Weekend roundup: Google’s CEO, Motorola set top box, GiiNii, IceCondor

April 20, 2009

image_84In this roundup we have the beat on Google executives answering questions during the company’s April 16 earnings call, information on the Android OS and netbooks (in context of Symbian too), some updates on the GiiNii Movit Mini Android PMP, and the debunking of Motorola’s Android set-top-box. Ready? Go!

It was clear to those who read the minutes or even attended Google’s April 16 earnings call that the rising commercial giant took this time to chat about the expansion of Android in general, but also physically onto netbooks too. Overall, Q1 of 2009 saw the company squeeze out a small amount of growth and profit. To be specific, the company’s net profit came in at $1.42 billion, or $4.49 a share. Obviously some of this share price growth is thanks to Android, and when you control for the economic conditions, this small achievement can be magnified many times. It turns out that Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, was Schmidtten smitten too:

“Overall, it looks like Android is going to have a very, very strong year…We are already aware of many, many uses of Android, which as you know is open source, where literally the devices we hear about near the announcements, so the open source part of the strategy is working.”

So what about all this talk of Android on netbooks? It’s a hot topic but should be put into context. Android is a young OS. This works in two ways; there is plenty of time to shape it into something wonderful, but it’s immature at the same time, unable to support true desktop or even netbook productivity in its current state. Let us not forget that Symbian has also escaped from the mobile phone and had been ported to an Intel Atom motherboard. Plenty of people outside the Android community are equally psyched about this, and it reminds us that as Android fans, great things are happening elsewhere too. Bringing it back to Schmidt, here is what he had to say on the topic:

“On the netbook side, there are a number of people who have actually taken Android and ported it over to netbook or netbook-similar devices… So we think that’s another one of the great benefits of the open source model that we’ve used. We’re excited that that investment is occurring.”

Many of you will also be aware that Schmidt suggested that more announcements regarding Android and hardware are forthcoming. What this means specifically is rather hard to say.  Are Google releasing something? Unlikely. But isn’t it annoying when CEOs are not more specific?!

Moving begrudgingly on, Motorola released a press statement debunking rumours that the “au BOX” will be running Android. In our post on ‘Android and the CE’, we touched on this, although the au BOX was not the focus of the article.

Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) would like to clarify that contrary to some recent reports, the set tops supplied to KDDI by Motorola to deliver the operator’s “au BOX” service are not based on Android. The platform used is in fact Motorola’s KreaTV platform for set tops which is based on Linux and there are no plans to produce an Android-based version.

Glad that is cleared up! But staying in the theme of new Android devices, GiiNii recently confirmed that there Movit will be out in October this year, slightly behind the original quote. The Movit sports Android and includes WiFi for its primary form of connectivity, along with support for Skype so you can make carrier independent calls when in any WiFi hotspot. This is made possible by the built in microphone and speaker or the Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity for a headset. If you feel so inclined, you can also use the camera as a webcam. Initially sporting a 4.3’’ touch-screen at 480 x 272 resolution, a 7’’ version will be available next year. We really like the sound of this thing (and not just because it is running Android).

That about wraps up the Roundup, but to leave you with something to do, check out IceCondor. As an application mashup, it allows you to follow people and events in real-time from multiple services. It grabs data from Brightkite, Shizzow, Upcoming and others. Think RSS feeds and maps.

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