Google Preps Its Answer to the iPhone

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google wants to take on the iPhone.

As of today, Internet giant Google has received approval from the Federal Communications Commission to develop a mobile device based on the company’s mobile operation and development platform, Android.

Launched last November, Android brought together more than 30 tech companies to develop software for it in a loose organization called the Open Handset Alliance.

Charter members of the Open Handset Alliance included HTC, Motorola, T-Mobile, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Intel, Texas Instruments, SiRF Technology Holdings, Marvell Technology Group, Nvidia and Synaptics. EBay (which owns the Internet calling service Skype) and Nuance Communications.

Google's agreement with the FCC asked for a Nov. 10 release date, but the phone may hit the market sooner. In any event, online reports agree that the new phone will reach stores in time for the holidays, and that T-Mobile will bring the device to consumers.

The phone will include a touch screen, wi-fi compatibility, a BlackBerry-style mouseball, a full Web browser like the iPhone's Safari, as well as other signature Google applications like Gmail, Google Maps and YouTube.

In anticipation of the product launch, and in response to the success of Apple's App Store, Google has already unveiled a software development kit for the Android platform.

The software development kit is in a beta release. Enterprising webmasters who want to try their hand at developing applications for the Android platform should be aware that there are still a lot of bugs.

To download the software development kit, visit Google.com.

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