The simmering war between Apple and Google is entering into the mobile app theater. We will all be the better for it.
How quickly will today's 75,000 or so apps grow to 750,000?
With Thursday's introduction of the Motorola Cliq, Google's Android mobile operating system is emerging as the closest competitor to Apple's iPhone platform. While far from a head-to-head race, Android's emergence relegates platforms for BlackBerry, Nokia, Palm and other devices to the back of the pack. Android, which powers devices across multiple cellular carriers and has the muscle of Google behind it, will influence how we consume and interact with our apps moving forward.
Some notable Cliq features that advance the app envelope:
- Apps are open and already running on your device home page. No need to open and close each app, which is required by iPhone.
- The MOTOBLUR social component of the device enables you to interact with contacts you have on Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and MySpace.
- The device comes pre-loaded with YouTube, Shazam, Last.fm and the Amazon MP3 Store.
- You can bet that it will only get easier to browse Google as well as download and enjoy Google-developed apps from this and other Android devices in the months and years ahead.
While Cliq by itself is significant (and possibly a do or die release from struggling Motorola), the real story here is that consuming media on the go is now the standard no matter if you own an iPhone or not.
Millions of T-Mobile (which will have three Android models) and Sprint (one) customers who were resistant to purchasing an iPhone will now be able to enjoy a rich (if not fully complete) app experience before we even get into the holiday season. Those just joining the party will be able to play around with the more than 10,000 apps already available by Android, and no doubt by hungry for more.
Will Apple offer a counter move? Will the constraints of the AT&T network combined with meaningful competition from Android bring the iPhone to multiple carriers? When that happens, how quickly will today's 75,000 or so apps grow to 750,000? In that not-too-distant future, you will really need a way to find the mobile apps you love.