Editor's Corner: Google's Mobile Plans

"Google watching" is a pretty common hobby for technology writers (see The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and The Washington Post), but Google's mobile plans deserve a second look.

It's no secret that Google has big plans for the mobile Web. "Internet access via mobile telephony will have such an important part to play in helping close the knowledge divide between rich and poor... Mobile is going to be the next big Internet phenomenon." CEO Eric Schmidt wrote last week.

Google's mobile offering already includes mobile mapping, email, news and IM, along with weather, movie times and other data via SMS. The company also recently beefed up its mobile RSS reader (detailed review), no doubt looking to steal some users away from Bloglines. Google also benefits from some homegrown mobile apps, thanks to its open APIs. GCalSync is a J2ME to synchronize Google Calendar data with the built-in calendar on many popular cell phones. If the company wasn't planning on offering that as an official feature before, I bet they are now.

Now on to the fun stuff. Rumored additions to Google's lineup include an m-wallet/payment system, mobile AdSense advertising and voice-recognition mobile search. Google is also rumored to be working on mobile Web browser. The company has already acquired mobile browser maker ReqWireless, and according to months-old rumors, is considering acquiring Opera Software, too. - Eli