The Google I/O developer conference may have finished, but the message to some of the biggest players in the industry is pretty clear: let's rumble.
The first target for Google is Apple. The iPhone and iPad have been enormous successes and helped make Apple one of the largest and richest companies in the world.
Google made it clear during the conference that it intends to shake things up in Apple's traditional markets.
The company laid out its roadmap for Android development for the next year and is promising features that Apple does not seem able to match at the moment. Android 3.1 is expected sooner rather than later for tablets, and Android will be back to a single platform for tablets and handsets by the end of the year.
On the hardware side, attendees were given a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10in tablet which will be out later in the year. In terms of hardware it is as good as the iPad in many respects, and Android is approaching iOS in terms of usability.
Meanwhile, the range of smartphones running Android continues to grow. Some 400,000 new handsets are activated daily, according to Google, and there are 4.5 billion mobile applications in use on the platform.
Android may be the most popular smartphone operating system in the world, but it is not the most desired and certainly not the most mature on the market. Apple scoops that prize, but Google is looking to get developers onside and is willing to change the market to do it.
Take, for example, the company's announcement that it will charge Chrome developers just five per cent of the gross for applications sales, compared with the 30 per cent that Apple set as the standard when it opened the market, a commission structure others have followed.
The move is a canny one. Apple is coming under increasing criticism for its policy of taking a 30 per cent cut of everything that comes through the App Store, and some companies are saying they cannot compete if Apple takes all their margins.
The company has proved utterly inflexible on the arrangement, and the move by Google is the opening salvo in a price war that could see a huge shift in developer focus.
Google is also taking on Apple in the music sphere with the beta launch of a cloud music storage system. Having used it for a day or so the jury is still out; it certainly does a lot of the things that iTunes does, with the bonus of being device-independent and requiring no cables or synchronisation.
The company has also tied up deals with major studios to allow movies to be rented on YouTube and Android, which is another important revenue area for Apple. But before you think this is all about Steve Jobs, Google has other targets in its sights.
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