Google Phone: Android Dogfood For Now


It looks like Google saw what everyone was saying about the GPhone and decided to chime in, claiming the “Google Phone” handouts are nothing more than a way to test “innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features.” They failed address that its been identified as the gPhone/Google Phone but the fact that they mention they cannot share details because its a process exclusively for Google employees seems promising.

It could just be a way to get ideas and feedback on features/capabilities they are THINKING of including in the core android branch. Or… it could be a beta testing ground for the gPhone/Google Phone. Read their “response” and decide for youself:

At Google, we are constantly experimenting with new products and technologies, and often ask employees to test these products for quick feedback and suggestions for improvements in a process we call dogfooding (from “eating your own dogfood”). Well this holiday season, we are taking dogfooding to a new level.

We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe. This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it.

Unfortunately, because dogfooding is a process exclusively for Google employees, we cannot share specific product details. We hope to share more after our dogfood diet.

So what do you think? GPhone or not?


[Via Google Mobile Blog]

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 think that Google is working with HTC and AT&T to get an Android phone running on that network. AT&T is the only provider without an Android phone (though they do now have the Nook, so they aren’t totally Android-free!). That’s why you always hear these three companies (Google, HTC, and AT&T) in the same breath whenever this rumor comes up.

    I think that Google employees are helping to test this device as well as new Android features.

    I think that’s all. There is no business justification for Google releasing their own handset. None whatsoever. Google has already outright denied that they are making their own handset. This rumor really just needs to die and I think this recent post on the Google Mobile Blog (as if the quote from Andy Rubin wasn’t enough!) is the beginning of the end for this nonsense.

    Why piss off an entire ecosystem of enthusiastic networks and hardware manufacturers? You can already run Google Voice seamlessly on every Android device. It doesn’t make any sense to disrupt this.

  2. The product manager of google would know the difference i believe… i say its the google phone

  3. This is much ado about nothing. When was the last time any new smartphone was released without at least 1 real pic of it leaking? And with this mystical beast supposedly in the hands of so many people, people that are tweeting about it so I’m guessing they’re smart enough to know how to take pictures, how is it that not 1 pic, blurry cam style or otherwise, hast made it online yet?

  4. Good point CJ. This is probably just the ADP3 (Third Android Developer Phone). So far the leaks (and Google Mobile Blog) say that it’s an HTC phone running Android. How revolutionary!

    The Google Dream (ADP1) = HTC G1
    The Google Ion (ADP2) = HTC Magic
    “The Google Phone” (ADP3?) = HTC

  5. Hmmm, i think. Not Gphone.

  6. Whoops, the last piece got filtered.

    The Google Dream (ADP1) = HTC G1
    The Google Ion (ADP2) = HTC Magic
    “The Google Phone” (ADP3?) = HTC (insert codename here)

  7. I think that it probably isn’t the GPhone. I think that they are just testing HTC’s specs with Android 2.1 to make sure that 2.1 runs how it should. I mean a GPhone would be great, but since I am getting the droid I would rather have a working 2.1 released soon.

  8. Hahahaa….this is definitely an admission by Google of the existence of a Gphone. Very discrete of them.

  9. What are you saying CJ? that google lies about testing this phone?

    That they are internally testing this phone is without a doubt. The real question is whether they plan to release it to the public or not.

  10. They are not disproving its existence.So invariably it must exist.

  11. Just like how God (or unicorns) exist because there is no proof to the contrary?

  12. Rob Jackson, good job on doing some responsible reporting here instead of making speculation as fact your headline. The question you pose is the really important one. My best guess/answer is that this device is indeed a testing ground for the features (both hard and software) that will be featured on another, yet to be finally spec’ed device, which will be the Google Phone. I believe and hope the G-Phone will sport WIMAX compatibility and either use whitespace and/or have multiple radios for use on all carriers with data only plans and VoIP (GV with Gizmo5 tech rolled in) as the only calling method. Here’s to hoping! I’ll not be getting another phone (and will gladly accept my Sprint Hero’s ETF) until the G-Phone appears.

  13. If anyone has ever talked to a googler about what they test, what new products are coming out, etc, they’d know in an instant that google is serious about product security and confidentiality. They may be a bunch of geeks eager to talk about it (and they are) but they are MORE excited to be at google and would never do anything to jeopardize that. Just saying a lack of pics says nothing, good or bad, about how realistic it is that the phone exists.

  14. Googlers would also be smart enough to use Tor and obscure identifiable bits of the phone. It’s not exactly difficult to leak such information with zero risk to yourself.

  15. I don’t think its far fetched to think Google might commission another company to make a Google branded phone. I also don’t think that cell makers at this point have enough stroke to do anything about it. Android is out the bag and proven itself to be a successful and viable alternative to any other mobile OS without all the other licensing fees that go along with it. Consumers will want Android and makers will have to supply them if the want to compete.

    There is nothing wrong with Google having a “vision” of what the ideal Android Phone would look like. If the Samsungs and Motorolas don’t share that vision then Google will have to take matters in their own hands. Do you think that if Google had a choice in the matter that the G1 would have been the first Android device? HELL NAW!! I would bet that Google isn’t happy about the HUGE splinter between Android devices either. How does the Hero and the Droid get released within a month of each other but the Hero is running software that is at least 2 revisions old (and by the time The Hero gets the update it might be later than that) Consistency is the one thing that customers can agree to that makes a great customer experience. Ask Apple customers. Heck ask Walmart why every Walmart you walk into looks the same no matter where you are in this country.

    Just my opinion but I don’t think there will be 5 or 6 of these Google phones. At the most 4 possibly. VOIP only and Cellular w/ VOIP keyboard and without keyboard. Thats it. The rest of the manufacturers can concentrate on the middle of the road handsets. The 500MHZ-800MHZ processor phones.

  16. @Stefan P What I’m saying is that Google isn’t releasing a phone. They are testing Android out on a phone made by HTC that is able to leverage current and future OS capabilities. Much like they tested the initial Android release on the G1. If Google releases it’s own branded phone I will disassemble my MotoDroid and eat the parts on film!

  17. Can’t you see the obvious?
    ‘Google Phone’ = ‘the phone you get as a Google employee’ – this is what the Google blog post says

    It makes absolutely no sense for Google to go against their ecosystem and jeopardize a continuous stream of ad income for the questionable one-time profit of a Google phone…

  18. I don’t think this is a release phone. Like Travis, I think this is just a new version of the ADP. Google really doesn’t want (or have the strength) to take on mass companies (telcos and manufacturers) by releasing their own phone to compete against all the contracts they’ve made with other developers (see T-Mo and the androids there, Verizon and the Droid, etc.) So I’m pretty sure this is just a test platform.

    It’s that same reasoning that makes me think this isn’t going to AT&T, either. Part of having a smartphone is having a phone that actually works a phone and not dropping calls every five seconds. Whether that’s the fault of the iDevice or Ma Bell matters little: the fact that it’s happening is enough to be an issue.

  19. Keywords from the quoted “response”:

    – we are taking dogfooding to a “new level”
    – “concept” of a “mobile lab”
    – “new” mobile “features” and “capabilities”
    – Google employees “across the globe”
    – test out a “new technology”

    I believe if it’s not VoIP (Google Voice), then it could something just as big.
    so, what do you guys think?

  20. I read a report on tmonews that google will sell the phone and that tmobile will provide all the plan and contracts. Info


  21. Btw, Phandroids, do you have a google wave address/account which I can add? It seems very convenient to have one don’t you think?

  22. Well, I just cancelled a new Verizon contract to wait this out. So I hope it is a Google phone and I hope it’s soon. I read somewhere that Apple just bought (or is buying) a voip company. I’ve also read that at&t is open to data only. So maybe a sea change is coming?

    And Yousif, I’ve got a Wave invite for you. E-mail me here:

    petertcrowell at gmail dot com

  23. So we’re to believe that Google made a very limited-production run of these uber-sexy looking “mobile labs” just so they could pass them around the office like party favors with no intention of them being a final product?

    I’m no hardware dev, but I imagine the costs of making such a finished product for so few people would be insane (even for Google).

    My guess is it’s the first batch of a finished product.

  24. Oh yeah, one more thing to add. I’ve recently read an Arabic article online here:


    That is basically saying Although Google Phone is made by HTC. Yet, Google reserve full control of it, and that HTC is just being the manufacture/supplier.

    Plus, I remember the CEO of HTC in one of the quoted articles here (http://phandroid.com/2009/10/29/htc-ceo-spoon-feeds-winmo-calls-android-destructive/) saying the following:
    “Google tries to do things differently from the rest of the industry,” Chou notes. While some of Google’s actions can be “destructive,”

    What do you guys think?

  25. Wall Street Journal is reporting that the phone will be called the HTC Nexus One.

  26. Google is moving down in the stack to challenge B2C opponents with an open architecture and new sets of standards. In creating a post-revenue business model, Google can only manage success if consumers accept a co-branding and outsourced manufactured device … NQ Logic recommends reading about the rest of the new Google’s mobile strategy at http://www.nqlogic.com

  27. if verizon f’ing strikes out on this phone I am going to be really pissed.

  28. Confirmed, Nexus One, scant on details though, other than the obvious.

  29. My guess is this is a developer phone, as has been said before.

    I’m also guessing that all the employees that were handed these were required to sign off on something stating they would not post pictures or release exact specs, only giving physical descriptions of the hardware and software. With all the search information google has, I’m sure they could find out exactly which employee leaked the information pretty easily ;)

  30. if this is a carrier independent smartphone then the only strikeout is the carrier with the sub-par data network.

  31. The least you can do is post a picture of it. Like this one!

  32. I’m willing to bet Google is pulling a veil over our eyes here (in a good way)
    This is a form of marketing, let a few rumors out of the HQ, let people start buzzing about it, then denounce. It revs people up, bring people in that weren’t interested originally and best of all, it’s very cheap. I love Google, down with Apple.

  33. I think this means the phone is going in a whole ‘nuther direction. A couple years ago Google posited a vision of a free communication device supported with nothing but Google ads. Moreover, they’ve also got an approved white space device as well as having invested heavily in WiMax and, of course, Google Voice .

    Holding to their egalitarian values as well as information and communication being the best tools for supporting that philosophy, a GSM or “world” phone that’s cheap and can also operate in remote areas via WiMax or white space and is also subsidized via an ad-based platform whose profits are split with local carriers in order to make their phone dirt-cheap and allow for VoIP is not far-fetched. (How’s that for the best run-on sentence ever?) :)

    Nor would such a phone be exactly the same as competing with other Android based phones. If, indeed, it has Android 2.1, there’s no reason that the reported upcoming January update to Droid wouldn’t also be 2.1, and later in the year HTC’s and Samsung’s updates as well (after upgrading to 2.0), as the newer OS would only be a piece of what the supposed “Google Phone” is rather than the entire concept.

    I’m thinking along the lines of the “one per child $100 PC” project..sorta like, but with better, albeit easier to use “ala voice” technology .

    This sort of communication device would strike a chord with technophiles first, but given the entirely new concepts it might not be an immediate phone for the masses who while being ripped off by carriers would have to make a conceptual leap to move to a device this this. However, those in remote areas or within certain income groups who need simply any device that’s cheap and easy and does everything a computer does, the leap would be far less.

  34. Wait a second. I’d love for there to be a gphone, but all I get out of their statement is that they want to test their software so they need someone elses hardware. Which seems to indicate the opposite of all the speculation. But heres to hoping!

  35. I think it’s not The Gphone yet.
    It just next generation android phone with higher performance hardware.
    Powerful chip, OLED display, Larger battery…

  36. after reading gizmodo’s article with reference to the wall street journal article, gphone is all but certain in my mind

  37. Mr. Queroz VP-Product manager of Google surely know how to keep the excitement of people. Yes they confirmed that the conceptual phone is for real, but they didn’t open up
    much of the details. See the dog-fooding statement: .. http://bit.ly/google-phone-finally-confirmed

  38. This is the first picture of new gPhone.

  39. “Nexus One Google Phone Coming in January 2010”

  40. engadget has posted a couple of pics shot with the phone. by the way, the phone is HTC Nexus, it is a developer’s edition just like the previous ones.

  41. please stop saying this isn’t the gphone when it clearly is…. think about what your saying before you say it it just makes you look like the idiot now :)

  42. I am wondering what Yousif was wondering. Does Phandroid have a wave that they update regularly? It would get me to actually use the service rather than just let it sit there.

  43. @eastldn
    then how can you explain the codename for the pictures “HTC Nexus” ? This is obviously another ADP and nothing new here and it happened a couple of times before but this is the first time they give it away to their employees before releasing it to the public.

  44. i think every1 is missing the point, every android phone is a Google phone/g phone don’t you think.

    the droid has trademark logos of Motorola, Verizon, and Google on the back, so it’s a Google phone!!

  45. Maj: I hope you ritght

    Cause this phone looks like a me too… The screen is at best the same size as the MotoDroid…

    Other then the delivery vehicle being google thru possible walmart & online… It looks like all that google did was ask HTC what they got comming as next gen & make a few cosmetic changes… And order some google branded ones… done and done…

  46. google isn’t a hardware company, their vision I think is a carrier independent ad-subsidized dataphone. That’s a powerful idea but they still needed modern hardware and jazzed up UI to put some spice on that vision so that it would go down better. I think they may have it now.

    If you’re only looking for the absolute best in hardware, you probably won’t get it from google but such a phone wouldn’t change the dynamic of the industry. You’d either be locked down to your carrier or on a network that punishes you if you use lots of data.

  47. The new phone looks fantastic, but if they want mass adoption, they’re going to have to do something about the price and bring it down to standard carrier prices. Maybe they’ll also combine it with the new multi-carrier 3G radio from Motorola.

    I hope that blasted chin is gone too.

  48. Why is it so hard to believe it really is just a test product, probably one of HTCs coming phones hardware just sent to google so they could mess with it, thats not unbelievable, people need to just chill and wait, hopefully now they are fixing the media player so it actually is worth it, i wont jump to android until they’re media player is on par with blackberry’s, how sad is it when blackberry has a better media player, hopefully this is the first thing they tend to because wow it sucks

  49. i don’t care.

    how do i get in line for one?

    if it has the same quality standards of every other google product, WTF, it’s got to be good as they aint never put any crap out on the street compared to every other cellco and telco.

    remember, their updates are up front and personal and you don’t have to hunt them down on some obscure support page.

  50. @Raymund
    There are many media players out there on the market, first one comes to my mind is tunewiki and its excellent, or maybe you could get yourself an HTC Hero, it has its custom media player and it looks great with differnt media player widgets.
    You need to find yourself a better excuse buddy.

  51. @raymund- i may be speaking out of my element here. i hate the mytouch 3g, just a pitiful sham of a device. but it runs stock android and the media player shows the disc art, allows me to choose an album, choose a track, skip tracks, fast forward and rewind. What exactly is it missing? just curious, thanks

  52. I’m tired of all the idiotic hype. How is this any different from Google releasing the next developer phone? Some unverified idiotic source says that this is the Google phone and everyone loses their critical thinking and start chanting “Google phone, Google phone”!!

    Ok, here is the deal. I have seen this phone is person, held it and played with it long before all this hype started. Yes, it’s snappy, has some fancy animations, etc. But nothing worth this hype.

    With all this hype, the phone is just going to look bad since it won’t meet all the hype. Just chill down and wait for the next developer phone people!

    P.S: Obviously, John Smith is not my real name.

  53. Bottom line for me is that it has to be better spec wise than the Droid or I am out.

    Love the Android push!

    -Happy Holidays

  54. This will take away 1/3 of the android pie from everyone else. GOOG will be the only phone vendor with advance knowledge of next OS features. Sneaky…

  55. I sense an apology and a t-shirt headed my way.

  56. I am a current T-Mobile, G1 user. I want to switch to AT&T, but want to keep the android operating system. Will this new phone be compatible with AT&T?

  57. @Anthony
    Looking at the other posts it seems so.

  58. @Travis: I think that Google is working with HTC and AT&T to get an Android phone running on that network. AT&T is the only provider without an Android phone (though they do now have the Nook, so they aren’t totally Android-free!). That’s why you always hear these three companies (Google, HTC, and AT&T) in the same breath whenever this rumor comes up.

    Actually, I have been running the ADP1 on AT&T for over a year now.


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