Friday, September 14, 2007

gPhone based on Google Gears

The only way I can understand current gPhone rumours is if the gPhone is based on Google Gears.

The gPhone is Google's allegedly forthcoming mobile software platform. It's very unclear what it'll actually do, but it sounds like an API for Google and third party providers, presumably for applications such as maps, emails, photos, and videos.

But isn't Google an internet company?

Trouble is, this doesn't sound very like Google. Didn't Eric Schmidt say "don't bet against the internet"? What are they doing building an API for the client? Can't they continue their strategy of developing stripped-down websites in HTML for small mobile browsers?

Two major problems with mobile browsers are the lack of bandwidth and the intermittant connections. That's where Google Gears comes in - I think it was designed with phones specifically in mind.

That 8Gb phone memory is just a cache!

For example, your phone's photo application could be a link to If you're in a Wifi or HSDPA zone, the site will be pulled up over the net (and synched with your phone). If the connection speed is slower, then the local cache from your phone memory will display instead, using Google Gears.

Similarly for email, maps, and even your phonebook contacts - to access them, you visit an internet site, but if the connection speed is too slow, the local cache is displayed instead via Google Gears.

Now it makes sense

Using Google Gears, gPhone application development uses just URI, HTML, and javascript. All gPhone apps sit on the internet, and data is stored locally when your mobile browser accesses the site.

Google is still betting on the internet - in fact it's making it work in an environment where network speed is uncertain.

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