Google Tried To Convince Nokia To Adopt Android

Google “certainly tried,” without success, to convince Nokia to convert to Android rather than Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system. That’s the picture painted by Google CEO Eric Schmidt Tuesday in a keynote address at the Mobile World Congress currently in Barcelona, Spain. Schmidt said Google “would have loved Nokia to choose Android and we certainly tried.” He added that, if the Microsoft-Nokia collaboration doesn’t work out, “the offer remains open for the future.” **‘Fastest Growing Mobile Platform’** In a bombshell announcement, Nokia said last week that it is moving from its Symbian operating system to Microsoft’s new and fledging mobile platform. Symbian is consistently rated as the number-one smartphone platform in global market share, but it has been slipping as Nokia encountered heavy competition from Apple’s iOS and Google’s open-source Android. Schmidt also was, understandably, bullish on Android’s growth. He noted that the OS is seeing more than 300,000 activations daily, and he described it as “the fastest-growing mobile platform in the world.” He also discussed a topic that he has frequently brought up, sometimes with repercussions — privacy in the digital age. He told the conference, as he has said on other occasions, that, in the future, one is never lost, never lonely, never bored, and “never out of ideas” because of ubiquitous connectivity that is aware of individuals’ personal situation and preferences. Schmidt articulated Google’s argument — the more a user shares personal information, the better and more autonomous information retrieval can be. Personalized search was emphasized by Schmidt as a way to add new value to the user, a theme he has also discussed on other occasions. Of course, personalized search also adds value to Google’s highly targeted — and lucrative — advertising. **Android Fragmentation?** His presentation included a new video-editing Android app, called Movie Studio, designed for tablets with 3.0 Honeycomb versions of the OS, such as Motorola’s Xoom and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1. The application’s features include zooming, panning and quick sharing on Google-owned YouTube. Schmidt was asked about the dangers of Android fragmenting into platforms from specific manufacturers, each of whom can customize how their devices use the OS. Schmidt said an anti-fragmentation clause in the vendor agreement requires support for certain APIs, which helps maintain a consistent functional platform. The penalty for not supporting APIs, he noted, would be an inability to fully utilize apps from the Android Market. There’s also a fragmentation of types of Android, with version 2.3, known as Gingerbread, for smartphones; version 3.0 or Honeycomb for tablets; and the Chrome OS for netbooks. Schmidt replied that a new Android, to be released in about six months, will combine 2.3 and 3.0. In keeping with Google’s convention of naming the releases after desserts in alphabetical order, the next one is rumored to be Ice Cream Sandwich.