A few days ago, David argued that Google's now-approved purchase of Motorola will change the Android game. Hell, that much should really be pretty obvious - they now have access to virtually every piece of the smartphone puzzle in their hands. At first thought, that seems like a good idea for reasons that are probably obvious to most people reading an Android blog: a more pure Android experience.
Google and Oracle have been going at it for weeks now over both patent and copyright infringement claims made by the latter company. At least one issue is settled, though, as the jury on the case has decided that Google did not infringe any of Oracle's patents with Android. This is only a small part of Oracle's assault on Google. The larger issue is on the matter of copyright infringement, but at least on the patent issue, Google seems to be in the clear.
Today, Google announced that its acquisition of Motorola Mobility had officially closed. Make no mistake, this merger is something of a shotgun arrangement - and the offspring conceived out of wedlock is Android. So, how did we get here, two and a half years after the first DROID?
A Brief History Of Motorola And Android
Motorola was once Google's model manufacturer partner. At least in the US, it produced what was the most popular "first generation" Android smartphone, the original Motorola DROID.
When we last heard about Google's deal to buy Motorola, the EU and the US had approved the deal. The one major market we were left waiting on is China and now, according to the Associated Press (known around here as "the other AP"), the country's regulators have given Google the green light. The deal is now expected to close next week.
The biggest asset of the deal is, of course, Motorola's 17,000+ patents.
In case the parade of trade shows and device announcements in the first half of the year aren't enough to keep you excited, Google I/O stands as the centerpiece of Android and Google hype. If you're just too eager to see what's going to happen late this June, then here's something to whet your appetite: The Google I/O schedule is now live at Google's developer site.
The schedule includes information for all tracks, including Android, Chrome, Google TV, YouTube, and all your other favorite Google products.
This is the sort of quasi-rumor (it's fairly detailed and comes from the Wall Street Journal, so we're inclined to trust it) that makes me happy to be an Android fan.
According to the WSJ, Google is in cahoots with up to five device manufacturers to provide early access to the next iteration of the Android OS (Jelly Bean, we assume) so it can have an entire "portfolio" of Nexus devices ready by Thanksgiving - that's late November for those without turkey day.
A new version of the Android Play Store (formerly Android Market) with version 3.5.19 is now rolling out, replacing 3.5.16. We haven't seen a new Play Store for over a month, but what changes it contains compared to its predecessor is not clear at the moment. I've examined all the menus I could think of and didn't find anything new, so improvements are either under-the-hood or so subtle it'll take a whole AP community to find them.