Google unveiled the much-anticipated G1 Phone powered by its Android 1.0 operating system. WiFi, 3G, touch screen plus hidden keyboard, push Gmail, 3 megapixel, Amazon-powered MP3s, a light version of the new browser Chrome. The G1, made by the Taiwanese HTC, costs $179 and will be available on T-Mobile, October 22nd.
The Android platform will be open by the end of the year, and everyone will be free to adopt and adapt the technology as they see fit, Google explains. “By doing so, we hope that users will get better, more capable phones with powerful web browsers and access to a rich catalogue of innovative mobile applications.” Users will have the ability to customize their phones with their favorite functions.
Like the iPhone, Google will include an applications store, called the Android Marketplace, where the owner of the G1 and future Android-powered phones will be able to download those programs.
Google makes the Android software available for free to carriers and handset makers who want to use it to power their own devices. Google hopes that many will choose to do so, populating the market with mobile phones that have easy access to Google’s services. Just as it does on the PC-based Internet, Google hopes to earn money from advertising.
“We want people out there to use the Internet on their phones a lot,” Sergin Brin, co-founder of Google, said in an interview. “It actually doesn’t matter if it is Android, the iPhone or something else.”
Will the G1 take on the iPhone? What is sure is the growing use of the Internet on the go. And therefore mobile application development will soon be a very big business, and we’ll be seeing very interesting local applications coming our way.
Social media and citizen journalism now on your iPhone
Mobile devices are clearly the platform for citizen newsgathering, and an iPhone application is a logical funnel. Soon people will be able to broadcast anything live from the street; in a way, individuals will become walking televisions.
Last week, CBS Mobile released its EyeMobile iPhone application, making CBS the first broadcast network to launch an application enabling users to become personal broadcasters as they upload, view and comment on photos and videos live, from anywhere.
The EyeMobile application is available, free of charge, at the iTunes App Store.
The EyeMobile application offers the full functionality of CBSEyeMobile.com which launched earlier this year. Using the iPhone camera, users can capture and upload photos to the CBS EyeMobile site where they can view and rate reports and interact with other EyeMobile on-the-go journalists.
After submitting information, EyeMobile application users can update their report, track the report’s number of views, and engage in discussions with members of the EyeMobile community.
A public relations Internet TV channel to promote drilling in Texas
Financed by an energy company of Oklahoma City, a group of seasoned journalists have created Shale.TV, an Internet video site devoted to a rock formation, Barnett Shale, lying under northern Texas and rich in natural gas.
“Through a combination of live talk/interview shows and interactive and archived content, we hope to provide thorough, accurate and independent information about the complex issues and opportunities of developing natural gas domestically”.
The Barnett Shale’s gas has enriched those who allow drilling rigs but also led to complaints about noise, truck traffic, and fear of billowing fireballs.
Very smartly Chesapeake Corporation, who owns a big share of Shale.TV, say that reporters have free rein to cover the industry, warts and all. “We expect nothing less than for them to be objective.”
ABC.com updates its award winning video player
ABC.com has rolled out some updated features for its award winning video player, from true full-screen viewing, parental ratings for new content and closed-captioning to embedding functionality.
The revamped player is part of a larger update that also included a new short-form video player. Both the full-episode player and the short-form video player include built-in content recommendations, the ability to share clips via e-mail and enhanced integration with social networking sites.
In addition, ABC is releasing more than 180 episodes of 15 different programs available via ABC.com, affiliate sites, portals, video-aggregator sites, and social networking sites using the ABC.com Full Episode Widget.
Since the previous generation of the player launched in 2006, more than 441 million episodes have been initiated and more than 1 billion ads served.
AP quits Microsoft video technology
The AP’s Online Video Network, which powers online video on 2,100 affiliate sites in the US, many of them newspapers, has switched technology providers from Microsoft to ThePlatform, an industry leader in the broadband video management and publishing market, which is a subsidiary of Comcast.
In addition to offering enhanced content, AP will offer network affiliates for the first time a fully embeddable video player for video destination pages. The new system will also support higher video quality.
"The new version of the network will make it easier for our affiliates to incorporate compelling news video on their Web sites," said AP. "As video becomes the storytelling medium of choice on the Internet, we’re improving the content as well as the technical environment."
AP, as the world’s largest newsgathering organization, draws on its worldwide staff of journalists to create authoritative video clips of international and national events, entertainment, sports, and business news.
(The AP Online Video Network is an ad-supported news video service that draws on the global newsgathering resources of The Associated Press and its network of members and customers in the United States to provide video summaries of breaking news stories for Web sites).
It is hard to beat the Hulu or Netflix experience for computer-based viewing, and the iTunes experience for downloading video, but Amazon Video on Demand service is going to try it.
Amazon offers streams of TV shows and movies that can be either rented or bought. Those movies can also be ported to TiVo or Windows PC. This idea comes after Amazon Unbox downloading service.
NBC continues putting TV shows online before premiers
For the third consecutive year, NBC is making new series available online a week before their network premiers. You can find series like “Knight Rider”, “Chuck”, “My Worst Enemy” and “30 Rock”, among others, everywhere you look: NBC Website, iTunes, Amazon’s Unbox, Xbox, Zune, Hulu, and through TV providers such as Comcast, Cox, Charter, Dish, and Verizon FIOS.
“We want to make programs available in as many ways as we can so can get fans”, NBC’s marketing boss says.
Experts don’t agree weather NBC’s early-release strategy helps or hurts a show’s chance for success. It can build positive word of mouth or it can spread the news that a show is a dog.
TheWB.com video site resurrects WB television brand
Warner Brothers is turning on TheWB.com, resurrecting its defunct WB television brand. This video site is rich on content of old programs such as “Friends”, “The OC”, “Veronica Mars”, or “Gilmore Girls”. It will also feature a number of made for the Web programs.
TheWB.com features an interface that needs a bit of work. It does not have the clean, easy to navigate interface of Hulu, its immediate competitor.
Blogs geo-located in free maps
Neighborhood blogs are becoming more and more attractive for media companies as well as advertisers. Therefore, interesting tools are being offered. A good sample is Outside.in, which launched a toolkit for geo-tag the posts, as well as a map that plots most recent stories by location.
Politico.com provides news stories and shares revenues
The new politics site Politico.com has teamed with Adify ad management platform to share its online and in print reporting for newspaper with a revenue share. Some news outlets are cancelling their AP service, and at the same time adopting this new idea. Rather than having to pay for a wire service to get political news, papers like Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Denver Post and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, get the benefit of using Politico’s contents while making money on ads they don’t have to sell.
The Politico.com Network will sell national advertising to be placed on partners’ website, and revenue from those ads will be shared between Poliitico and the media outlets.
Multi-stream broadcast for NFL
In the first regular season NFL broadcasted on NBC as well as streamed live on NBCSports.com. You can select from four different camera angles, track live stats, submit questions and even watch replays along the way. Here is a sample .
TV will work like the Web. The future of television will be “Personal TV”, and it will be delivered on-demand in a web-like experience with targeted advertising based on location and behavior. This is what is said in a new report from Forrester Research.
Also it answers the question why is it talking so long. Forrester blames the TV landscape: networks, studios, local TV stations, cable & satellite providers, agencies, syndicators and technology companies. “Cable companies didn’t build-out video on-demand as an ad-supported platform, networks protected the lucrative status quo and agencies didn’t push for innovation”. Forrester sets the transition date to “personal TV” sometime between 2012 and 2018.
Here is the executive summary of Forrester’s report:
“TV advertising has been suffering from media fragmentation and ad skipping. Under pressure from advertisers, traditional television networks finally team up with cable multiple system operators (MSOs) and telco services to build a modern ad-supported television delivery system called Personal TV.
“It will serve non-skippable, interactive targeted ads to the set-top box (STB) and insert them at runtime in both linear and video on demand (VOD) programs. Advertisers will use the system to send interactive ads just to their target consumers or to address a mass audience by inserting an ad at the same time in many different programs at a certain time of day.”
“The benefit for viewers is a free VOD system. The full industry shift to Personal TV will take a decade, but given the impact of this system on media strategy and planning, marketing leaders should start today by joining one of the experiments.”
Forrester lays out a decade-long evolution that will ultimately result in most programming delivered on-demand with a portal-like menu of programming options and search functions. It would allow advertisers to reach mass audiences in a targeted manner.
Google challenges Microsoft with a new browser called Chrome
Google launched on Tuesday Chrome, “a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer and easier”. It’s currently available only for Windows XP and Vista. Mac and Linux version are being developed. Downloading process is being very problematic these days.
Google posted a “comic book”, in order to explain the development process, which took one year. There Google argues that “the Web has evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser.”
Chrome challenges openly Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (73 percent of the browser market), Firefox (19 percent), and Apple’s Safari (6 percent, plus the iPhone and iPod Touch mobile market). Last week Microsoft released a new version, IE8.
Google is increasingly competing with Microsoft in software that handles basic productivity like word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and e-mail programs. Google’s Web-based software is low-cost or free.
Chrome is also be able to run in a privacy mode, InCognito, so that no information about a person’s browsing is collected. Microsoft’s IE8 has also a privacy mode of browsing, called InPrivate.
Chrome has no status bar, no menu bar and only a single toolbar for bookmarks. There’s no way to e-mail a Web page, o full-screen mode, no way to magnify the page. This initial version is labeled “beta”, meaning it is still in testing. (Gmail, four year-old is still in beta).
iPods on Campus: Four Universities rush to buy Apple devices for students
Some universities are providing Apple iPhones and iPod Touch to students. It allows universities to foster a cutting-edge reputation.
For example Abilene Christian University in Texas has bought more than 600 iPhones and 300 iPods for students. Three more institutions –the University of Maryland, Oklahoma Christian University and Freed-Hardeman- have announced the same. Other universities are exploring their options. Stanford University has hired a student-run company to design applications like a campus map and directory for the iPhone.
At each college, the students who choose to get an iPhone must pay for mobile phone service. However, Internet through campus wireless networks allows students to be connected for free.
Some teachers are concerned about the distractions these devices might cause to their students. If they are multitasking, they are less likely to participate in class. There are teachers who have ban laptops from their class.
Easing concerns, it is mention the case of Duke University, when years ago it began giving iPods (old models with no Internet access) to students with the idea that they might use them to record lectures. Students used the iPods to create their own content, making audio recordings of themselves and presenting them.