G-Phone – Why I Do Care!

If you recall about a week ago I posted about Google’s entry into the mobile phone space.  I guess as clarification there is no G-Phone, just a OS stack called Android. After the initial announcement I didn’t give it too much thought until my brother pointed me to this YouTube video.  Given he isn’t really into technology I was surprised by his reaction, “very cool”, and thought I’d better go watch it.  Whilst the video is very Geeks-for-Geeks it does showcase a couple of very cool capabilities.

  • One of the highlights for me was the browser capabilities.  Windows Mobile could learn a huge amount here!  Why have we been stuck with such a retarded browser for so long?
  • The UI for both maps and the world viewer are sensational.  They talk a bit about making use of a full 3D rendering engine – I wonder how this compares to the Direct3D capabilities of Windows Mobile?

Ok, so the aim of this stack is that it is supposed to make development for a mobile device really easy.  My question is – just how easy?  Are we talking C++ or are we more advanced (such as the .NET Framework or Java)?  What APIs are really available v’s having to write your own?

In the closing part of the video they lay down a significant incentive to mobile developers – they have allocated $10 Million for developers who build the best apps.  Not sure of the details of this but that is a serious amount of investment in order to build a developer following.

What I want to see before I will even look at this platform is the ability to sync calendar, contacts, email etc with either (or preferably both) an online system (such as Gmail) or Exchange.  The latter is clearly going to be essential for this stack to get enterprise adoption.  If the platform is really as open as they make out then hopefully some clever developer will go ahead and build this functionality – but of course this requires them to cough up the dollars for Activesync technology licensing.

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