TheONbutton Durham Computer Services

Remote IT Support and Computer & Technology Help in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh NC

Android gets its killer app

This year’s holiday shopping season is looking good for Android. Not only are we seeing the emergence of devices , such as Motorola’s Droid (Verizon), running Android 2.0, but Google has just announced navigation for Google Maps on Android.

Google says the software will be free and will run on Android 2.0, no other platform support was mentioned. Whilst the iPhone remains in a strong position, this announcement is big news for anyone who wants to combine GPS navigation with Google’s competitive advantage in the search space.

For example in the promo video one demo involves telling (and I mean actually speaking) the name of an exhibition to the Motorola Droid. The device knew from Google’s search which museum was hosting the exhibition and plotted a course. Try doing that with TomTom’s iPhone app, which is suddenly looking very expensive now that we know Google’s offering will be free.

Although competitors are probably shaking, they are shielded for now as the user population is initially small, being limited to Android 2.0 device owners. But what happens if Google extends this functionality to the iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Palm platforms?

It could spell disaster for TomTom, Garmin and carrier subscription offerings such as VZ Navigator.

During last week’s BerryReporter podcast we reviewed Google Maps 3.2 and discussed how fantastic it would be if Google brought turn-by-turn navigation to Maps. I likened the impact to what I believe high quality camera phones will soon do to the mainstream digital camera market. But although Brad and I would love to say we predicted Google’s product strategy on this one, it was more likely a bizarrely well timed conversation.

Oh what the heck, we’re oracles!

Neil Berman


Oct 29, 2009 - Posted by | Analysis, Mobile, News | , , , , ,

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