Google announces Nexus S iPhone rival
Google’s second foray into the mobile phone market offers ‘Pure Google’ experience with Samsung
Google has announced a new mobile phone that includes a curved high resolution display, voice activation and "near field communication" that could eventually replace a credit card.
The voice features are currently available mainly to American customers only, but include options allowing users, for instance, to simply say “Set the alarm for 8.30” rather than use a series of menus to get to common functions.
The Nexus S has been developed with Samsung and will be on sale later this month.
It is the first device to use the latest version of Google’s Android mobile phone operating system, called Gingerbread, which also includes support for internet phone calls and significantly improved battery life.
It can also be used as a remote control for YouTube and other websites supported by Google, as well as the company’s own Google TV platform, which is currently available in America.
The phone is the first major upgrade to Google’s range since Apple launched the iPhone 4, and only the second time Google has launched an own-brand phone.
The Nexus One, its predecessor, was praised by critics but did not sell well because it was only available online.
The company is marketing the phone as a “pure Google” experience because it will only be available unlocked, allowing customers to use it on any network.
Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt had previewed the phone last month, and said that the “near field communication chip” could in due course become an industry standard. Currently, however, the Nexus S is the only mainstream handset to feature the technology in America or Europe.
Google announced that its mobile platform now has over 100,000 apps, and had added 50,000 since May. Apple currently offers more than 300,000 apps.