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It’s always been curious that Google’s Chrome browser wasn’t a standard offering on Android mobile devices. Being from the same parent company, many expected that Android and Chrome would somehow work together one day. It looks like that time has finally come, as Google software engineer Andrei Popescu revealed that the Android team will be working more closely with the WebKit developer community. It’s full of potential for Chrome’s impending presence on Android devices, granting even more points of integration around Google products.
Popescu details some of the reasons why Android and Chrome weren’t integrated before, noting that while Android has its own separate browser, it does share some code with Chrome. With two separate teams under the Google umbrella, it will be quite a process to eventually offer something coherent for developers, but it looks like an entirely new version of the Android browser will be available as an open source platform to build a new mobile WebKit-based browser. And it’s likely to be named Chromium.
The mobile browser isn’t the only area that Google is making more accessible to the developer community. Yesterday, Google released a preview version of an Android programming tool plug-in that supports apps for Google TV devices. It’s in preparation for the upcoming OS update for Honeycomb, which will deliver Google TV to Android devices. The promise for Android’s rising tablet market is high, as video streaming gains in popularity and Google strives to get a foothold in this particular market.
Microsoft quick to accuse Motorola of patent infringement too
Many believe that Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which manufactures set top boxes among other devices, will be another area of support for Google TV. But while there are a number of possible benefits surrounding Google’s latest buy, we all know it’s the patents that sealed the deal. Microsoft is already eyeing more patent infringement suits based on Motorola Mobility Android devices, requesting the International Trade Commission to put a halt on importing certain Motorola phones into the U.S. It’s the first case to be heard by the ITC since Google announced the Motorola acquisition, and already its plans for patent protection has caught a snag.
Group.me gives Skype another foothold on Android
While Microsoft continues to shake up Android’s global distribution, it may also find additional ways to avail from Android’s success. After Microsoft’s own acquisition of VoIP service Skype comes Skype’s plans to take in group messaging service GroupMe. The app is quite popular on Android, enabling free group texting and conference calling, harping on a trend that’s regained tremendous traction in recent months. GroupMe was one of the apps highlighted in a list of Google+ alternatives, pitting GroupMe against Google’s own social efforts to sustain group communications across a mobile platform.