Google Announces Android, Jumpstarting Potential Social Mobile Apps and Cheaper Handsets

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Nov 05, 2007

Google announced today Android and of the Open Handset Alliance, throwing wide open the field of mobile applications for commercial and social and civic causes and potentially much cheaper handsets that are especially important in developing countries. We here at think that this will spur developments for the social sector that are faster and cheaper -- an "Android for Good."

The Open Handset Alliance is a consortium of more than 30 tech and mobile companies and Android is its open platform. Google's support of the project and development of the new mobile app software stack that includes an operating system, moddleware and open applications development is significant and seen as a major competitor to other mobile platform providers such as Microsoft, RIM, and Symbian.

The new Android platform will be licensed open source via the Apache v2 license. Theis license does not require contributing back innoations to the open source community, allowing proprietary developers to keep their applications just that-proprietary. The Alliance announced that its first Software Development Kit (SDK) will be available on November 12, 2007.

So what does this mean for the 'mobile for good' field? We hope that this will spur development for more social applications and mashups as well as better distribution of these applications worldwide. For example, HiV Aids rapid information and testing services built on mobiles, climate and poluution monitoring applications, mobile information services that provide consumers with point-of-purchase environmental or other information services about products, mobile human rights monitoring applications, mobile social and organizing networks for trafficking or domestic abuse victims - the list of potential applications is as endless and varied as there are civil society causes. We envision an EPROM program for the social sector on speed with Android -- a rapid development platform AND distribution system that accelerates applications for good for the close to 3 billion mobile phones in the world.

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