It seems like the rumors of a Google Phone have been going around and around the web for years now. Really, it’s only been about a year and up until recently, I wasn’t convinced that Google even had a Phone in mind. I’m beginning to think that it’s actually a possibility though, especially after reading what Om Malik had to say today in his article titled “Five Facts About Google Phone.”
In his article, he said that all of the recent news/rumors were “enough to get me dialing-for-dirt over the big holiday weekend,” and then he went on to list five “facts” about the Google phone. I’m still going to call them rumors, but he says the info he found is from a reliable source. The “five facts” are as follows:
- Google Phone is based on a mobile variant of Linux, and is able to run Java virtual machines.
- All applications that are supposed to run on the Google Phone are java apps. The OS has ability to run multimedia files, including video clips.
- The user interface is similar to a UI typical of mobile phones, and the image (with red background) floating around isn’t representative of the Google Phone UI. The entire UI is said to be done in Java and is very responsive. The UI, of course has a “search box.”
- There is a special browser which has pan-and-browse features that are common to modern browsers such as browsers for iPhone and Symbian phones. The entire browser is apparently written in Java. But then others have told us that the browser is based on the WebKit core, the same engine in Safari and in iPhone, and Google has been making optimizations to speed it up. This is one aspect of the Google Phone I am not sure about.
- Initially there was one prototype, but over past few months Google has the mobile OS running on 3-to-5 devices, most of them likely made by HTC, a mobile phone maker, and all have Qwerty apps. The model that folks have seen is very similar to the T-Mobile Dash. Around 3GSM, there were rumors that Google, Orange and HTC were working together on mobile devices.
While it’s interesting that it could potentially be based upon a variant of Linux, I’m more curious which wireless network(s) would be behind it. We all know the frustrations that have come from the 5-year exclusivity agreement that Apple made with AT&T with the iPhone. I have a hard time believing Google would take such a route, but it’s possible.
The thought of a Google phone may sound exciting, but I still don’t know if this is something Google would be able to be successful with. And as others have pointed out, those five “facts” listed above aren’t all THAT impressive. It still makes more sense for them to develop software for mobile devices and stick to that aspect of the mobile world instead of developing their own phone. It’s been about one year since Google Phone rumors surfaced, and while I’m still skeptical, I’m more convinced today than I was yesterday. Of course, only time will tell us if there really will be a GPhone.