What Android did next

21 Oct 2008

G1, the first-generation handset running on Google’s Android OS, is due to hit stores in the US tomorrow, with the UK to follow in November, and there is already a buzz about G2 — the new Android handset Motorola is reportedly working on.

According to Business Week, Motorola has been doing the rounds of mobile operators with spec sheets and images of this new Android handset, which it may be releasing in the US in the second quarter of 2009.

While early reviews indicate that the G1 is a good, solid phone, with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, there are already snag lists such as a lack of virtual keyboard and a touchscreen which, while good, is not quite as responsive as the iPhone’s.

Future Human

Motorola’s G2 is expected to resemble the G1 from T-Mobile down to the slide-out keyboard, but is reported to be a ‘social smartphone’, with integrated mobile-networking features for sites that may include Facebook and MySpace.

In fact, Motorola had advertised on Monster.com for Android software engineers to work on this ‘social smartphone’.

This feature, says Business Week, would allow users to directly message friends on their social-networking sites through the phone’s contacts list, making it an integral part of the device’s functionality.

Other interesting features that may be in the pipeline for Google’s Android may include location-aware and image-responsive mobile advertising.

In a recent post on AndroidGuys, guest writer Mick Winters suggested that Google’s acquisition of image recognition firm Neven Vision back in August 2006 may be the key to this.

“I suggest that Neven Vision’s full technology will reappear with Android, perhaps not Android 1.0 but certainly soon thereafter. It will reappear not just as Android’s Killer App, but as Google’s “Killer Industry”; an image-analysis system for 2D bar codes and, in fact, all images,” he said.

“I predict it will reappear as a technology so far beyond simple bar codes that it will revolutionise not just sales and marketing on the internet, but how the internet and cell phones deal with the dissemination of any type of information from theoretically any place in the world.

“It will be the key to connecting the physical world with the Internet,” Winters added.

Meanwhile, apps for the new G1 are already rolling out on Android Marketplace, including one for MySpace and one for streaming music service imeem.

By Marie Boran