Google’s Software Development Kit for its open source mobile operating system, Android, was released today (see last week’s post for background). Google has also produced a video that demos some of the applications that can be developed for Android.
A few interesting mobile local search apps are shown on a prototype device that has an interface very similar to the iPhone but utilizes a much faster 3G connection (engineering director Steve Horowitz also shows that he’s quite the Silicon Valley ladies man). These include basic maps, which will be the foundation for lots of mobile local search applications.
This is the prospective Gphone that everyone has been talking about, but instead of one device made by Google, the Gphone will really be many devices that are built with its operating system. The starting point for these devices will be the Open Handset Alliance that Google launched in conjunction with Android.
The key point is that many possibilities will emerge based on the decentralized innovation of open source. There will also be more incentive to innovate than there was in the carrier-controlled mobile regime that Android and the alliance (and the iPhone’s SDK) will largely break down. Google is also offering $10 million in awards to get this innovation rolling.
As Google cofounder Sergey Brin says in the video clip, “The best applications aren’t here yet.”