Google Android Learned From iPhone's Mistakes

Things are amp'ing up on the Google Android front. Hardware prototypes and videos of phones sporting early Android software are showing up on the net and at trade shows. (Slides of Android devices from this month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.)

Here's a video demo from Android's introduction in November 07.

Google's put a lot of thought into how Android applications integrate with one another. It also has very nice animation, touch interface, and most importantly, a web browser that renders web pages much like Apple's iPhone browser. But those are just the surface features.

I know the iPhone is all the rage but Android is an open source, multi-hardware, cross-platform mobile operating system platform. Rather than adding developer support as an after thought, Android has been brought out to the development community first. While the iPhone is in market, Android is making big strides with the hardware and software development community. Google's created a $10M bounty for the "best applications" written by non-Google developers.

The Android SDK just got an update last Wednesday with the ability to do layout animations, geocoding, and media player codecs for various formats. Some developers were disappointed that the telephony package wasn't yet updated but that will come soon. More information about the Android SDK is available at http://code.google.com/android. It's probable that Android's SDK will be more mature than Apple's yet to be seen iPhone SDK but then again, the iPhone is in market working with Apple's own apps. It's yet to be seen how much of the iPhone SDK is a bolt on, an internal software redesign or simply exposing much of what was already there.

I know I've blogged previously about the future versions of Windows Mobile operating system taking on the Apple iPhone, but the most likely case is that Google's Androids puts the smackdown on both the iPhone and Windows Mobile. More than just open source Linux running on a phone, Android is a rich, open environment for creating next generation phone and mobile applications. I know I risk more rath from the Apple fanboys but my personal bias is that Google's open approach and cross-hardware support will help it win out in the end.

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