“Within the next two weeks, Google is expected to announce advanced software and services that would allow handset makers to bring Google-powered phones to market by the middle of next year, people familiar with the situation say.” (…)
“The Google-powered phones are expected to wrap together several Google applications — among them, its search engine, Google Maps, YouTube and Gmail email — that have already made their way onto some mobile devices.” (…)
“Developers could, for instance, more easily create services that take advantage of users’ Global Positioning System location, contact lists and Web-browsing habits. They also would be able to interact with Google Maps and other Google applications. The idea is that a range of new social networking, mapping and other services would emerge, just as they have on the open, mostly unfettered Web. Google, meanwhile, could gather user data to show targeted ads to cellphone users.” (…)
In related news, it looks like Google is the first choice among wireless developers for developing location-enhanced application.
In another related news, YellowPages.com (owned by AT&T) announced the release of a version of their site for the iPhone. According to iLounge, “the new web app can be used by visiting yellowpages.com on an iPhone or iPod touch”
What it means: if I read between the lines, I think Google is trying to get the better of Facebook via their mobile strategy. Google is clearly designing a mobile development platform that will include basic Google applications like search, video, maps and e-mail. Developers will be able to build additional features and functionalities on top of these building blocks (like Facebook apps). Combined with the GPS-enabled phones, you will truly be able to create local social networks.