When Palm was creating webOS, it was a company that had lived in the smartphone industry for quite some time. People knew the Palm name, and despite the fact that webOS completely blew everyone's mind when it was first unveiled, everyone knew what to expect for the most part. You were going to get a smartphone OS, on a smartphone. You can't really say the same thing when it comes to Apple, because while everyone was having fun guessing, it was a wonder as to what the Cupertino-based company would create their first go-round.
Google had it the same way. When they first started showing off Android, its cool multi-tasking capabilities, and that fancy clock widget, people were excited. Since then Google's mobile operating system has literally taken off, and you can basically find the little green 'droid pretty much everywhere.
But Google is a company that has built its entire name on search, and also advertisements. Advertisements within those search results, and advertisements anywhere else you can put them. Advertisements are a real source of monetization for Google, but there has to be a point where they sit down and look at an idea like replacing ringtones with ads, and just squash it right then and there.
If you missed it this morning, a report came out that Google had filed a patent that would effectively replace your ringtone on your phone with an advertisement. The technology identifies the caller, your location, and then puts together a nice little advert for you to hear instead of your favorite song, or whatever else you've chosen. So your girlfriend calls, and you get to hear a nice ad about the local jewelry store and all of their great deals.
The idea is ridiculous, to put it lightly. And Google would only have to look as far as some wireless carriers out there putting advertisements within the notification shade, or, worse, applications doing the same thing to realize that. People don't mind advertisements for the most part, but they can't be thrown in their face. A simple ad in a video game, for example, isn't probably going to drive anyone insane, but if you step over the boundaries of common sense then there's obviously going to be some folks who raise their eyebrows in confusion.
I can't believe Google would even kind of think this is a good idea. Because it isn't. Even for me, someone who doesn't make or receive a lot of phone calls on a day to day basis thinks this is a bad idea.
No one is going to sit here and say that Google shouldn't be thinking of new ways to incorporate advertisements into our world. More to the point, we shouldn't be surprised that Android, their bread and butter more or less, is part of that plan. And while no one may offer up an option of putting ads on their home screens, I honestly don't think anyone out there is going to say that replacing their ringtones with an advertisement is a good idea.
And how creepy would it be if your phone is just sitting there, and the next minute there's some random voice yelling out of your phone telling you to go buy a truck, or check out the latest movie?
This is just a filed patent so it doesn't mean that we're going to see this technology implemented into the next version of Android, but then again, it could very well see the light of day sooner than later. So tell me what you think of advertisements replacing your ringtones. Good idea? Terrible? Let me know.
image via Engadget