Here’s an interesting little clip, admittedly very fuzzy and of no proven pedigree. But it purports to show you a demo of the HTC Dream, a new phone being built on the Google Android platform and slated for release in the US late this year. HTC is claiming it will be the first Android phone to reach market. Its 5″ x 3″ touchscreen, internet-friendly controls, and full Qwerty keyboard make it an interesting candidate for eBook reading, too. The open source FBReader ebook reader is being developed for this platform and no doubt others will also appear. Certainly, in the multi-functional platform stakes (as opposed to dedicated ebook readers such as Kindle), the new generation of phones using Google’s Android platform look like a welcome addition.
BTW, take at look at this video from Google which demos some Android features and applications from Google, especially Google Maps and StreetView, its new 360 deg location pictures, coming Downunder soon. Android is an open platform so Google is hoping there will be plenty of third party applications and, certainly, it looks pretty good – probably good enough to hold off on my iPhone purchase. Google is sponsoring a developer competition with US$10 million in prizes to spur third party development. I note, though, that there are no ebook readers in the first list of winning apps though, as noted, there’ll be at least one in the form of the FBReader which has already released an early (0.2) beta version. See some screenshots here.