This week the long-awaited Google Phone produced by HTC was approved by the American FCC commission for use in the United States. This means that commercialization might start as early as October this year.
I thought that was a good idea to write a short post about it because we reached a critical mass of demos and applications circulating the Net. Google philosophy is clear and it is opposite of that of Apple or Nokia: using open-sources solutions and leveraging on open source movements to create the critical ecology around their product.
They also pulled together a nice team of designers, who released a clever sets of features for the interface. This phone will integrate nicely Google’s product that we use and love, like gMaps, gMail and so on. However it will also provide new experience opportunities for the users. For instance, the HTC device should incorporate a compass that should allow an augmented reality experience of gMaps’ Street View. Turning around the device should adapt the view of the map so to that the virtual experience will closely resemble and adapt the virtual experience. Plus the application will overlay the names of the streets to the view, giving useful information to the user.
The gPhone is also full of clever UI features that are going to make the user experience both richer and simpler. For instance, access to notifications was aggregated in a single part of the interface: a pull-down tile on the menu bar.
In sum, I am looking forward to put my hands on the first commercial model and make a full review of the system. For now, I celebrate to what resembles to be clever design decisions.