Google Android mobile platform hands-on video

12 11 2007

Happy Veteran’s Day and now down to a sweet video on Youtube showcasing a variant of the new Google Android mobile platform on an real cellular device. At first I thought it was WiFi but the “G” next to the wireless signal strength bar usually refers to GPRS but then he said it stood for 3G. The name of the service provider is not listed which is why everything is so murky. Maybe they just got 3G broadcasting radio in their testing center and that’s how the dude is connected.

The first narrator (Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google) sporting a bad-hairday do brings us to another dude (Steve Horowitz) who looks like he’s from Apple holding a white nondescript device with a landscape screen. This means the phone has a QWERTY keypad on it and by the finish on it, looks like it could be a yet to be announced HTC device. He tries to dial out to “Erin” at the number 650-555-1212 but when I did a Google look up (ironic lol), it came up as the number to a restaurant to a Marriott located at …

4460 El Camino Real
Los Altos, California 94022

So I’m guessing they’re trying to do that “calimari” thing Apple iPhone ads did when they first came out. Erin is the manager at the restaurant? Probably just a random number Google came up with. But the phone looks really cool from what I can see of it.

The 2nd phone is black and even harder to see anything other than the tall screen and that there’s no room for a keypad at the bottom meaning it would be a slider phone. Most probably another HTC (but probably already out in the market running Windows Mobile). I’m under the impression that Motorola hasn’t had the time to bring out a phone for the Android yet. They even displayed the 2nd (black) phone running a truncated Quake game but that’s no big deal since even a lot of the basic older Nokia S60 phones (104MHz) can do that – without 3D hardware acceleration. Does Android require a 200+ MHz processor and 3D hardware acceleration to run Quake? If so, that is not a good sign.

Both phones are touchscreen and use the same overall UI (user interface). So this could mean that the UI will stay the same on the Android platform but the functionality of the phones will differ depending on the limitations set by the phone service providers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, etc. Google also set aside $10 million as prize for the “best user created application” for the Android.

My take on it is this all looks very Apple’ish. The video recording. The nicely toned down facial features and calm voices of the ppl on the clip. The Apple-like coverflow design on the HTML browser when going through it’s history. The touchscreen features etc.

Not sure how this will compete against S60 but I can see hoards of Windows Mobile and Apple iPhone users wanting to switch to these devices. Symbian S60 (3rd Edition) only has a niche market here so the numbers of users switching might be significantly lower than Apple and Microsoft’s users.

EDIT: Apparently you can download the Android SDK (“software development kit” for the nubs) and run the Android emulator to play with a virtual phone on your PC/Mac (even Linux).


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13 11 2007
Google Android mobile platform hands-on video — Google Android

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