First off, I want to apologize for being MIA on our blog for the last couple of weeks. We’re currently in the middle of prepping for an exciting product launch, so we’ve been a bit tied up. For now, we’re keeping things hush-hush on the launch, but we’ll have more to tell you in the next month.
Luckily, in the meantime, the mobile industry continues to rocket forward. In case you missed it, the most exciting news of the past couple of weeks happened last week at the Google I/O Developer’s Conference where Google announced the release of Android 2.2, code named Froyo. Google’s Vic Gundotra delivered a polished keynote describing and demonstrating the features, as well as throwing in jab after jab at Apple. In fact, Android may have just found its Steve Jobs equivalent in Vic. Anyway, I’ve embedded the video below. While it’s a bit long, it’s well worth watching if you are at all interested in where mobile technology is heading. It’s also very entertaining to see Google lay down the gauntlet with Apple.
It’s clear that Google and Apple have become the key players in the development and advancement of mobile technology. These companies, which were once close allies in a battle against Microsoft, have become fierce competitors in computing’s latest battleground. (See the excellent post written by MG Seigler at Techcrunch on Google & Apple’s evolving relationship – it’s a must read for fans of ABC’s Lost Series)
While Apple has staked itself to a huge lead in mobile, it’s amazing how quickly Google has been able to close the gap in just 18 months. In fact, with the Froyo announcement, some might argue that, technologically speaking, Google has passed Apple – at least until Apple announces the iPhone 4.0 OS at its WWDC event on June 7. Given the frontal assault that Google unleashed at Apple, I suspect that Steve Jobs will have plenty to say when he kicks off Apple’s highly anticipated developer’s conference.
How has Google done it? Well, for one, they’ve innovated and released new features quickly, even at the risk of fragmenting the OS. It will be interesting to see how long they can maintain the pace of innovation. Secondly, Google has embraced the existing mobile ecosystem and allowed both OEM hardware manufacturers and carriers to customize Android to suit their requirements. Instead of going it alone as Apple has, Google has relied on the combined strength of many partners and companies.
In the end, I don’t see there being one clear winner in this battle. While I’ve chosen the Android camp for now, and can’t wait for Froyo to hit my Nexus One, I’m glad to see that two strong competitors have emerged in the mobile space. As Vic points out at the beginning of his keynote, a market in which one company and one person dominates is not good for innovation, or for consumers. With these two Goliaths going at it toe-to-toe, I expect the features and pace of innovation to accelerate – all for our benefit.