A few fun things and a phone from Google

Kudos to Dean Velez for his re-branding of The Anvel to Motion Graphics Lab. Nice site and still lots of free stuff to download. Support Dean’s generous spirit and pay visit.

Sound SnapFrom the “Gosh that guy mentions Steve Audette a lot” department: Steve sends along this helpful link for those looking for sound effects in a hurry. Sound Snap’s a better than expected free sfx sharing site. A lot like the Stock.xchng for stock photos.

Also Steve’s appearing at the next Boston Avid Users Group meeting to talk about his editing heroics at Frontline. If you’re in Boston November 14, never mind. The weather sucks here then. Go somewhere else to catch Steve.

Google to launch phone platform

And I’m overdue for a prediction. As mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, Google’s expected to announce its gPhone initiative in the next few weeks.

“The most likely scenario from a Google perspective is to build some, if you will, inspirational platform [applications]; but primarily focus on getting third parties to do it because that’s where the innovation will come from,” said Google CEO Eric Schmidt, speaking at the All Things Digital conference in May. He said that “the new model of these phones is going to be person-to-person” with people exchanging videos and other types of data.

Prepare to be underwhelmed. Consumers want a phone and developers want a platform. Spare us the inspiration. And what’s Google going to bring to the table that Microsoft (Windows Mobile), Apple (iPhone), and Nokia (Ovi) don’t already have? This space is crowded already. Google fans retort search was pretty full when Google entered the fray. Search plays to Google’s strength – algorithms. Mobile plays to Google’s weakness – UI design. Note to users: Gmail’s UI sucks.

Google should continue working with mobile platform developers as it has with Apple to get YouTube and Google Maps on the iPhone. Notice how much more usable both are after a nip and tuck at the Cupertino clinic.

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