updated 04:00 pm EDT, Tue August 28, 2007
Google Develops Phone OS
Google's rumored phone development may actually be a phone OS, according to multiple sources familiar with the project. The Linux-based shell is said to have begun development shortly after Google 2005 buyout of the start-up firm Android, which was founded by former Danger head (and Hiptop/Sidekick creator) Andrew Rubin. The emphasis on the platform would be on a modular design that lets carriers and handset makers add or remove components as they please; only integration with Google's searching and other web tools would be a constant factor, according to the claims.
The report at once confirms and refutes previous claims that Google was partnering with an established hardware designer, indicating that the Mountain View, California firm was more interested in encouraging handset makers to use the Google mobile OS instead of altering the designs themselves. Stories of a release just two weeks away also appear to be supported by a belief on the sources' part that the announcement of the new platform will come shortly after the impending Labor Day weekend.
While only partly corroborated, the report if true will potentially complicate the relationship of Google with many of the companies that use its services in embedded phone software. Apple presently claims Google chief Eric Schmidt as a member of its Board of Directors and has used the latter's Maps, search, and YouTube utilities on the iPhone, while LG has also introduced YouTube and other Google facilities on a selection of its handsets.