Wednesday 17 January 2018

Google Android users to get iPhone-style speaker docks

The Philips Fidelio for Android AS111
The Philips Fidelio for Android AS111

Matt Warman

Google Android users are to be offered speaker systems that feature iPhone-style dock connectors by the Dutch electronics giant Philips.

The "Fidelio" devices will allow users of the popular Android operating system to play their music back directly through speakers, rather than having to plug their phones in via cables.

Docks for the Apple iPod have become increasingly common in hotel rooms as well as users’ homes, but Android’s rising popularity now means more users are also storing music on their mobile phone.

Google has been encouraging third-party manufacturers to support its Android platform through additional accessories for a number of years, but the prevalence of Apple’s iPod and the variations in mobile phone design have not made it economically viable.

Increasingly, however, mobile manufacturers are standardising their products to feature a single micro-USB port in the centre of devices’ bottom edges. This is allowing more widely-compatible accessories, such as docks, to be produced. Philips' range features movable ports, so that phones can be attached and positioned correctly if their USB port is not in the middle or on the bottom, and to allow the phone's touchscreen to always be facing outwards.

Some manufacturers, however, such as Motorola, have already produced entire ranges of docks for their own mobile phones, which can then be plugged into hi-fi equipment.

The top-of-the-range Philips Android Fidelio dock, called the AS851 has a 30W total output power. Philips also announced it is to make an MP3 player based on Android, called the GoGear Connect.

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