The Android SDK is out. This would be geek speak for saying “let the cell phone games begin”, and perhaps market speak for “Palm’s Dead and Symbian is probably screwed”.
The Androids haven’t just landed though, they are bearing suitcases stuffed with cash for developers who bring neat applications to market. This is more of the normal Google cleverness at work. Don’t just make it free, *pay* people to make it, and make it better than anything that has come before. Brilliant!
Unselfish of Google? Hardly. With their lock-grip on online advertising don’t forget who will be the big winner in a world saturated with mobile users surfing around a lot more stumbling upon super relevant geo-targeted pay per click advertising. For those of you in the back of the class, that winner would be …. Google.
Over at Om’s blog somebody in the comments suggested that Open Handset seemed like a solution looking for a problem, which seemed very ill informed to me. It solves two big problems – crappy phones that will soon be like iPhones, but much cheaper, and it will bring more organization and convergence to our harried digital lifestyle by blending mobile and online worlds more effectively than the current players have managed to do.
Maybe I’m missing something but I agree with those who see the Open Handset Alliance approach as a profound sea change in mobile, and something that will shake things up quickly (though not necessarily the prize money because $10,000,000 is a drop in the bucket of cash at stake here – over a trillion dollars in the coming decade. )
I’m *already* anxious to get rid of my nasty Palm Treo software (and maybe the whole phone) given that it won’t even synch anymore without me losing all my data. I envision a mobile future where my phone, PC, GIS, picture, and online needs all merge *seamlessly*, are accessible from all my devices easily and without any extra steps, and where I pay *nothing* for services in exchange for viewing ads or pay something if I want to get rid of the ads.
Open Handset is going to make that happen fast, and I wish them well.