Avatar (Fabio Alessandro Locati|Fale)'s blog

Google's Android 1

September 28, 2008

Last week, Google unveiled Android 1.0. The first device that will feature this OS is going to be HTC Dream.

The Android platform is Google’s reply to Apple’s iOS. Or, at least, this is my read on the matter and the meaning I’m giving it in this article.

The main difference between Android and iOS is that Android will allow multiple companies to create competing Android devices. On the one hand, this will create more options for the consumers; on the other hand, it will create a less coherent experience.

I’m primarily interested in Android because it is open source, and I would like it to continue in this way. I’m a little worried about Google’s reasons for investing in Android. Since Google will not be able to pursue Apple’s business model (selling the hardware), I’m worried it will try to monetize it with the applications or on the user’s data. In either case, Google will need to create a system to impose their applications or, at least, the Android Marker to the users. Forcing such applications might be possible only with the agreement from the hardware producers. Though, I think the hardware producers might want to place their own applications in addition or in place of Google’s ones. Google will need some leverage to force the hardware producers to behave in Google’s best interest to avoid this. For those reasons, I’m worried that Android will be, in theory, open-source, but in reality, not that open.

Only time will tell what kind of open-source Android will be, so I’ll be looking with interest in this space.