Google just announced a new computing platform called “Chromebook” that looks very promising. Working with partners Samsung and Acer, the new computers will optimize the computing experience for the web, taking advantage of Google’s Android operating system, the Google Chrome browser, gmail, Google documents, Google maps, and the many other great web-centric products Google has cooked up since they began their amazing online journey from obscure search engine to online advertising juggernaut.
Here is a great early review by Walt Mossberg on the new Google phone. His initial take seemed to be that it’s not as stylish as the iPhone or as good with media, but the keyboard and interface are nice and this may be the better choice for Google centric phonesters.
The widely anticipated debut of the Google Smart Phone is today. The phone will be made my HTC, sold by TMobile, and run by Android the open source operating system. Offering free email service to all subscribers, It appears Google and Tmobile are going after the blackberry market more than iPhone which sounds like a clever plan to me. Apple users are very loyal and very unlikely to move away from their beloved iPhones. Blackberry and Treo users will be looking closely at the new phone and I think in many cases happy to move to a better phone (me certainly included as a Treo user).
Early reports are suggesting that the Android operating system will be very “developer friendly”. Android is promoted and supported by Google for the crop of new phones coming this fall. The OS will be very open for developers and robust, suggesting we’ll see a lot of great innovation in this space very soon, innovation that is consistent with Google’s very open architecture standards (except in search!)
The Android Guys are reporting on the design of the Google Phone from T Mobile and it’s looking pretty impressive. They also link to a spec sheet showing the phone will have a sizeable screen, pull out keyboard, 3 megapixel camera, and more.
I’m glad to have been correct to suggest the phone would make it out before next year and expect this to be a very popular 2008 Christmas Gift, even if the pricing is higher than I expect which is $150-$250 or perhaps even less to undercut the Apple iPhone market.
This earlier-than-announced launch is probably very bad news for Sprint’s instinct and other smartphones, as it is likely that we’ll see the smartphones of choice become either Apple or Android based phones.
It is obvious that Google is going to embrace mobile applications very, very powerfully in the coming year and it looks like Google has a great first iPhone effort with their new search application featuring a lot of automated guessing so you can avoid the most painful part of the mobile experience – typing.
Of course things are *really* going to get interesting this fall or early next year when a new Google mobile phone will come out. Although Google has produced branded hardware for some time in the form of search appliances these had an extremely limited distribution. The upcoming “G Phone” will be a *huge* success if it offers iPhone functionality at a lower price. I think the latest assumption is that a Google phone will be made by HTC for Dell though I have not checked in on this recently. I think the Google branding factor will be incredibly powerful, and predict that *most* users will choose a “Google gPhone” over an “Apple iPhone” assuming similar features and cost. This isn’t to suggest the iPhone market cannot exist alongside a gPhone, and clearly the iPhone is the mobile device to beat, so the game is very much on right now in terms of smartphone competition. Sprint’s new “Instinct” is an excellent device with many advantages over the old iPhone (e.g. Geolocation), though I think we’ll see functionality in these devices converge as early as next year with no compromises for users. Computing is rapidly moving to mobile.
OK, it’s time to start getting excited about several events I’ll attend in 2008 – China SES in Xiamen, The Computer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and the Web 2.0 Conference from WebGuild in Silicon Valley. More about China later as I start to plan that trip with my two table tennis pals, one of whom was born in Beijing. Here’s a great recap of Rand Fishkin‘s experiences last year at this conference.
CES Las Vegas is the world’s most super gigantic humongous computer show. Bill Gates is the keynote this year.
There will be amazing new product launches and thousands of exhibitors hawking the latest and greatest electronic gadgetry. I expect at least a few new amazing Google phones based on Android SDK and literally thousands of neat new gadgets for hands on investigation. Hopefully Scoble and Podtech will host another Bloghaus at the Bellagio. I’d read about CES Bloghaus 2007 last year and it really sounded like the happening place to hang out during the conference as a gathering point and 24/7 watering hole for bloggers.
I’m already getting a lot of emails and some phone calls about setting up press appointments with the CES Exhibitors. For many this is the key place to build the buzz for new product launches. I’ll hope to report on the neatest things I see in travel and tourism as well as anything amazing that really stands out.
One of the neat futuristic gadgets in Star Trek was the universal translator, a device that would take in any language and output English.
Engadget reports that NEC says they are close to having one of these.
the firm has developed a system that can understand around 50,000 Japanese words and translate them to English text on the mobile’s display in just a second or two.
Now this is not quite Star Trek because you’d need to convert the text to voice, but that technology is here already. This is close, and it’s just another in the long line of technological improvements we all call … home.
I see this as very fertile ground for the open handset alliance. Just think how positively travel would be affected if the language barrier was stripped away! Perhaps even less conflict as people would find it harder to keep from communicating during crises.
Screw Ed McMahon and Publishers Clearinghouse, Google has assured me that you and I are going to win the multi billion dollar spectrum auction coming up at the FCC. I just hope I can resell it to Google after we win because I have yet to build my new amazing Google phone.
Actually I really am rooting for Google, and they really do have a point that the mobile marketplace has become far too stuffy from the stench of expensive cologne and Brooks Brothers suits.
I want to see the clever T-shirt and sandals crowd at Google take a bite out of this market, and my mobile bill, and I want the Open Handset Alliance to bring all the great innovation they have promised in this space.