It didn’t take long after the HTC Hero showed up that I went looking for one of my favorite programs, Pandora. I use Pandora on every gadget I own, from the desktop to all my phones. I knew that the folks at Pandora had produced an Android version — I saw it mentioned all over the place. So I was surprised when Pandora was nowhere to be found in the Android Market.
No worries, I headed to the Pandora Android web site and found that it is indeed out for the Android platform. In fact, the HTC Hero on Sprint is specifically supported.
I figured since it’s not in the Android Market, for some reason I would just follow the other instructions from the Pandora team to get it:
Android Market – not there
Visit pandora.com from the phone – gets a “device not supported” page
Scan barcode – tried a couple of apps, but nothing would scan this code
Well, this is certainly odd. Pandora says it supports the Android platform, but not in any form I can find. Did it ever appear in the Market, and is anybody using it on an Android phone?
Ribbit, one of the earliest web-based telephone services (acquired last year by British telecom giant BT), plans to ride Google Wave’s coattails — announcing the integration of several gadgets allowing voice calls, phone conferencing, text messaging and voicemail transcription into the search engine’s new, much-hyped communication platform.
These services, available in the limited beta release going live tomorrow, are meant to introduce voice as a major pillar of net communications, along with email, social networks and instant messaging. Google’s Wave ties all of these modes (and groups of people) together into a single interface. Ribbit has capitalized on this format, letting you easily select which members of your Wave you want to include on a call. In a document that opens up on the right-hand side of the screen, you can add Ribbit’s conference call gadget: A list of everyone invited to the call with icons allowing you to call them with one click and showing their connection status. You can also add text above and below this gadget providing context for the call. Everyone invited to this particular call can view the edits in real time. Once this is set up, the call leader can click one button to call all participants at once. The gadget shows everyone’s phones ringing and then picking up as it happens. These calls can be routed to land lines, mobile phones, your browser, or even other VoIP services like Skype.
For the time being, conference invitees need to provide their own phone numbers, though the company says it is working to integrate people’s contacts and address books to supply these numbers automatically. It is also developing call recording and playback capabilities — even to the extent that it will indicate who on a call said what.
Similar Ribbit gadgets allow users to send text messages to phone numbers directly from their Waves. They can also receive text messages from phones, which will be included in their regular Wave stream along with messages, emails, photo galleries and any other data being sent between the groups of people included on their Waves. Voicemails left via Ribbit can be transcribed and included in Waves as well. As Ribbit’s development team points out, this feature could prove especially helpful for customer service organizations taking voicemails and email messages from clients looking for help. With all of these textual messages recorded in the Wave, anyone from within the customer service department could easily address complaints or questions.
Ribbit hopes to use several of Wave’s built-in features to enhance these offerings even more. For example, it says that the Wave includes little programs called “robots” that could theoretically pick words like “urgent” or “emergency” out of transcribed voicemails or calls — they could then send relevant users text messages or emails to alert them to critical information.
With both the Wave’s and Ribbit’s APIs flexible and open for developers, expect to see a lot more accessory applications like these coming out of the woodwork. And while other VoIP companies may pitch similar capabilities, Ribbit seems to be the early frontrunner — operating with Google’s blessing (it was hand-selected by the search giant for the preliminary beta release) and the backing of BT.
Here’s a demo of Ribbit’s gadgets included on the Google Wave site:
While it might seem like the spigot of stimulus money has just opened up — with new funding solicitations and announcements coming out every week and companies spending significant time and money in an effort to grab some of it — don’t get too accustomed to thinking of Uncle Sam as cleantech’s Mr. Moneybags. Speakers at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum West in San Francisco on Tuesday reminded cleantech companies and financiers that the government money won’t keep flowing forever — and actually for not that much longer.
Dan Reicher, director of Google’s climate change and energy initiative, said that in the midst of unprecedented government support, “we’re staring at the biggest cliff we’ve ever faced in renewables when the stimulus runs out in 18 months.” John Geesman, a former California energy commissioner and writer of the Green Energy War blog, also warned that the stimulus might have been “the high-water mark” for government support. After that, “the fiscal cabinet is bare,” he said.
The heated race for billions of dollars of stimulus money – along with all the indirect effects of sparking matching investment and local and state policies – mean the industry could be in for a major shock when it abruptly ends. More than half of the total recovery funds have already been announced and a good portion has already been allocated. According to the Recovery Act site, which doesn’t break down the spending specifically on greentech, $85.9 billion in stimulus funds has already been paid out, $239.4 billion in stimulus funds has been announced, and a little over $200 billion in stimulus funds is still available. Matt Rogers, senior advisor to U.S. energy secretary Steven Chu for the Recovery Act, said the Department of Energy has succeeded in spending the money even more quickly than it had set out to do so far.
That quick timeline was good for companies that got hold of some of the money, but not so awesome if your company was late getting in line. And the quickly depleting pot of money means it’s important for companies not to rely on it. Companies still need to have strong business plans and should avoid making changes that don’t fit into their business plans in order to appeal to government agencies, Josh Green, a general partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, pointed out at a Thomas Reuters conference back in June. “We encourage our portfolio companies to look for low-hanging fruit, but not to make fundamental changes … to the core business.”
In fact, the impacts of the stimulus haven’t been all positive, pointed out Tim Newell, senior advisor to private-equity firm US Renewables Group, at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum. Overall, government policies have had a surprising “neutral to negative” impact on the capital markets so far this year, he said, as funding in the space actually slowed down while people waited for the rules to get pinned down and to find out how they might impact potential investments. Executives in the smart grid industry have expressed similar concerns about the stimulus funds for that sector.
But Newell expects the neutral to negative effect to change to a “highly positive” one next year as more stimulus awards come out and other policies take effect. Some of those awards will come from applications with deadlines that have already passed, like the smart grid stimulus funds; some could come from funding opportunities that become available over the next few months. But keep an eye out — there are a dwindling number of stimulus opportunities left, and when the window closes, companies need to be able to stand on their own two feet.
It’s an exciting time to be a web worker, what with all of the great browser choices we now have available to us. Firefox may be the preferred browser for many of us, but Chrome, Safari and Opera are also compelling options.
Despite these choices, I’ve pretty much been locked into either Firefox or Internet Explorer because of my reliance on the RoboForm password manager, which is only compatible with those browsers. The lack of Google Chrome support has been particularly frustrating to me. I’m impressed with the speed and resource management of Chrome, but without the easy access to my passwords that I’ve grown accustomed to, it hasn’t been an option for serious consideration. But a couple of recent announcments by Siber, the maker of Roboform, are changing that.
If you’re an adventurous soul, you may want to take a look at a public release of a Chromium build with an adapter that makes it compatible with the latest versions of RoboForm. Chromium is the open-source project that is the basis for the Google Chrome browser.
It’s an alpha build, and my browser is too important to me to risk using it for my day-to-day work quite yet — but it’s a terribly exciting development and shows the first real movement I’ve seen towards a port.
A more feasible option for most folks is to use the new RoboForm Bookmarklet which, in conjunction with the RoboForm Online service, provides access to your passwords from alternative browsers or on computers without a RoboForm installation. Drag the bookmarklet up to your toolbar and after logging in to your online account you’ll have access to all of your stored passwords.
The functionality of the bookmarklet is good, but isn’t yet a replacement for the full installed product. I find that the login expires quickly, requiring me to log in to my account frequently throughout the day, even after requesting it to remain active. I also miss the ability to create new logins on the fly, an option not available from within the bookmarklet.
On the plus side, one of the things I’ve always appreciated about RoboForm is the ability to maintain multiple password sets for a site and am glad to see that this feature is retained with bookmarklet access.
Both of these projects are still in their early stages, but really represent big steps toward cross-browser, cross-platform availability of a single password set.
Windows/Mac/Linux (Adobe Air): Desktop to-do application App For The Milk puts your Remember the Milk tasks into a stand-alone Adobe AIR window, with both offline and online support.
Once you’ve installed the application and entered your credentials, you’ll be prompted to authorize the application with your Remember the Milk account and synchronize your tasks down to the desktop client. As long as you are connected to the internet, the client will operate in “online” mode, adding or updating your to-do items immediately, but when you go offline you’ll be able to use the cached set of items and they will synchronize again the next time you are online.
The application is still a little rough around the edges, and not everything is supported—the noticeable lack of smart list support will keep me from using it, but it’s a very promising new tool for keeping yourself organized with Remember the Milk. App for the Milk is a free download for all platforms, requires Adobe AIR.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage today in San Francisco to extol how the company’s new slate of products — Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Exchange Server2010 — can help businesses save money and increase productivity as corporate IT budgets remain tight. The phrase Ballmer repeated throughout the talk was “with less, do more,” a reference to the tagline in a marketing campaign the company ran a few years ago.
Ballmer in a letter printed in the Wall Street Journal today said that corporate IT groups will increasingly be asked to advance innovation and augment productivity while simultaneously cutting costs. Enterprise consumers will save $90-$160 per computer annually if they switch to Windows 7, according to Ballmer. As he said during his speech:
“The (IT) budgets have been reset down and they’re going to stay there for a while…We’re going to have to prove to you that these products that we’re delivering and initiatives that recommend pursuing together really can help you with less, do more.”
Indeed, a report from research firm Forrester today forecast that growth in U.S. IT spending will decline 9.5 percent in 2009, with new software purchases falling 9.4 percent. Executives from Intel, Ford Motors and Continental Airlines were also on hand today to tout how Windows 7 has saved them money and made their employees more productive because of its increased speed.
Windows 7, Microsoft’s follow-up to the poorly received Vista operating system, is already available to large businesses and is due out next month for consumers and small businesses. We gave Windows 7 largelypositive reviews when we tested out the beta version, noting its improved UI and increased efficiency. Windows Exchange Server 2010 will be launched later this year as well.
Ogilvy & Mather’s first TV ad out of the gate for Yahoo’s $100 million marketing campaign to turn the friggin’ company around, as Carol Bartz says, pushes all the right buttons for people who feel the Internet hasn’t lived up to its promise to makeover our lives yet.
Peter Kafka at AllThingsD says he wishes the ad would demonstrate some of Yahoo’s products. I think Kafka is afraid to embrace the joy of life. If I want product specs, I’ll hit Tom’s Hardware.
The spot is officially titled Anthem, but it skips that and opens instantly with the word “You” in voiceover. Smart. Then, instead of trying to demo Flickr’s iPhone app, it gives us shot after shot of You Could Be This Cool. One fabulous, fabulous dress after another. A dog with super face-slurping skills. People in other countries who are having way more fun than us. But wait, we can play soccer with them, how cool is that! There’s your product demo, Pete.
Yahoo is the life you wish you had. When the voiceover lady promises we can “flirt,” the video cuts to a boy and a girl so totally NOT flirting. Until they both burst out in grins. It’s way more play than I ever get online, but see? Yahoo offers me hope.
I’ve been put off for years by Yahoo’s Web design, color schemes and those damned exclamation points all over the place. This is a new Yahoo, as surprisingly pretty as Bing. But Bing is a pretty place on the Internet. Yahoo is only a pretty place on TV. Yahoo’s websites are still too cluttered, jumbled and garish for my blue-state tastes. It’s hard for me to stay on them longer than a minute. Yahoo’s TV persona makes me want to go live there. In real life, I’ve tried to give Yahoo a chance, but always find myself waiting a polite few seconds before I reach for the Back button.
Last year it was clear Netflix would play a big role in online video. Now, there isn’t any doubt. The DVD service, which weathered the economic storms better than just about every tech company this year, has proved it’s adapting to digital better than just about every other entertainment company. And so Reed Hastings, one of the highlights of last year’s NewTeeVee Live (see his full talk embedded below), is going to return to the stage this year to give us an update in conversation with our GigaOM founder Om Malik. You’d do well to trust Hastings’ tea-leave readings — he does tend to be right.
iPhone/iPod touch only: Popular car-sharing service Zipcar has released an iPhone application that finds and reserves cars based on your location. Cool bonus: You can honk your Zipcar’s horn to find it in a crowd and lock/unlock it, all from your phone.
We’ve mentioned Zipcar in the past, and it’s generally seen as the best option for hourly or daily car-sharing. The biggest catch with a service like Zipcar is availability, and unless you live in an area where Zipcars are common, it’s not going to work for you. On the other hand, if Zipcar is widely available in your area, the roughly $8 hourly rate and $50 annual fee seems pretty worth it.
I’m in a one-car, two-person household, and there are times I’d kill for an option like Zipcar—unfortunately Zipcar doesn’t have any cars in my area (Los Angeles Zipcars appear to be limited to UCLA and USC campuses). If, on the other hand, you’ve had a chance to try out Zipcar, the free iPhone app seems like a no-brainer.
If you have tried Zipcar or a similar service, we’d also love to hear whether you found it to be a viable alternative to owning a car in the comments.
Social slide deck site SlideShare will announce today the winners of its 3rd annual “Best Presentation in the World” contest. A panel of business presentation expert judges selected one deck as the grand prize winner out of 3,750 entries from over 130 countries.
That grand prize winner was titled Healthcare Napkins All and was created by visual communication specialist Dan Roam and Dr. Tony Jones. You may or may not agree with the political perspective of this 51-slide presentation, but it’s an undeniably impressive way to deliver information.
The winning presentation has been viewed more than 100,000 times and has been embedded on over 300 other websites. Additional winners were announced in 5 categories, ranging from technology to business to creative/offbeat. Winners were picked by a judging panel made up of Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco, Guy Kawasaki, Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, and David Armano, founding member of Dachis group.
SlideShare is a site that has seen surprising growth in just a few short years. Presentation decks may be terribly unsexy but the utility of a good one is clear. Traffic analysts Compete.com report that the SlideShare website saw 1.2 million unique visitors in August. The site fell victim to a malware distribution scam last month but remains one of the least hyped yet most appreciated social media services launched in the last five years.
As expected the Senate version of the climate bill, which passed the house back in June, will soon be released from the Environment and Public Works Committee, and various media outlets have gotten a chance to look at a 684-page draft version of the bill before it’s officially been introduced. (Greenwire, via The New York Times, has a draft of the bill available for download here). The official draft is supposed to be released on Thursday during a press conference in Washington DC, and introduced by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.).
The consensus so far: the Senate version is very similar to the House version, but a bit tougher. According to the Associated Press and GreenWire, the Senate version is asking for a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gases by 2020, compared to the 17 percent cut by 2020 in the House bill. The longer-term cuts of 83 percent lower emissions by 2050 are the same for both bills, so the Senate version simply calls for a faster ramp up at first.
In addition, according to GreenWire, the Senate version of the bill doesn’t stop the EPA from factoring in greenhouse gas emissions from “indirect land use changes” for the national biofuels mandate. The House version did incorporate language barring the EPA from taking that into consideration for at least 6 years.
Given that the process in the Senate is more complicated and that the bill is expected to see more opposition there (see David Roberts’ smart take on what to look for), we’re not that optimistic on this tougher version getting passed before the Copenhagen international climate negotiations in early December.
Of course, like the House bill, the Senate bill includes a cap and trade system, but doesn’t yet specify how the allowances will be distributed — one of the biggest points of contention over the House bill. The Senate bill that will be released tomorrow could also have some new provisions, and it’s already 800 pages long, says GreenWire. If you get a chance to read the draft, give us your thoughts, or just wait for the official version expected tomorrow.
AppleInsider is reporting on a supply advisory from Apple to its retail stores stating certain Macs have “entered a period of constraint,” suggesting that hardware updates may be imminent.
The specific models include all configurations of the iMac, as well as the low-end Mac mini, whose SKU has reportedly been discontinued. While the low-end Mac mini is still listed as shipping within 24 hours at the Apple Store online, Amazon.com is currently listing the model with a “1 to 2 month” wait.
At $599 for a Mac with a measly 1GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive, perhaps Steve Jobs has realized that what he once praised as the “most affordable way to enjoy Mac OS X” has become something of an embarrassment. This could mean the company is about to make the high-end Mac mini, at $799 with 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, into the low-end, offering a single model at $599. Those specs would still be anemic by PC standards, but would nonetheless be an improvement. Such a move would also make sense in light of rumors about the iMac.
Current speculation suggests the next iMac will sport “slimmer aluminum enclosures, and that they will indeed be cheaper than their predecessors, ” as well as the possibility of Blu-ray. Certainly, reducing the price on the low-end iMac to $1099, or even $999, would put downward pressure on the price of the Mac mini.
My very first Tablet PC love might have found new purpose in life. It was late in 2004 when I purchased a Toshiba M205 with the then very usable 1.5GHz Pentium M processor. Ah… but that was back in the days of XP Tablet Edition. What about 2009 and Windows 7 on this bit of hardware?
I installed Windows 7 Ultimate on the device and find it to be quite useful! My battery won’t really hold a charge, but what was once relegated to a dusty corner in my closet is now a journal-type device with all of the inking features of Microsoft’s newest operating system. Would I use this on a daily basis as a production machine for all of my needs? Nope. But I don’t have another large Tablet PC with an active digitizer, so this is fine for note taking and web surfing around the house. Yes, I could have easily stayed on Windows XP Tablet Edition, but I thought this was a good learning experience.
The initial Windows 7 install didn’t provide me with Wi-Fi, sound or some other updated drivers, but some nosing around on the web got me what I needed without too much hassle. In fact, Windows Update was a big help here, although I had to use an Ethernet cable for the initial connection. I’m impressed at how Windows 7 is moving along on hardware that’s five years old. The 32MB of video memory is a bit of challenge, but otherwise, I think my M205 has found new life with a new OS!
Thanks to the Lifehacker Workspace Show and Tell pool we get to peek into your personal workspaces. Every once in awhile we get a chance to sneak a peek into a whole office, like the offices of Union Street Media.
Matt, a web developer for Union Street Media, snapped some pictures of their offices and added them to the workspaces pool. Matt has the good fortune to work in an airy office with fantastic views of forest lands and Adirondack mountains. Take a peek at the pictures below to see how Matt’s office managed to have a sense of privacy and individual spaces while still being open air and well lit by natural light.
If you have a workspace of your own to show off, throw the pictures on your Flickr account and add it to the Lifehacker Workspace Show and Tell Pool. Include some details about your setup and why it works for you, and you just might see it featured on the front page of Lifehacker.
On January 22, 1984 during the third quarter of the SuperBowl, Apple broadcast one of the most famous television commercials of all time. Based on a dystopian future George Orwell described in his novel 1984, the ad features a procession of soulless drones trudging into a large room to listen to the unquestioned words of their dictator whose face is being projected on a large screen. Moment later, a beautiful woman bounds into the room, evading capture by armed guards by only a few meters, and hurls a large hammer into the screen that explodes in a dazzling display of light. And so we were introduced to the Macintosh, Apple’s new weapon to take on the monolithic IBM.
What a difference 25 years can make. Now Apple has grown from underdog to a tyrant in its own right, preventing other devices from tapping into its iTunes software and restricting what users can install on the iPhones that they’ve purchased. And doubleTwist, which makes software that lets you use iTunes seamlessly with other devices, is calling it out in spectacular fashion. They’ve just unveiled their new commercial (embedded below) that’s nearly a shot-for-shot remake, featuring an army of iPod-wearing clones sitting in silence as their master — sporting Steve Jobs’ familiar round glasses — commands that “no other choices shall detract from our glory”.
The ad closes with the statement that “on October 6th, doubleTwist brings you Choice”. The company says that a major new release will be coming out that day for Mac users (followed a week later for Windows), but said that the new feature they’re unveiling is a surprise.
This isn’t DoubleTwist’s first direct attack on Apple. In June, the company pulled an incredibly gutsy move and legally purchased ad space for one side of San Francisco’s flagship Apple Store that invited passersby to “try The Cure for iPhone Envy”, that could put your iTunes library on any device. Apple pulled strings and had the ad quickly taken down. Soon after doubleTwist managed to have it put up once again, only to have Apple pressure the advertising company to have removed for a second time. Talk about Big Brother.
Crunch Network: CrunchGeardrool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.
Warner Music, which had removed its videos from YouTube after licensing talks with Google broke down last year, just announced that is has reached a new deal with YouTube and that Warner’s music videos will once again appear on YouTube. The partnership, according to the official announcement, covers the complete Warner catalog and “includes user-generated content containing WMG acts.” Warner will be able to monetize user-generated content thanks to Google’s Content ID technology, which can detect copyrighted content in YouTube videos and then allow the copyright holders to sell ads against this inventory.
According to Google, the partnership is based on a revenue-sharing deal. Thanks to this deal, YouTube users will now have access to videos from all the major record labels and most of the major independent labels as well.
Warner Will Sell its Own Ads and Get a Custom Player
Judging from the announcement, it is clear that Google Content ID system (which was just integrated with YouTube’s stats package earlier this week) was a major factor in bringing Warner back to YouTube. It’s also important to note that Warner will sell its own advertising inventory. Thanks to this, as Billboard’s Antony Bruno points out, Warner will be able to set its own prices and keep the majority of the ad revenue, even though it will share revenue with YouTube. Bruno also notes that YouTube will create a branded player and custom artist-channels for Warner’s content and that Warner hopes to include more commerce and social networking features in this player.
A couple weeks back we told you how to get Windows 7 Home Premium for $30. Now Newegg.com has released pricing details for Windows 7 OEM editions (available for pre-order), all of which, as usual, cost significantly less than a retail upgrade. According to Ars Technica, “the OEM prices range from $110 for a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium to $550 for three copies of Windows 7 Ultimate.” Check out their comparison chart above for the full details. There is, of course, a catch to buying Original Equipment Manufacturer versions: OEM product keys—designed for systems builders—can’t be transferred from one PC to another, only allow for clean installs, and (less irksome) don’t include any support. For $90 to $130 less than full retail, that doesn’t seem like a big sacrifice. [Newegg via Ars Technica]
Google is letting a few more people play with its new communication and collaboration tool Wave, starting tomorrow. Specifically, 100,000 developers, Google Apps users, and other sign-ups at the Wave website will be getting access to a preview version.
That’s a lot of people, but many more are being left out — Engineering Manager Lars Rasmussen tells CNET Google received more than 1 million requests to participate. That’s more confirmation that despite the occasional fuzziness of the Wave concept (because it’s a combination of so many different concepts,such as email, word processing, news feeds, and photo galleries), there’s tons of interest in the product.
Some of you have asked what we mean by preview. This just means that Google Wave isn’t quite ready for prime time. Not yet, anyway. Since first unveiling the project back in May, we’ve focused almost exclusively on scalability, stability, speed and usability. Yet, you will still experience the occasional downtime, a crash every now and then, part of the system being a bit sluggish and some of the user interface being, well, quirky.
There are also still key features of Google Wave that we have yet to fully implement. For example, you can’t yet remove a participant from a wave or define groups of users, draft mode is still missing and you can’t configure the permissions of users on a wave. We’ll be rolling out these and other features as soon as they are ready — over the next few months.
As part of opening up, Google has also highlighted some of the cool extensions companies have built on top of Wave, even in its early stage, which give some sense of how broadly Wave might be used:
A way to play Sudoku with your friends from Labpixies
The big plus to Echofon is that you’ll never lose a tweet while monitoring your Twitter stream. Unread tweets stay in sync between your phone and computer. (The sync only works with the Echofon’s $4.99 Pro version for the iPhone. However, the company behind the app, Naan Studio, said they’ll make the sync available to the free, regular version soon.)
It’s also easier to share pictures because you can drag-and-drop them onto the client to attach them to a tweet. Unlike TweetDeck, which shows several columns of different types of tweets and messages at the same time, Echofon takes up less space on the screen because you have to click between columns. (Of course, you can make TweetDeck smaller, but most people don’t.)
Mountain View-based Naan Studio is privately funded and said its Echofon applications have been downloaded more than 5 million times.
I’m actually in agreement with ZDNet’s Dana Blankenhorn, who says that Google was correct to be concerned about use of its proprietary applications because protecting them “lets it retain legal cause against malware aimed at its servers using its software.” What’s really interesting to see, though, is that both Kondik and the open source community are responding to the dispute with creative Android-based efforts.
People often misconstrue Google’s motives. It’s important to keep in mind that the company makes the vast majority of its revenues through advertising initiatives that its search engine and other applications feed into. In a post called “Google Apps for Android” Google’s Dan Morrill said of the company’s proprietary applications:
“These apps are Google’s way of benefiting from Android in the same way that any other developer can, but the apps are not part of the Android platform itself.”
In other words, everything from Google’s upcoming Chrome OS to applications such as Gmail help feed more users into Google’s entire platform, which eventually helps its lucrative search and advertising efforts. Especially because many Google applications do run in the cloud, the company has the right to exert some control over how they are distributed, particularly because of the threat of unmanaged malware attacks aimed at its servers.
Kondik has responded to Google’s cease-and-desist letter by agreeing to develop a workaround, through which he will release a version of his Android-based framework minus Google applications, but allow anyone who has Google applications on, say, a phone, to reinstall them on his own software framework. That’s a creative solution.
“We aim to replace all closed source, proprietary applications in the base Android install with open source applications that can be freely distributed.”
That’s a creative solution, too, and the developers stress that they are not anti-Google, but pro-Android. You can read more about the Open Android Alliance here. Who knows, maybe this initiative, the result of an open source versus proprietary software smackdown, will result in more choices for Android users and developers.