Send in the iClones: HTC Dream / Google Android Edition

HTC Dream Running Google Android - iClone!

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the first ever live demo of Google's new Android platform... and it's on the iPhone!

[Er... That's the HTC Dream.]

What? Sigh. Okay.

Maybe it's me. Maybe it's a proof of concept. Maybe it's because of the Diamond. Maybe it's just a hormone thing. But does all the innovation have to lead back to Cupertino these days? Does it?

So, another week, another iClone, and more specifically another HTC iClone. (At least they're giving RIM a run for their Bold, Thunder, Storm money for the official iClone volume title...)

Still, it's nice to see Android. As I mentioned in the Top 5 Things the iPhone Could Learn From the Competition, the cloud looks to be the future, and Google currently owns the cloud. Never mind their CEO is on Apple's board of directors (he reportedly recuses himself from iPhone discussions to avoid a conflict of interest), the industry needs the drive Google can provide, even if they wrap it up in a horribly derivative package for now.

Check out the video after after the break!

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 12 comments. Add yours.

owen says:

except that this will be running on an open platform that's not dictated by a single corporation...

Rene Ritchie says:

It will be dictated 99.9% by Google, and given their recent "evil" behavior (for example, seen what they've been doing with book scanning lately?) I think the days of benevolence are long behind them...

owen says:

it won't be dictated by google - they simply established the playing field. as for their copyright issues with the book scanning...meh, if it's a comparison to apple and their business practices, i'll take google any day.

Rene Ritchie says:

It's not just the copyright, it's the control and lock-in they've established. Check into it, gives me zero faith in their "open" initiatives, and makes me think they want a Microsoft-style monopoly, gluing eyeballs to their search results every bit as much as Windows.

tony says:

but rene, you're forgetting that google has never claimed book search was an open project. do you have any examples of the company backtracking on their open source initiatives (e.g. gears, open social, ganeti...and on and on)? if android is released under apache2 this fall like they say, will it really be dictated 99.9% by google?

Rene Ritchie says:

Why wouldn't Google make book search an open project, seeing as that it's not their property they're basing it on? Archive.org style.
And why Apache and not GPL? (Not that I think Apache is bad, but I think questions are good). Google is going to be the next Microsoft, just like Microsoft was the next IBM. I love Google and use most of their services, but when a company gets that big, and starts lobbying the government that much, effecting policy to that extent, they need to be questioned, and we need to question them. Otherwise we're willingly getting on board Monopoly Express 2.0.
99.9% may be on the high side, but what would happen if (big if), Sprint wanted to release an Android device that stripped out every Google hook and substituted Windows Live?
They're only giving away and supporting Android because they think location based services are the next gold rush, and they're the 800lbs gorilla in that space. What happens when someone messes with the gorilla's food?
I'm just asking...

John says:

Aside from the control issues, it's interesting to see how an innovative company like Google responds to the iPhone. I think some of the demo gives us a preview of what future iPhone apps might be like, and who will be using them. More here: http://www.zintin.com/blog/2008/05/google-demos-android-htc-dream/

WatersWest says:

Android / Schmandrioid ... bring on iPhone 2.0!!!

Bob Davidson says:

I want one. Google has it's act together. They will wait till it is right.
I have always wanted an iPhone, but where I live in Arizona, it will not get reception. Why they chose AT&T is beyond me. A company like Verizon made more sense.
Google will conquer another new market with this. The compass feature is extremely cool. Watch out for the long distance market. I suspect a company like Vonage would make a perfect marriage.

Rene Ritchie says:

Rumor has it Verizon was given first dibs at the iPhone, but they weren't interested...
Vonage survived litigation, but Google is looking towards the 700mhz ubiquitous wifi of tomorrow.

Jeff says:

Rene,
Google actually described an example scenario VERY similar to what you described with Sprint putting Windows Live components on the device -- their example used Yahoo instead. They said, unequivocally, that they'd be fine with that. Besides, they couldn't do anything about it if they wanted. Once it's released, the Apache license is the Apache license. I mean, are trying to suggest they'd try to retract the software and the license? That's just not possible.

Rene Ritchie says:

@Jeff,
No, an in generally I look forward to Android and think Google will do a lot of things right. However, I don't think anyone should forget that Google ultimately is a giant megacorp, just like Apple and Microsoft, and has their own best interests at heart. They're all about getting sticky eyeballs on their ads, and Android is another way for them to do that, no more, no less.
And I'm not sure the Apache license will prove any more a deterrent than the GPL, and there still remain questions about Google's compliance with that (re: contributing source code back, gLinux where art thou?)
I think Apple, Google, MS et al. do the best good when the public keeps the closest eye on them...