Google mobs Mobile World Congress

Google “hearts mobile” was the message delivered by the firm’s CEO at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Eric Schmidt said mobile would be a core priority for his giant search behemoth going forward and that he had already allocated his best boffins to the job, programming away to make the wireless world a more googly place.

It would also appear that Google has dropped its old mantra of “Don’t be evil” with Schmidt declaring Google’s new mantra was “Mobile First” – which is rather more honest anyway. Perhaps Google could integrate it to “Don’t be evil on the go.”

Google has made a number of important acquisitions in the mobile and voice space, especially in terms of snapping up the mobile advertising firm AdMob which will give Google a leg up in mobile search advertising.  

But Schmidt was keen to emphasize that it wasn’t all about advertising, at least superficially. Indeed, he claimed, it was all about computing power, interconnectivity and the cloud. 

“The phone is where these three all interconnect and you need to get these three waves right if you want to win,” warbled Schmidt banally.  He also delivered a stern warning and psychic prediction for the future of tech, booming “If you don’t use the power of the cloud you will fail.”

Yes, the end is nigh, repent, repent non-cloudy sinner.

And driving this cloudy mobile phenomenon? Well that would be the likes of Facebook, Spotify and of course Google, all of which are seeing massive upsurge in mobile internet usage.

In some places, Google said it was even seeing more mobile web searches than PC web searches, although the only two countries singled out for special mention were South Africa and Indonesia. 

As it did back in December in a press conference in Mountain View, Google also used MWC to show off its voice search technology, image recognition tech using phone cams and a new offering called optical character recognition (OCR) which when demoed translated a German menu into English. It was impressive, the crowd swooned.

Android too was creating a bit of a buzz at MWC, a fact Schmidt acknowledged noting that over 60,000 handsets a day with the OS were being flogged by handset vendors, a 100% increase over last quarter. Also impressively, and a blow to Intel and Nokia’s claims that they will create the world’s first truly open and cross platform OS, Schmidt told the audience Android now ran on no less than 26 different devices.

Take note, Intel. Only the paranoid androids survive.

And poking Apple in the eye, it was also announced during the press conference yesterday that Android now even supports full flash version 10.1.

Put that in your iPad and smoke it.