Google Nov. 5 partnered with Best Buy to let the retailer install Google Mobile applications on smartphones that it sells to consumers right in the store.
Google Mobile App is a free mobile application users can download to their smartphone to Google Search by voice, use Google Search with My Location and access other Google apps, such as Google Maps, YouTube and Gmail, with one click.
While smartphone users can download Google Mobile App themselves from m.google.com, some people run into problems because they don’t have the right handset or data plan.
Beginning Nov. 9, sales associates for Best Buy Mobile will install Google Mobile App on all BlackBerry, Microsoft Windows Mobile and Nokia S60 smartphones through the Walk Out Working program, a free in-store smartphone setup. Google has more information about this offer on its new Best Buy partner Website here.
Some might wonder why neither Google nor Best Buy made any such pledge for Android-powered phones, such as the Motorola Droid or HTC Eris from Verizon Wireless, both of which the retailer is heavily promoting. Best Buy Mobile last week began taking preorders for the Droid.
In a bit of idiosyncrasy only common in the wireless application market, a Google spokesperson told eWEEK that Google Mobile App isn’t available on Android-powered devices, so there is nothing for Best Buy to help customers install on their new Droids or Eris phones.
However, most of the Google Mobile App features, such as Google Search by voice, Google Search with My Location and Google Suggest, are already part of the platform. For example, Google Search is available right on the home screen of Android-powered devices via the search widget.
Now, as to why Best Buy isn’t supporting Google Mobile App on the iPhone, it’s because there is no Google Mobile App for the iPhone. iPhone supports Google Search, Search by voice and Google Maps, but not the total Google Mobile App package.
Interestingly, the Google spokesperson also declined to answer why Google Mobile App is also missing action on Apple’s iPhone. This is no doubt that it is due to some of the competitive fire that exists between the companies. Apple rejected Google Voice from its iPhone App Store and made Google create a Web app version of Google Latitude for the iPhone.
“We hope the program will support other devices in the future, but we have nothing to announce at this time,” the Google spokesperson added.
If only someday Best Buy will have the opportunity to help customers install Google Mobile App on the iPhone and Android devices, the offer will look a lot nicer.