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Google and Verizon have agreed to jointly develop Android handsets

Google has been successful with its new smartphone OS, Android. The OS got a slow start and had to fight through some growing pains, but has proven to be popular with smartphone users and phone manufacturers alike.

To get Android into the hands of even more users, Google and Verizon have announced a new agreement that will leverage the 3G network of Verizon with the Android OS to put new devices into the hands of Verizon customers faster.

"The nation's best wireless broadband network is a perfect complement to the innovation of Android-powered services and devices," said Lowell McAdam, chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless. "Together, we'll work to deliver a compelling new experience to our customers."

The agreement has both companies devoting substantial resources to jointly accelerate the delivery and development of handsets using Android and put unique applications into the hands of Verizon customers more quickly. The two firms will together create, market, and distribute products/services via both Google and Verizon distribution channels.

The products that come from the collaboration will be able to be purchased online and in Verizon retail stores. The Android-based handsets developed between the two firms will be pre-loaded with applications for both companies as well as third-party developers. Neither Google nor Verizon offered specific manufacturers for the devices resulting from the collaboration and only say they will be built by "leading manufacturers."

"The Android platform allows Verizon Wireless customers to experience faster and easier access to the web from any location," said Eric Schmidt, chairman and chief executive officer for Google. "Through this partnership, we hope to deliver greater innovation in the mobile space to consumers across the U.S."

Verizon and Google report that the agreement will come to fruition in the next few weeks as Verizon introduces new handsets running Android.a

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It has yet to be seen
By aebiv on 10/6/2009 10:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
So far I wouldn't call it popular by any stretch, as last time I saw it had less than 1% of the smartphone market.

Unless they have some amazing hardware, with VGA and above screens to put Android on soon, they aren't going to get much attention. In fact, with Google cracking down on modders of the Android ROM, they may get a backlash and never go anywhere with this project.

It was excited at first, but was really driven into the ground by how closed the OS was, and that now you have a heavy hand in the modding of the ROMs

RE: It has yet to be seen
By GreenEnvt on 10/6/2009 10:55:50 AM , Rating: 3
Google doesn't care about people making ROMS at all. Android is an open source OS. Google made it and spun it off to the 'Open Handset Alliance'.
You are free to modify it however you like.

What Google didn't like, and sent a cease/desist letter about, was the modder in question was also redistributing closed source Google applications (like Maps/gmail/market) along with the ROM.
He has agreed this is not OK to do, and his future roms will ship without the proprietary apps included. Users can backup those apps before installing a new ROM, then restore them after. It's a bit of a pain for users, but it satisfies the legal requirements.

It's exactly the same as Linux, it's open source, but many closed source apps for it are not included in the distro, you have to download/purchase those separately.

RE: It has yet to be seen
By aebiv on 10/6/2009 11:52:07 AM , Rating: 2
I understand that, but it is amazing how google cracked down on that, when Microsoft has turned a blind eye for years to modders doing that to their ROMs. You would think in interest of gaining popularity google would have let this slie for now.

RE: It has yet to be seen
By damianrobertjones on 10/6/2009 12:15:42 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, it is amazing, however, people will tutn a blind eye to that as Microsoft WinMobile isn't cool anymore while Android is.

A friend on the MR2 forum recently purchased an Android phone (previously had a winmob HTC) and he was amazed at how he could no longer perform simple tasks.

But... it's cool to have Android.

RE: It has yet to be seen
By aebiv on 10/6/2009 3:39:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I've known quite a few smartphone people who've gone back to WinMo simply due to the lack of flexibility and software for Android...

And I'm sorry, but the G1 or the myTouch hold nothing on the Touch Pro 2, or the Diamond 2

RE: It has yet to be seen
By GreenEnvt on 10/6/2009 4:24:29 PM , Rating: 3
Android does have a few massive holes in it right now.
One major one is Bluetooth. You can use a bluetooth headset, but that is about it.
I am building a Car-PC to handle handsfree calling, gps, music, movies etc...
My old Tytn2 worked fine for doing most of the needed functions, but my Android phone (magic), can't really do much of anything with it right now.
Hopefully that will come with the next major revision.

Lack of a good turn-by-turn GPS program is another. Google Maps doesn't do turn by turn (updating as you are moving), and requires a constant data connection to work. Telenav works for android, but it's a monthly subscription.

RE: It has yet to be seen
By bug77 on 10/6/2009 12:46:01 PM , Rating: 3
The real turn-off here is an argument about redistribution rights over an OS that was supposed to be completely open, yet still has to prove itself.

I myself was pretty excited about Android, but all that excitement vanished when I realized it's not really open when AT&T/Verizon/whoever gets to censor what I can and cannot do with it.

RE: It has yet to be seen
By aebiv on 10/6/2009 3:40:37 PM , Rating: 2
Would have been better to go with something like Opie as they ran on the Zaurus PDA's

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