After much speculation that Google was prepping an “iPhone Killer”, it turns out it’s an operating system, and nothing more.
Rumors have been flying for months that Google was knee-deep in development on their own mobile phone. Dubbed “the gPhone” by the press (because we’re so very original sometimes), there had been whispers of handsets in the testing stages, they were of all shapes and sizes, and all the time Google kept denying it.
Well, seems they were right to deny it as they weren’t developing a handset, but instead an open mobile operating platform.
The Open Handset Alliance is an association of over 30 companies, including Google and other software companies, mobile phone operators, and handset manufacturers, working towards a common operating system that will allow for cross-pollination of apps. The OS, dubbed “Android” (because developers aren’t very original sometimes), will have a development kit out around November 12th, and consumers can expect to see it in handsets in the second half of 2008.
What exactly Android will do for the end user is still not known, but there are some details on the development side of things. It is built to be open source, and is using the Linux Kernel as its core. One of the interesting tidbits is that the software is supposed to see no difference between native and third party apps. It will also be able to call on all the functionality of the phone, and apparently pull some information from the web also.
With the developer’s kit only a week away, there is sure to be more information coming out on this daily.