Google staff test-drive new Android phone

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Google staff test-drive new Android phone

Stokes speculation of new smartphone.

Google has handed out prototypes of an Android-based phone to its employees, prompting more speculation that the firm will release its own handset.

In a blog post, Mario Queiroz, vice president product management, said: "At Google, we are constantly experimenting with new products and technologies, and often ask employees to test these products for quick feedback and suggestions for improvements in a process we call dogfooding (from 'eating your own dogfood'). Well this holiday season, we are taking dogfooding to a new level."

In this instance, dogfooding refers to trying out an Android-based phone over the holidays.

"We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe," wrote Queiroz.

"This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it."

Some reports have suggested Google will market a touchscreen handset - which some have dubbed 'Nexus One' - made by HTC, but Queiroz is remaining tight-lipped.

"Unfortunately, because dogfooding is a process exclusively for Google employees, we cannot share specific product details. We hope to share more after our dogfood diet," he wrote.

The term "eating your own dog food" suggests Google has had a heavy hand in the final design of the new handset, adding further fire to the Google phone rumours that have abounded since the firm released the Android OS.

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