The stock was up following reports that Google is in "serious discussions" with Verizon Wireless to put its mobile "GPhone" software on Verizon phones. For months, people have been speculating about the GPhone.
Most people believe that it's not a specific phone, but is more likely an operating system or software that integrates many of Google's mobile services, such as Web search, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps, onto phones made by existing handset makers. But more than simply integrating Google services onto handsets, the new Google mobile operating system is believed to be an open platform on which application developers would have free rein to develop a slew of new applications and services.
But, as CNET News.com's Marguerite Reardon points out,
CNET News.com readers expressed concern that Google's mobile applications would be limited to one or two handsets offered by a single carrier.
"Great! Another new phone designed to screw over American consumers by locking it down to just one cell phone provider," one reader wrote to the News.com TalkBack forum. "Is Google really that insensitive to the market and to consumers?"
In another move that was anticipated for weeks, Google has unveiled a set of application program interfaces (APIs) that
Google's version of this "write once, run anywhere" concept is called OpenSocial, a set of common APIs that will enable developers to create applications for social networks, blogs, and any Web sites that accept the OpenSocial code. Currently, developers have to write new programs for each site, even if the functionality will be the same on each site.
This announcement illustrates how Google is courting developers and possibly attempting to outdo Facebook in openness. Facebook opened up its platform to developers in June and the site was immediately flooded with all sorts of useful and not-so-useful apps. Google, Yahoo, and others have been heavily espousing the beauty of open platforms and making moves to that end.
Leopard on the loose
Some 30 months after Apple released Tiger, it released the Leopard operating system into the wild--a little later than originally planned due to the company's work on iPhone. And while it wasn't exactly iPhone Day, several hundred
The line for Leopard appeared to be divided fairly evenly between rabid Apple fans and shoppers who'd figured they could stop by and pick it up quickly--and indeed, come launch time, the line moved fast as customers were ushered into a gauntlet of Apple Store employees (much like the iPhone launch in June) and directed straight to the cash registers when the doors opened at 6 p.m. (The
Some attempts to upgrade to Leopard were stymied after the installation process was almost complete and users attempted to restart their machines. A long thread on Apple's discussion forums outlined the problems, in which their Macs would get hung up on the initial boot screen. That screen happens to be blue, inviting comparisons to the infamous Windows "blue screen of death" encountered when Windows crashes.
There are dozens of important new features in Leopard, perhaps most notably the Time Machine application that could make it easier for users to back up and restore their files. Backing up your files is generally a simple exercise with a external hard drive, but Time Machine is interesting because of the friendly way in which it lets you restore files, flying back in time (and space) to the last instance in which that file was saved.