Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Motorola Picks Skyhook Wireless for Location

Interesting how Motorola, for its Android phones, will mostly use Skyhook Wireless instead of Google: I've never understood why Google didn't buy Skyhook Wireless instead of building its location database. Google's data, in my various testing and in reports I've read, is far worse for location, possibly because Skyhook's been refining its algorithms for longer. Google picks up Wi-Fi data as it drives to record images for Street View, as far as I can tell; Skyhook seems to be focused on Wi-Fi, although the company collects cellular and other data, too.

If Google owned Skyhook, it would be the primary agent of Wi-Fi positioning data for Apple and a number of other companies, which might be a conflict.

The fact that Motorola is comfortable choosing a firm other than Google for a critical Android function is a nice demonstration of Google's intentional lack of control over Android. Google may be providing location data for free to handset makers and carriers; it's not clear.

Frontier Picks Aircell for In-Flight Service