Making the Google Phone, OpenSocial connection

The Google killer app everyone missed: Social mobility

Everyone is talking about two big Google projects: The long-awaited Google Phone, and the new OpenSocial initiative. Each is cool, but combined, well, they're going to change everything.

The Google Phone

The gadget blogs are buzzing this week over photos showing a Google Phone like the one posted on the Mobile Magazine blog.

Whether these pictures have anything to do with Google's big phone project remains to be seen. The company will likely reveal all in two or three weeks. The announcement may include specific deals with carriers and handset makers, and it will definitely involve a new platform: probably Java on Linux.

Whatever the Google Phone project entails, you can be sure it will improve the experience of using Google applications from a cell phone -- applications like Gmail, Maps, Search, Docs and YouTube, for example.

OpenSocial

This week, Google rolled out its OpenSocial initiative and announced an impressive list of companies supporting it. MySpace, Orkut, Friendster, Six Apart, Bebo, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Ning, Hi5, Viadeo, Flixster, iLike, RockYou and Slide have pledged support, as have Oracle and Salesforce.com.

OpenSocial is based on three APIs that enable outside JavaScript access to the following information inside a compatible social network or other kind of Web site: Profiles, Friends and Activities. Developers can create widgets that work across social networks.

If you watch carefully, you can see eyes glazing over at the news of APIs and partnerships. But OpenSocial will be very exciting to users once the widgets hit the fan.

In a nutshell, OpenSocial is likely to mainstream social networking and transform it from mostly gossipy online graffiti for teenagers into a super powerful and automated way for everyone to communicate with the people they care about.

OpenSocial widgets will be able to generate "activity streams," for example -- constantly updating lists of events generated collectively by family, friends and colleagues.

These can be combined, presorted and configured. As a result, you'll be able to use just about any social networking site to remain "in the loop" to an unprecedented degree based on the activities of others on dozens or hundreds of other sites.

Social networking in general and OpenSocial in particular remind me a lot of the blogging phenomenon over the past eight years. It started out as frivolous and confusing to the lay public, but evolved quickly into something important that changed everything.

Put them together, and ...

News about OpenSocial and speculation about the Google Phone project are interesting enough on their own. But more interesting still is how these two major initiatives are connected.

In an article about the Google Phone project, The Wall Street Journal quoted Google CEO Eric Schmidt this week as saying that "the new model of these phones is going to be person-to-person," with people exchanging videos and other types of data.

Schmidt is talking about mobile social networking.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mike Elgan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?