Do you like Android? Want a look at the future of Android, and Google’s mobile strategy in general? Got about an hour and change in spare time? The sit back and watch Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt wax philosophical on the current state of mobile technology around the world, and where it’s going. Schmidt addressed Mobile World Congress at the pleasure of the GSMA yesterday as the keynote speaker, and while there wasn’t any earth-shattering reveal, it’s still worth your time if you want to delve deeper int Google’s motivations and goals for the platform.
Chrome takes a big part of the early section of Schmidt’s speech, with a demonstration from Hugo Barra. Clearly the recent release of Chrome for Android isn’t just a branding issue: there’s big plans for the browser, though unfortunately, it looks like it isn’t ever coming to pre-Ice Cream Sandwich versions of Android. Schmidt spends the majority of the rest of his time speaking about how mobile Internet access is both a boon and a liability to emerging markets, expounding on some interesting ideas about an emerging digital caste system… while taking some well-timed opportunities to hype up Android at the same time.
The juiciest part – from an Android fan’s perspective – is the question and answer section. Schmidt unveils the strategy for allowing Android to overtake the featurephone market and penetrate into still more areas, and how the acquisition of Motorola will affect both companies. One of the more fascinating revelations is that Schmidt isn’t particular bothered by Android forks – though he’d obviously be pleased if consumer forces drove more manufacturers to the Android Market. Oh, and Google has no intention of suing those who legitimately use Android… unlike some people.
That’s pretty much it for Mobile World Congress, folks. We’ll still be putting up a few more hands-on posts and other interesting tidbits over the next few days, but the big announcements and reveals are all over. We hope you had as much fun reading our coverage as we did writing it.