New to the “Android Revolution” and not quite sure who’s who or what’s what? Hopefully our FAQ can answer some of these questions for you. Maybe they’ll even make you the resident Android guru in your office or dorm! At any rate you can expect it to be updated with any relevant news as it happens.
Q: Is Google finally going to release an Iphone killer?
A: As of this writing Google has stated it has no intentions of releasing hardware of any kind to compete against the Iphone. Instead it is focusing it’s efforts on Android, a new open source platform for mobile phones.
Q: What? No GPhone? All this wait and no hardware? Why would Google bother with Android instead of releasing a phone of their own?
A: Let’s not forget that Google has never been into manufacturing hardware. They are an ad revenue based company, and they have been looking for ways to bring their advertising model to the mobile phone industry. What better way to do this than to break from the pack and develop your own mobile platform?
Q: I’ve heard about this open source stuff. Doesn’t that mean I will be able to get free software for my phone?
A: Not so fast my friend! Open source is great, but it doesn’t necessarily mean everything will be free. Don’t forget that software developers will still want to get paid for all of their hard work, so don’t expect games and productivity software to be free. The good news is that the Android SDK is free for developers, which means there are no licensing fees to pay. This should result in not only lower priced software, but lower priced handsets as well, and this is something we can all get excited about!
Q: When and where can I buy an Android based phone?
A: Don’t expect to see working consumer based handsets for another 6 months or so. If you are really adventurous and just can’t wait that long take a look at the “Bug”. It is supposed to be the first working handset that will be able to run Android. The only problem is that it’s modular in design meaning some assembly will be required. And you may want to brush up on your programming skills because this device is expected to ship with a clean slate. For the rest of us T-Mobile has stated they expect to have their first handset read by June or July of 2008. No word from Sprint on when their first Android based phone will be available.
Q: Since Google is behind Android does this mean that I will have banner ads on my phone?
A: This is the million dollar question, and one that only Google and the other OHA members know. We do know that Google would not have rolled this out if they did not already have a pretty good idea of how they would earn revenue from Android. How much advertising we will have to endure is up in the air, but considering that there are and always will be other alternatives to Android I think it will be “reasonable”. If I have to listen to a :15 to :20 ad before I make every phone call, I may have to consider an alternative handset and plan. Unless of course the phone was free and the plan was too good to pass up.
Q: What is the OHA?
A: The OHA is the Open Handset Alliance. Below is an introduction from their home page. You can visit their site by clicking here.
Welcome to the Open Handset Alliance™, a group of more than 30 technology and mobile companies who have come together to accelerate innovation in mobile and offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience. Together we have developed Android™, the first complete, open, and free mobile platform.
Some of the more high profile members are T-Mobile, Sprint, Samsung, LG, Ebay, Nvidia and Intel. Missing from the list are Verizon and AT&T. They haven’t said they will not sign on to the OHA, but they want to wait to see just how successful it is before making any commitments