This morning, Baidu – at its annual Baidu World event in Beijing – launched its Android-based mobile OS, dubbed Baidu Yi (pictured above).
As it builds upon Google’s Android OS, it’ll have all the same core features, such as integrated voice search. But of course Baidu also has lots of its own apps ready for Baidu Yi – there’ll be Maps, Yue (a reader app), Shen Bian (like Google Places), and Ting (its music app).
Baidu also has some good Android apps that have been available for a while that it can now integrate into its new Baidu Yi platform, such as its input-method editor (IME) for typing or hand-drawing Chinese characters.
The new Baidu Yi platform will also feature strong cloud integration for storage, back-up and sharing – a key aspect also of Alibaba’s recently-launched mobile OS, called AliYun.
From an introductory video supplied by Baidu, it looks like the Ting mobile app will support MP3 downloads of its licensed music (see screenshot below), which comes from its Baidu Ting web app.
Back in June, we reported on rumors that Baidu was working on an Android-based mobile OS, and I suggested that Baidu already has lots of Android apps that’d fit together nicely into its own OS. And, indeed, that seems to be pretty much what has happened.
We’ll update as soon as we hear when there’ll be handsets ready for Baidu Yi, and which manufacturers are on board. In the interim, you might like to have a look at more screenshots over on the Baidu Yi product page, which has just gone live.