In a world where HD screens, quad-core processors and 4G radios are becoming the norm in our pockets, one must wonder where it all started. It’s widely known that Android itself was very similar to RIM’s BlackBerry in its early days, but just how similar? The Verge has now uncovered information on one of Google’s first attempts at a Google Phone back in 2006, as revealed by the ongoing battle between Google, and Java creator Oracle.
Everything is focused on touchscreens now. Even BlackBerry’s, once known for their use of trackballs and trackpads, have converted over to the touchscreen. Tablets feature large touchscreens, and there are even PCs with 20+” touchscreens. They’re common in today’s world, but think back 6 years. At that time, touchscreens were inaccurate and unreliable, using resistive technology. In fact, the only smartphones around were either BlackBerrys, or ran Windows Mobile. Back in 2006, Android was the same way. The only navigation requirement was two soft menu keys. That’s right, touchscreens weren’t even in the plans.
As far as hardware, the original specifications for a Google Phone required a 200MHz processor, 64MB of RAM and ROM, GSM, miniSD card slot (no, not micro), QVGA resolution, Bluetooth 1.2 and 2MP camera with shutter button. Remember, this is 2006, long before the age of 1GHz+ processors and large amounts of RAM. Google is said to have had test units running on a TI OMAP processors, in 3 different form factors. QWERTY keyboards obviously played a large role here, as they were one of the main features of smartphones at the time.
Android was at its earliest stages at the time, but Google still had the home screen, messaging and MMS, an early version of their WebKit-based browser, Gmail, Google Talk, Calendar and POP email. Impressive for such an early point in the operating system, and it just shows how much it has evolved over the years.
When Apple’s iPhone released, it seems that Google went back to the drawing board, upgraded Android, and came up with the G1. It’s been a long journey for Google’s little green robot, and today is one of the first chances we have had to see its origins.
via The Verge