Category Archives: GooglePhone

Google didn’t announce a phone, they announced an alliance.

As the most recent rumors and speculation have said, Google’s Gphone is not a single device or even a group of Google specific devices. In the most basic terms, Google is actually creating an operating system for phones that is not tied to a phone manufacturer or cell phone carrier. It is very much similar to the way that Linux can be installed on a computer made by Dell or HP or Acer, etc. and connect to the internet using AOL or Comcast or Time Warner, etc. While a phone using Google’s may look different on the outside (just as many Windows PCs do), it is the software on the inside that makes it a “Gphone.” So you won’t see one distinctive looking Gphone appearing like the iPhone.

What Google announced today was the Open Handset Alliance. From their site:
“Welcome to the Open Handset AllianceTM, a group of more than 30 technology and mobile companies who have come together to accelerate innovation in mobile and offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience. Together we have developed AndroidTM, the first complete, open, and free mobile platform.”

I think there is a big analogy to be made here between how computers and “the internets” have evolved and how the cell phone industry is evolving. I think the cell phone industry now is somewhere around where the computer industry was in about 1996. Remember when so many people were tied to communities like AOL or CompuServe? Access to the internet came bundled with so many features in those communities. The company you used to access the internet had a big influence on what part of the internet you used and how you used it. Now we get our internet access from one (invisible) source, email from another, music from and other and online video from yet another. There was no “always on” internet access for the home consumer. Dial-up plans were available in tiered levels and yes-sometimes people went over those levels and were charged for overages! Right now cell phone companies charge us for access, how many minutes we use, features ranging from voice mail to texting to music and video downloads and charge us for overages. Sounding familiar?

I think this alliance is the first step reducing the great amount of influence your cell phone company has on your cell phone use experience. In the future, there will be companies who just want to provide you will a cell phone signal, but don’t need to sell you the phone, provide the services you use on the phone as well as making sure you have cellular access. A cell phone bill will be less like paying for a service and more like paying for a utility. It will be just there in the background.

I am disappointed to not see Verizon as one of the members announced. I use Verizon because their coverage is the best where I live and a vast majority of my friends have Verizon so talking to them is free, anytime. (“In-network calling”) Hope I don’t have to change carriers to take advantage of this.


Google Phone may be coming sooner than we think…

Not the real Google phone…or later, depending on who you listen to and how you look at it.

The New York Times did a bio on Andy Rubin whom they deem “The Man Behind the Google Phone. They report it will be available in “by the middle of 2008”.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/technology/04google.html

While the Wall Street Journal says it will be unveiled tomorrow.

http://blogs.wsj.com/biztech/2007/11/01/ring-ringgoogle-to-announce-phone-plans-monday/

Hopefully we will get some good details.

(Note: the phone pictured was a mock up created by a Google fan.)

The Google Phone countdown

IPhone hype? None of that here on MiddleGeek. It is a super cool device but $650 for a phone? At least once a month I lose my phone for about 2 or 3 hours. The last time, it fell out of my pocket in the car and slyly slipped itself into the only gap between the carpet and the actual floor of the car. I bounce my phone off a parking lot or sidewalk about twice a month as well. So yeah, no. I will not be buying an iPhone.

So the much rumored about Google phone may be announced in the next week or two. It is rumored to be feature rich but very affordable because of embedded advertising-don’t panic, it is allegedly pretty low key and mellow just like on their web site.

The identity of the phone has been kept in secrecy, and at one point the rumors were that Google was not even coming out with an actual phone, but just an operating system for phones. Anyway, the below picture has been allegedly leaked out as what the Gphone will look like. Hear that noise? That is the collective groan of tech writers everywhere groaning that such a lackluster example of technical artistry is supposed to be the cellphone that beats the iPhone.

gphone

In all honesty, this could be a great publicity ploy by the company that manufactures this handset. The phone pictured is created by a Chinese company called E28, probably not a company you have heard of before. That’s before it became linked to Gphone rumors. Now every tech blog and news joint across the country and a good part of the world is writing about it. Not a bad idea if you ask me.

So there you have it, this could be the Gphone which is supposed to “change the cell phone industry.” Who knows if that is the one. Luckily, my contract with Verizon is up in the spring of ’08. Just enough time for the hype to die down, the bugs to be worked out and for Steve Jobs to announce that he likes procrastinators better than early adopters. Between you and me, I am counting the days to see what the Gphone really is, but also dreading finding out what it isn’t. It’s hard to type with my fingers crossed.