Google: BlackBerry, WinMo… Android?


In the last two days, Google’s Mobile team has launched custom mobile services/solutions for both Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices. With the announcement and launch of the HTC Dream (likely) right around the corner, what will Google bring to Android’s table?

Yesterday Google announced the Google Mobile application for BlackBerry that you easily download by pointing your phone’s browser to http://m.google.com. The application’s home is a simple Google search that implements Google’s suggestion algorythym which tries to guess what you’re searching for to reduce the typing you have to do.

Also from the application’s main screen is the ability to install mobile versions from Google’s product line such as Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Calendar, Gmail, Reader and more. It looks pretty darn useful and covers a lot of ground:

Today, Google announced Google Mobile Search for Windows Mobile Phones, allowing users to do a Google search that will find results based on their location using the Gears Geolocation API. Continuing their link bait/buzz marketing efforts, google created a song – instead of a cartoon – for this service (lyrics below):

Phil was an engineering star
Who liked to go down to the bars
But he lived in a town with a very long name
And typing it into his phone was a pain

Well he typed and tapped and typed some more
‘Til his thumbs became real sore
The doctor said, “No more search for you.”

Because Phil is a great engineer
He took a look at Gears-
New Geolocation API
It pulls our Lat? from the sky

Adding locations to search was the key
Now his city shows up automatically
Now when Phil looks for the bars
He knows he’ll never have to go far

And the morale of the story is clear
Don’t hurt your thumbs just to find a beer!

That’s great, Google. Spectacular… really. So then the question is, why is Google spending time on WinMo and BlackBerry? Actually, no… that’s not the question. It’s pretty obvious that Google is pushing their search products and services wherever possible- more locations means more searches and more searches means more money.

That’s why Google is spending tens of millions of dollars along with several other partners to help bring broadband internet access to Africa and other developing countries. The Financial Times had an article explaining how Google’s mission could lower broadband costs by up to 95%. The real goal, of course, is to turn billions more users into web surfers… who click on ads.

Why then have we heard almost NOTHING about the Google based applications that will come prepackaged on the first Android handsets? Today saw the release of 3 New Android Applications via the Android Developers blog, but they were all aimed at helping developers make better applications.

We know Google is busy building Android… and focusing on its relationship with OHA partners to get the Operating System ready for primetime. But the fact is if they have time to launch applications for Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and send a freaking satellite into outerspace for poor people in Africa, we’re pretty sure they’re working on some Android Applications of their own.

We’ve seen the cool Street View Application with Android demoed at I/O… but what else? While everyone is focused on the 3rd party elements and what all these 3rd party developers have and will create, what about Google?

There is no doubt that they are playing their hand close. But with these very functional and useful tools for competing platforms, you can be pretty sure that the HTC Dream will ship with some pretty nifty Google tricks that we haven’t seen as of yet.

The question is, “what are they?” And the secondary, inherent question is, “am I wrong?” but lets not visit that until the time comes.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. I just installed the new Winmo search and 1) it doesn’t work in Opera Mini and 2) it thinks I’m in NYC when I am in Baltimore. Bummer.

  2. with the version 1.0 release they will release the whole google office on android (mail, docs,calendar,youtube, picassa,….) i found all the gdata apis hidden in the android package. u can use them but they are undocumented.

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