Friday, May 21, 2010

The week Google killed Apple

Ok that's hyperbole but if Google ends up supplanting Apple in the mobile market, this will be the week we can say it happened.

During Google IO this week, Google showed developers the new Android 2.2 features, including such things as:

  • Install an App from the web without using the Android Marketplace. In other words, you don't have to wait for an App to go to the App Store to release a patch.
  • Copy all (non-DRM) music directly from your computer to the Android, over the net without plugging it in to your computer.
  • Translate voice to voice (English to French for instance) on the phone. For instance, speak a phrase into the phone in English and hear the translation spoken back in French.
  • Run Apps from the SD card, freeing up more memory for Apps.

Of course Android already has multi-tasking and it’s open source nature allows developers to write and publish software for the Android phones without having to go through the approval process that encumbers all iPhone Apps.

That may or may not be exciting, but during the first Keynote on Wednesday Google gave every developer that attended an Android phone. During the Thursday keynote Google gave every developer that attended an HTC EVO, the new Android phone that will make use of Sprints new 4G speeds.

Has Apple ever done that? No, and they aren’t likely to.

Android phones outsold iPhone for the first time over the last Quarter. Google is making it very clear they are planning on taking over the mobile device market. They also made it clear this week they want the developers to come along and profit from the market opportunity with Google.

Rather than treating developers as problem children that have to be monitored closely, Google is inviting the developers to become partners on their Android platform. The problem is that Apple has already outlined the iPhone 4.0 features and it is well into Beta testing. Google has chosen the perfect moment to strike. I believe in the future when we hear that Android has overtaken iPhone for market share, this will be the week we remember seeing the tides shift.

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