobile OS already? Why not just take what they've done and fork it or help out. What's the point in yet another open mobile platform when there are already people that have half finished implementations.

    Oh I get it. This open platform would be closed from the public to tinker with and actually only be available to the mobile phone providers? Is that the idea?
    • by LingNoi (1066278) on Monday November 05, 2007 @08:57AM (#21240565)
      Wait I read this wrong. It's not an "Open Phone" at all.

      This phone is going to be like the Motorola A1200 Linux phone I already have.

      The new G-system will be based on Linux, a 15-year-old computer operating system that is available free over the Internet. Google's version will be overlaid with Java, a popular computer language.
      It's just a DRM'd Linux Kernel with their proprietary java OS running on top. This phone is no different apart from now they'll give you more information on how to write programs for it. Big wow...

      Gillis says Google plans to basically give away the software developer "tools," used by programmers to write new applications. "If you're a developer, you'll be able to develop (applications) for the new Google Phone very quickly."
      I can develop applications for my Motorola phone too. What the hell is new here?
      • by kebes (861706) on Monday November 05, 2007 @09:25AM (#21240827) Journal
        The article seems rather confused on the subject of open-ness. They say:

        The finished product, expected within months, will unabashedly favor Google applications and services. "What's being developed is unlikely to be easily transportable to Yahoo (YHOO) and other (service) providers," says Morgan Gillis, executive director of the LiMo Foundation
        But then they state:

        Consumers are potentially the biggest beneficiaries. Currently, many cellphone carriers limit the services and applications that their customers can use.
        Ummmm.... it sounds like this new partnership is offering something that will, again, limit the services and applications that customers can use. Yes, it's another player in the market, and that kind of competition is a good thing... but having a phone providing Google-only services certainly doesn't qualify as "open" in my book.

        I understand that they intend to make it easy for third party developers to make apps for this thing, but the above quote suggests that some components (in particular the Google apps) will be integrated at a level that third party apps won't be able to modify.

        Again, I'm excited about the possibility of a new phone challenging the status quo in the cellphone market, but this effort hardly seems to be the drive towards openness that OpenMoko [openmoko.com] (and the now discontinued Greenphone [trolltech.com]) is driving towards.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by sciurus0 (894908)
          Keep in mind that the quote about favoring Google applications and services is from the LiMo foundation [linux.com], which is trying to produce their own Linux-based cellphone platform. The Open Handset Alliance [openhandsetalliance.com] claims the exact opposite: "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, us
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by abes (82351)
      It isn't necessarily clear from a consumer's perspective why this is advantageous (I suspect we'll have to wait to see an actual product first).

      However, there are some big benefits to both Google and the phone companies. For google, they get one step closer to world domination. They get a relationship with the phone companies, and the get to build a solid foundation for mobile devices (which will eventually cover more than just cell phones).

      From the article, it sounds like they are planning on creating inte
      • by kevinbr (689680)
        ".......They get a relationship with the phone companies......"

        Um. No. Mobile Operators like subservience. Make a phone, but it must please the Operator. The google phone OS will displease operators, because google will have too much control. Mobile Operators have massive cash flow that is much much bigger than googles cash flow.

        Where is Orange? Vodafone? Hutch 3G? The rest of the world? You can have a relationship with an operator as long as you are not a threat. Google is a threat to them. Eventually the
    • Oh I get it. This open platform

      It's not just an "open" platform, it's an "open source platform". RTFA.

      would be closed from the public to tinker with and actually only be available to the mobile phone providers? Is that the idea?

      Quite to the contrary: the platform is clearly intended for people to develop software for easily. It's also intended for handset manufacturers to incorporate into their hardware easily. RTFA.

      Isn't openMoko and others (something QT) developing an open platform mobile OS already?

      Ope
  • The article is not clear, is the OS of the phone truely open source, or have they just opened up specifications for utilizing the OS?
    • is the OS of the phone truely open source, or have they just opened up specifications for utilizing the OS?

      If it's Linux, the kernel is open source. The article says it's Linux.

      The bigger question is whether the specifications are open, or whether it's got binary blobs to talk to the hardware.
  • Code, content, physical layer. Those are the three layers that Larry Lessig uses to describe the Internet. His concern, as expressed in The Future of Ideas, is that our common global culture could be locked down if we don't work hard to keep the Internet open. So Free Software, Creative Commons, and now this Google initiative are going to start to move us away from our dependence on Microsoft, ATT, and Warner Brothers / Disney. Google isn't perfect, but I say this is a step in the right direction. Don't underestimate the importance of having devices with open code at the fringes of the Internet. Microsoft wants to force you to have non-Free software to access the Internet. This effort by Google is one step away from that kind of lock-down. You go, Googlers!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ms1234 (211056)
      Quoting Redmond: Developers, developers, developers.

      The easier they make it to develop the more popular it's going to be to make 'cool' apps.
  • by biggyfred (754376)
    What does this potentially mean for joe users like myself as far as interoperability with linux programs? Does this mean a platform that will be friendlier with syncing? Does it mean a competitive alternative to the WM phone OS? I ask because I really don't know. Any insights on this one?
    • My guess is that the mail, calendar, RSS, GDocs (i would assume) will all by default stay in sync with your Google Account. I'd appreciate it if they were to make "hard" clients for all of those (calendar and Reader in paticular) for the desktop.
      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        I'd appreciate it if they were to make "hard" clients for all of those (calendar and Reader in paticular) for the desktop.
        The calendar, mail (IMAP) stuff works well for me in Kontact [kde.org]. Kontact also has a RSS reader but you can't synchronize the settings with your Google account.
  • My plan (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mikiN (75494)
    For all who are getting a little weary of all those great "Open Phone" initiatives being touted here and there without seeing much practical (affordable, stable, educational, worthwile) upshot coming of them, here's my plan.

    1. Get a small (and I mean 'small', because it'll basically be the footprint of your phone-to-be), well-documented ARM development board, a small keyboard and a display.
    2. Get one of them dirt-cheap GSM bugs (an online store recently mentioned on /. sells them for about $50 a pop)
    3. Find
    • (scant reply to post below me)

      If you want data too, skip the GSM bugs (well, maybe some have GPRS feature hidden in their firmware somewhere :-) ) and go for a full-feature GSM/GPRS module.

      These guys sell one [gsm-modem.de] (not affiliated with them, just an example). It's got all you could ask for. Just add an antenna and a battery to your board and you're set.

      Add everything up and you will end up half the price of an iPhone. Best of all, it will run _Your Stuff_, and _Your Stuff_ Only. (_Your_ as in: only the stuff that
    • by pjr.cc (760528)
      now THAT sounds like fun!

      I like openMoko (and i hope gphone uses something like it), but a project based on such an idea would be very popular.

      I.e.
      - Heres the hardware you need
      - heres how you get openmoko/something else going on it.

      It'd be like the wrt/nslu type projects but involving (and evolving) hardware and people in something very kewl.
  • WIFI (Score:3, Funny)

    by halfmanhalfpint (1184605) on Monday November 05, 2007 @09:55AM (#21241117)
    So when Google gets into WIFI hotspots will they call them G-spots?
    • by inKubus (199753)
      Ha! But only partially funny, we have been wondering what Google's going to do with all that dark fiber it has in it's portfolio. Why not become an ISP? I'm a little worried about them partnering with a traditional (evil) telco, however. For various reasons, including the billing strategy. Perhaps the Google employees from outside of the US have some ideas since 3g has been around for quite a while in N. Europe, S. Korea, etc. Cell phones are a commodity now, and the minutes used should be treated as s
  • Unless 3rd parties get to develop in any available language and it's just that the GUI is in Java, what's to differentiate this from what Danger (Sidekick) does? What differentiates them from billions of other handsets that run Java apps at slow speeds?

    A perpetual skeptic, I'll read the announcement for my real evidence. But it sounds like a Microsoft-type ploy may be in order, where first-party apps are fundamentally better than later apps (although they both suck) not by any difference or deficiencies

    • Unless 3rd parties get to develop in any available language and it's just that the GUI is in Java, what's to differentiate this from what Danger (Sidekick) does? What differentiates them from billions of other handsets that run Java apps at slow speeds?

      A product using many kinds of reciprocally licensed software (including the GPL and LGPL) can't be locked down into a "Walled Garden" like that. Linux is GPLed, so Google will have to release the code to their phone's kernel. If Google wanted to make a closed
      • Not really. If you can't add your app to the menu without cracking the menu system, and you can't replace the menu without recompiling the relevant parts of the operating system / firmware, you're pretty much screwed. Writing compatible apps hasn't yet been an issue on the iPhone... Further, if you lose access to basic phone features (whose software is proprietary) in doing so, you're at an impasse with your potential userbase, at least those for whom sacrificing basic phone functionality, or replacing t

        • by argent (18001)
          If you can't add your app to the menu without cracking the menu system, and you can't replace the menu without recompiling the relevant parts of the operating system / firmware, you're pretty much screwed.

          You're only screwed if you're not willing to recompile the kernel. You dismiss that option, but I don't think you should.

          In essence, your argument that no such "walled garden" exists can be falsified if the following is false: 'GPL software can't be used to encrypt data, because you can read the source cod
  • Sprint = WiMax (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Darth Cider (320236) on Monday November 05, 2007 @10:16AM (#21241369)
    Sprint has invested heavily in 2.5 GHz spectrum, with 85% coverage of U.S. households. Predicted speeds [dailywireless.org] are 2-4 Mbp/s down and 1 Mbps up. Sprint's partnership with Google was announced in July [washingtonpost.com]. Quote: " '[T]his is not a cellular model,' said Atish Gude, Sprint's senior vice president for mobile broadband operations." At about the same time, Sprint announced a partnership with Clearwire, the other big WiMax spectrum-holder.

    This could really put competitive pressure on telcos, especially if applications development leads to truly useful products. (Instead of silly little widgets.) Who wants a phone that can do less but costs more?
  • I'd say that the absence of the #1 cell phone maker (while #2 and #3 is there) is more striking than some net providers missing.
    • Nokia's already got an open source initiative, and it's quite possible that Google's phone will be using code released into the open source ecosystem by Nokia. From Nokia's web page:

      Nokia has contributed to the Linux operating system kernel enhancements related to general OMAP support, OMAP/DSP gateway, Bluetooth, journaling flash file systems, power management, 2D graphics support of fbdev-subsystem on OMAP (omapfb), and USB (Universal Serial Bus).

      On their project page [nokia.com] the following projects may also be re

  • It will be very interesting to see how well Google does the phone UI. The UI of their (main) search page is pretty clean, amazingly so for a company with as many products to promote as Google and as big as they are. But a Web UI and a phone UI are completely different and I'm wondering if they were able to resist the desktop paradigm.

    It will be especially interesting to compare this to the iPhone.

    I'm hopeful that we can see some additional progress on the phone UI front now that there are competitors to the
  • Everyone missed the follow-up article!

    "Nigeria has declared it will buy 500,000 gphones in the first batch but have decided to install WM6 over the top. Of course, they'll still pay for support from gphone".

    The follow-up follow-up was something about Balmer, leaving the nigerian embassy) saying he had nothing to do with it while carrying a copy of Mandriva under his arm.

  • As much as my employer hates to see Google doing well, I hope that this announcement has the altruistic effect of making cell phone service in the US suck less..

    but then, when i read the "pre-story" this weekend I almost posted a comment along the lines of what I'm posting now... ... no matter how good google makes something, once you start dealing with the US phone industry...it may be that not even google can make it worthwhile. GPhone changing the world was a much more credible idea when Google was goin
  • by mveloso (325617) on Monday November 05, 2007 @11:45AM (#21242537)
    I'm surprised that google is going the partner route. One thing that means is that the initiative is almost guaranteed to fail.

    Why?

    Because partners have their own agenda as to why they're partnering with Google.

    Most carriers have long, and somewhat decent working relationships with their platform vendors. Apple comes out, and whacks all those relationships with a stick by producing a device that's arguably far superior to any US phone.

    What are the other carriers to do? The phone OS's functionality is basically specified by the carrier, who picks and chooses various features depending on the phone's price point, how the phone will fit into the carrier's current phone mix, and the competition (not necessarily in that order). Google comes out with something that's "open" , and while it may be interesting, from a carrier point of view, that interest doesn't necessarily mean that it's going anywhere. Given how big Google is, the carriers may be on board just to sink the gPhone ship (welcome to corporate america).

    Only time will tell. Will the gPhone be substantially better than Symbian etc?
    • by ystar (898731)
      1) Symbian probably wasn't sitting on the liquid treasure chest that Google is.
      2) Hopefully, data prices in the US will be low enough in 2008 to make gPhone apps feasible for the common man
      3) ???
      4) no, really, ??? I don't know how much google is throwing at this but here are my thoughts from the discussion on arstechnica:

      "So how much work does google have to commit with this effort, besides trying to twist other telcos' arms to adopt the platform? I'm sure most of the development will come from regular folk
    • What are the other carriers to do? The phone OS's functionality is basically specified by the carrier, who picks and chooses various features depending on the phone's price point, how the phone will fit into the carrier's current phone mix, and the competition (not necessarily in that order).

      It's true that carriers have traditionally maintained a lot of control over the devices. In fact, they're notorious for this. But there's another factor here: the iPhone has been wildly successful, which to me mean

  • I CALLED IT! [slashdot.org]

    Now all I have to do is setup a tech speculation blog and get some ads sponsored by Google.

    Watch out Cringley I'm coming for your fan base!!
  • I'm not sure who tagged this "qtopia", but given that Trolltech is absent from the alliance, it's a pretty good bet that it's not Qtopia based.

    http://www.openhandsetalliance.com/press_110507.html [openhandsetalliance.com]
  • ... I just want to know whether they're paranoid [wikipedia.org].
  • From the video, referring to the UNIX command line, "five people reading slashdot will be all over this"...
  • Look at the actual partners list:

    Aplix (www.aplixcorp.com), Ascender Corporation (www.ascendercorp.com), Audience (www.audience.com), Broadcom (www.broadcom.com), China Mobile (www.chinamobile.com), eBay (www.ebay.com), Esmertec (www.esmertec.com), Google (www.google.com), HTC (www.htc.com), Intel (www.intel.com), KDDI (www.kddi.com), Living Image (www.livingimage.jp), LG (www.lge.com), Marvell (www.marvell.com), Motorola (www.motorola.com), NMS Communications (www.nmscommunications.com), Noser (www.noser.c
  • by kurtis25 (909650)
    I thought Google wanted to free my phone as in cost. It seems to serve them better if I can get on the net more, so I'll be interested to see how the price models vary for phones under the (G)OP Coalition vary verse a standard closed phone. If I can afford to use cellular internet, texting, email, etc. Then I would spend more time around Google products and ads making them money. So is Google dropping money to have Android places and if they are will I see some savings?
  • over the years we've seen all kinds of industry consortia that never resulted in products and delivered more hype than what was promised. Since each vendor and then the carriers are likely to have the final say in what gets shipped and what level of openness is available, discount the hype here and wait for results. For example, the 2 Japanese carriers listed are also part of a different mobile Linux consortium. They may only be concerned about compatibility of the Linux kernels and libraries and have no
  • Wow!

    Google, huge though it is, is continuing to be a force for Good.

    Here's the pattern Google is following, in the case of OpenSocial and now Android:

    1. Big product with major consumer cred launches in June of this year and gains significant buzz and impressive growth.

    In one case, iPhone. In the other case, the facebook platform

    2. Big product, perhaps understandably, keeps certain things proprietary and closed

    Apple releases the infamous 1.1.1 update, wiping out third party applications and locking down the

Two is not equal to three, even for large values of two.

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