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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Google on Mobile Android

Today, T-Mobile announced the world's first Android-powered phone. This marks an important milestone in the young history of Android. It was less than a year ago, on November 5, that the Open Handset Alliance, a group of more than 30 technology and mobile companies, announced plans to create a complete mobile platform that would facilitate the development of advanced mobile applications and give users the best the web has to offer on a mobile device.

Software developers are key to driving innovation on the web, and also for mobile. That's why, over the past year, we've released several early versions of the Software Developer Kit (SDK) and worked with developers from around the world to make it better and more complete. This has culminated in today's release of the Android 1.0 SDK R1. Through the SDK, developers have unprecedented access to the hardware and software capabilities of the device, enabling them to innovate freely. More than 1,700 applications were developed as part of the Android Developer Challenge. Google engineers have also been busy developing Android applications. Many of our products (Search, Gmail, and Maps, among others) are available on a wide range of phones such as the iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile devices, and many more. Today, they're also available on Android, and you can check out the Google Mobile blog for more details.

But there's more to the Android story. Not only does it allow all applications open access to the phone's functionality; the platform itself will also be open. The Open Handset Alliance has announced its intention to open source the entire Android platform by the end of the year. Along with the other members of the Alliance, we hope that Android can provide a meaningful contribution to all players in the mobile ecosystem: the developers, the wireless carriers, the handset manufacturers, etc. Everyone will be free to adopt and adapt the technology as they see fit. By doing so, we hope that users will get better, more capable phones with powerful web browsers and access to a rich catalogue of innovative mobile applications.

Developers will soon be able to distribute their applications to real handsets through the beta version of Android Market. Handset manufacturers and wireless carriers will be able to incorporate Android innovations into their own new handsets and service offerings. And users will get better handsets and more choice. We think it's another step towards realizing the full potential of the mobile phone.

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