Androids dream of phones, not sheep

· by Steve · Read in about 2 min · (330 Words)

I’m just catching up with the news of a day or so ago, so feel free to yawn and comment on how slow I am on the uptake 😀I don’t particularly watch the phone market that closely, because I own a fairly simple phone right now, but I’ve been intrigued like most people about the fact that Google paid a lot of money to secure a segment of the newly available section of the wireless spectrum from the FCC, and had been testing all kinds of phone tech. I, like many people, am a fan of the way Google approaches things, which is to say usually from a fresh perspective and also with a preference for open standards, something that gels well with my personal feelings on how technology needs to develop.

Well, this week all became clear, and Google isn’t in fact making a phone at all, but instead is making a phone platform, in partnership with the Open Handset Alliance, called Android. The idea behind this is that the whole thing will be open source and so completely open for anyone to tinker with, not just to produce new apps but even to customise the core functions of the OS if they want. The selling point of course is to create an environment that you can mix & match hardware and software on phones as freely as you can on regular PC hardware.

I don’t have a smart phone since I don’t need one, but even I’m quite interested in this. I’ve always railed against vendor lock-ins of all kinds, and the phone market is rife with it, whether it’s the iPhone’s provider locks & app development lockout (until recently) or the closed base software platforms like Windows or Symbian. I can’t help thinking that a completely open platform can only help mobile devices evolve faster and get more interesting.

More detail is expected on November 12th, ZDNet also have a good article on it in the meantime.