Saturday, January 26, 2008

The BlackBerry Pearl is Android 0.8

So now I realize (see especially) what Google's been doing while they neglect Blogger, Google Apps, and most of their non-search properties.

They've been putting all their energy into mobile computing.

Yes, we all know about Google Android.

What I've not read is that the BlackBerry Pearl is a kind of Android 0.8 alpha. Interesting, since RIM is definitely not part of the Open Handset Alliance. Coopetition - at best.

I'd written elsewhere ....
Gordon's Tech: Nokia 6555b: the pleasant surprise, and its iSync Plug-in

...We've turned Emily's Blackberry Pearl into a proto-Android, and it works pretty well that way. So we have a data phone with Google Maps, Google Talk, Google Mail and some other odd Google things....
I've gone a bit further since doing that, including a visit to the Google BlackBerry mobile page and building a personal Google page for Emily's Blackberry. It all comes together in an interesting way.

Not that there aren't rough edges! Google has two parallel identity management systems -- one through Google App (like our family domain) and the well known Gmail network. In general the Google App services are one generation behind the Gmail services -- and poorly integrated at that. You can get the Gmail app for a family domain, but you can't get the personalized mobile search home page ( (I think it's also true that you can't embed a widget for the family domain Gmail app on a the personalized search page.)

My workaround for now has been to make my wife's family domain login the "email address" for a Gmail-suite account -- but without actually enabling a Gmail account! set. So she can use the mobile home page and a mixture of Gmail-class and Google-Apps class services on her BlackBerry.

Ok, so it's a bleedin' mess. Still, the result is the closest thing to Android available today. An interesting glimpse of what's ahead.

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