Google Announces Open Mobile Device Platform

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Google finally put the gPhone rumors to rest on Monday with the unveiling of the Open Handset Alliance and Android. Android is an operating system, middleware, and application set for mobile devices. Instead of focusing on a single device, Google is teaming with other companies to bring its technology to a wide range of devices from several companies.

Open Handset Alliance members already includes Motorola, Sprint Nextel, LG Electronics, T-Mobile, Intel, Broadcom, and more.

Andy Rubin, Google Director of Mobile Platforms, commented "Android is more significant and ambitious than a single phone. In fact, through the joint efforts of the members of the Open Handset Alliance, we hope Android will be the foundation for many new phones and will create an entirely new mobile experience for users, with new applications and new capabilities we canit imagine today."

By focusing on the operating system that drives mobile devices, Google is hoping to work around the limitations developers have been constrained to thanks to proprietary systems and cell carrier demands.

Even though Android could potentially be seen as a competitor to other cell phone products, Google wonit be abandoning its current mobile device applications. The company plans to continue development along with Android.

"We recognize that many among the multitude of mobile users around the world do not and may never have an Android-based phone," Mr. Rubin said. "Our goals must be independent of device or even platform."

Presumably, Googleis open commitment to continue developing mobile applications outside of the Android project means that Apple, RIM, and other smart phone developers can expect to see updates and new developments for their devices, too.

Developers interested in coding for Android can look for the SDK next week, but customers hoping to try out an Android-based cell phone will have to wait until late 2008.

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