Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

SciTechTalk: Google to reign in Android
by Jim Algar
Washington DC (UPI) May 19, 2012

China clears Google purchase of Motorola Mobility
San Francisco (AFP) May 19, 2012 - Google on Saturday said that Chinese regulators approved its $12.5 billion deal to buy Motorola Mobility, clearing the path for the Internet titan to complete the acquisition early next week.

US and European regulators gave approval to the purchase in February.

Conditions put on the rubber stamp from China's Ministry of Commerce included Google keeping its Android software for gadgets such as smartphones and tablet computers free and open for at least five years.

"Our stand since we agreed to acquire Motorola has not changed and we look forward to closing the deal," a Google spokesperson told AFP.

Google will acquire 17,000 patents with the purchase of Motorola Mobility and has been strengthening its patent portfolio as the fight for dominance in the booming smartphone and tablet market increasingly involves lawsuits claiming infringement of patented technology.

Apple and South Korea's Samsung, whose devices are powered by Google's Android software, are currently involved in lengthy and costly patent fights being waged on several continents.

In announcing the Motorola Mobility acquisition in August, Google chief executive Larry Page said it will "enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies."

Regulators in the US and elsewhere have stressed that they will be watching to make sure that the Mountain View, California-based company does not use its acquisition of Motorola Mobility to obtain unfair advantage in the market.

Google's recent decision to take a more active role in how its Android mobile operating system is used is seen as an attempt to address the single most vexing problem in the Android world -- the fragmentation of the one, "pure" Android into hundred of slightly different versions through its modification by smartphone and tablet makers.

Google also hopes to better compete with Apple, which keeps a tight reign on its operating system and knows that every iPhone, iPad and iPod is running the exact same version of the software.

Google's problem with Android is that it was released as open-source software, available for anyone to use and also -- and here is where the trouble comes in -- to modify in any way they see fit.

Smartphone manufacturers, almost without exception, have modified Android to create their own custom versions, with modified user interfaces and features not found in the "pure" release version to differentiate their phone offerings from those of the competition.

So Sprint phones run on "Sprint Android" and T-Mobile phones come with "T-Mobile Android" and so on.

Tablet manufacturers have followed suit.

The problems arose when new versions of the stock Android were released. The upgrades could only make their way into the Android device universe painfully slowly, as each manufacturer had to go back to square one to modify the new version so it could successfully begin to update all the phones or tablets of its existing customers. This often took months or even longer, leading to customer frustration.

Compare that with Apple. When it was ready to release iOS 5, it knew that every Apple device out there running iOS 4 was running a single version -- Apple's version -- and was therefore ready to be upgraded without problems or delays.

Google made one attempt to offer consumers its own branded phone running pure, unmodified Android but could not compete with the marketing clout of established cellphone carriers, who continued to offer heavily subsidized phones running their versions of the operating system.

To improve the fragmentation situation, Google announced plans this week to give multiple mobile-device makers early access to new releases of Android and said it would sell devices made by those manufacturers directly to consumers.

Previously, Google's practice had been to choose just one hardware manufacturer to produce a "lead device" running the latest version of Android, before releasing the upgraded software to other phone and tablet makers, after which it could only sit and watch as the fragmentation began all over again.

By working with as many as five manufacturers and selling direct rather than through cellphone carriers, Google and its hardware partners could get devices to market faster, often by several months, analysts said.

Rajeev Chand, head of research at Rutberg & Co., said the Android world has turned into a "Wild West" in which app developers have struggled to make sure apps are compatible with hundreds of different Android-powered devices with their modified versions of the operating system.

Device makers and carriers alike have left their imprint on devices, meaning the "consumer experience is highly variant," he told The Wall Street Journal.

Google's shift in strategy is likely meant "to create a more standardized experience for consumers and app developers," similar to that of Apple, Chand said.


Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Toshiba shares jump as it drops Japan TV operations
Tokyo (AFP) May 17, 2012
Toshiba shares surged almost six percent Thursday after saying it had stopped making televisions in Japan where a strong yen has hurt exports as slow demand and falling prices also ate into earnings. The IT-and-engineering conglomerate later unveiled its mid-term business plan in which it forecast operating profit to more than double over the next three years on the back of emerging market g ... read more

Perigee "Super Moon" On May 5-6

India's second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 to wait

European Google Lunar X Prize Teams Call For Science Payloads

Russia to Send Manned Mission to Moon by 2030

To the Highlands of Mars

Opportunity Rolling Again After Fifth Mars Winter

Mojave Desert Tests Prepare for NASA Mars Roving

Mars Opportunity Rover Is A Go For More Travel

SpaceX Falcon 9 Dragon Launch Aborted

NASA chooses rocket for Orion launches

World expert outlines the future for air space travel

Poland seeks competitive edge through new technology

When Will Shenzhou 9 Be Launched

China's space women wait for blast-off

Shenzhou 9 to be ready for mid-June launch?

China confirms plans to build own orbital station

Space Station - Here We Come!

ISS Research and Development Conference June 26-28 Denver

ISS Cosmonauts to Make 3D Photo Report

Russia delivers three astronauts to ISS: official

SpaceX scrubs launch to ISS over rocket engine problem

SpaceX readies ambitious ISS launch

Japan in first commercial satellite launch

The numbers add up in Arianespace's latest commercial launch success with Ariane 5

Newfound exoplanet may turn to dust

Cosmic dust rings no guarantee of planets

In search of new 'Earths' beyond our Solar System

Free-floating planets in the Milky Way outnumber stars by factors of thousands

Loral-Built Nimiq 6 Satellite ly Performs Post-Launch Maneuvers

China firm buys AMC to create cinema giant

At seventh birthday, YouTube marks new milestones

SciTechTalk: Google to reign in Android

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement