Android won’t get special treatment, says Google
Google will treat Android just like any other mobile operating system, according to the head of its mobile engineering.
The Google-developed Android OS will start appearing on mobile phones from this summer, from partners such as Samsung, Motorola and HTC.
However, Google insists that the new OS won’t be given any preferential treatment by the developers of its mobile applications. “The mobile team is separate from the Android team,” Google’s mobile engineering director, Ann Mei Cheng said at a briefing at the company’s London headquarters.
“Android is just another device for us. We will certainly make sure that Google products run as well on Android as anything else.”
Android does, of course, push Google into direct competition with some of its closest partners, not least Nokia, which is the biggest single shareholder in the Symbian OS.
Google is making strenuous efforts to have its mobile search app installed on handsets across the Nokia range, so that users only have to press one button to start searching.
Could Google’s entry into the operating system market harm its relationship with Nokia and others? “We’ve had a very frank discussion with Nokia,” claimed Christian Hernandez, European partnerships lead at Google. “Nokia is morphing from a hardware company to an internet company: it realises that it has to partner with us.”
Hernandez even speculates that Nokia may adopt Android on its handsets. “It’s publicly stated that it’s interested in evaluating Android,” he claimed.
Google also worked “extremely closely” with the famously-guarded Apple on the development of the iPhone, with Google being the only third-party company to have applications installed on the device at launch. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt also sits on the board at Apple.
Whether Apple will be willing trust Google so closely in the future now that the company is producing a rival OS remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Google has the first 50 winners of its Android Developer Challenge