or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Notes of interest on Google's Android announcement
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Notes of interest on Google's Android announcement

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Google's launch of the Android mobile phone platform on Monday has been followed by a slew of updates and reactions, including from Apple. Some notes of interest follow.

Android is not an announcement pertaining to any one piece hardware such as a Google gPhone. Instead, Google hopes Android will spawn "thousands of gPhones." The company is not ruling out its own device running Android at some point but is not announcing anything today.
Android's code will be made available for free "under one of the most progressive, developer-friendly open-source licenses," the company says. The core is based on Linux but can use Java for some of its programs. A 200MHz ARM9 processor is the only practical minimum requirement, so most any design should work.
A key component of the Android platform is a "very robust" Web browser, though the company would not say which software it would use. However, Google currently contributes to Mozilla's Firefox web browser.
T-Mobile plans to announce its first device running Android for the US and Europe sometime in 2008. Sprint has not committed to a timeframe but says Android "aligns" with plans for its Xohm WiMAX Internet service next year.
HTC will release its first Android supported device in the second half of 2008. The company has not named the device, but Forbes speculates that the device may be an upcoming phone codenamed the "Dream."
The Dream is said to include a touchscreen that swivels to reveal a keyboard and is responsive to the duration of a press rather than just the location. Like the iPhone, common services like YouTube would be accessible from the top level of the interface. The device is only under consideration at the moment but would arrive in time for Android's debut, says HTC chief Peter Chou.
Most of Google's partners today don't expect Android to completely replace existing options; HTC says it will continue to release devices with Windows Mobile alongside the Google platform. Competitors such as Microsoft and OS developer Symbian dismiss the effort, however.
"It really sounds that they are getting a whole bunch of people together to build a phone and that's something we've been doing for five years," says Microsoft's Windows Mobile marketing general manager Scott Horn.
Apple has been placed in a unique position by Android; Google's chief executive, Eric Schmidt, currently sits on Apple's board of directors and so has some input on the direction of the iPhone. The company is not concerned about the change, according to Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris.

"We have a great relationship with Google and this doesn't change anything," she says. "They are certainly an important partner for iPhone."
post #2 of 25
Great, so I guess this is the beginning of the Google Phone saga where there's a post covering what every technology magazine and writer says, picking apart every aspect of the phone and speculation of what's to come, even though there's no release date: ala the iPhone.
post #3 of 25
"The Dream is said to include a touchscreen that swivels to reveal a keyboard and is responsive to the duration of a press rather than just the location."

That doesn't really make any sense. I'm guessing you mean it can detect how hard the press is, but duration would just mean how long the user was pressing, which any touchscreen can do easily.
post #4 of 25
Sound eerily familiar?
Quote:
"It really sounds that they are getting a whole bunch of people together to build a phone and that's something we've been doing for five years," says Microsoft's Windows Mobile marketing general manager Scott Horn.

Like Balmer and the iPhone or the Palm CEO
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

Sound eerily familiar?

Sure, but I believe the most important point here is, "we've been doing it for five years." (Yeah, and it's still a festering turd)
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

Sound eerily familiar?


Like Balmer and the iPhone or the Palm CEO

Except that prior to the iPhone Apple had a history of producing tightly integrated software/hardware combos with excellent interfaces.

Google has no such track record, has never built any hardware, doesn't appear to be planning to build hardware, and has to this point released software with mediocre to bad UI.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Google has no such track record, has never built any hardware, doesn't appear to be planning to build hardware, and has to this point released software with mediocre to bad UI.

Not that I disagree with your premise, but Google did make a search appliance. Although it was just a rack mounted server with a custom paint job, it was hardware with integrated software.

m

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Except that prior to the iPhone Apple had a history of producing tightly integrated software/hardware combos with excellent interfaces.

Google has no such track record, has never built any hardware, doesn't appear to be planning to build hardware, and has to this point released software with mediocre to bad UI.

Maybe I'm missing something but I didn't they'd released anything but a platform/toolbox - no UI, or if there is one its for demo only. They want to provide a basis, reference platform to try to bring standards to the field, which benefits their business model. The difference between this and MS is that they're offering this platform for free. They are trying to provide a unified management of linux for stability (IMO) so that wider-spread adoption in the mobile arena is possible. If they can maintain their focus here, on managing and improving the sw, so their advertising model works, I think they can be VERY disruptive. They do need to provide good UI tools, but they still leave the UI development to the hardware producers, for tighter integration with HW features.
post #9 of 25
Most of Google's partners today don't expect Android to completely replace existing options; HTC says it will continue to release devices with Windows Mobile alongside the Google platform. Competitors such as Microsoft and OS developer Symbian dismiss the effort, however.
"It really sounds that they are getting a whole bunch of people together to build a phone and that's something we've been doing for five years," says Microsoft's Windows Mobile marketing general manager Scott Horn.


These are the guys this initiative will hurt...Windows Mobile is the target.
post #10 of 25
No question that Microsoft is a target. Another target could be RIMM which enjoys the most corporate IT acceptance. Also, I'm hearing some positive things about Nokia's OVI platform but I haven't seen the UI. I find it troubling that Google's CEO is so close to Apple.

Let's face it, iPhone is everyone's target and the mobile industry is very aggressive. Notice how quickly LG introduced touch screens for Verizon. However, Apple somehow continues to beat them to the punch. Bottom line, iPhone owners will realize more and better applications at a faster rate than previously thought. Thoughts?
In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Reply
In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Reply
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe in miami View Post

Also, I'm hearing some positive things about Nokia's OVI platform but I haven't seen the UI.

Quite apart from the fact that the ill-chosen word "ovi" (which, unfortunately, sounds like a plural of 'ovum') might sound a bit creepy to 50% of the world's population, where/when have you heard "positive things about Nokia's OVI platform"?

Just curious.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Not that I disagree with your premise, but Google did make a search appliance. Although it was just a rack mounted server with a custom paint job, it was hardware with integrated software.

m

Would you also consider a data center a piece of hardware?
In Google's case I think it is appropriate.
post #13 of 25
Android is a win-win for Apple.

More people using a real mobile web browser will mean more developers creating sites optimized for mobile use and conforming to web standards. Best case scenario would be Android using WebKit although Gecko is the more likely choice.

Android is open source so Apple can borrow what it needs like it has from Linux, BSD, BeOS, Solaris, Newton, and even Mac OS 9.
post #14 of 25
Some people seem consternated that Google didn't have a prototype to show today. Google is rushing to announce Android and the Alliance for one reason: bidding on 700 MHz spectrum begins early next year. If Google merely looks to the FCC like a big pot o'cash and not a major player in the mobile market, the FCC will never accept their offer even if it is far higher than all others.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Some people seem consternated that Google didn't have a prototype to show today. Google is rushing to announce Android and the Alliance for one reason: bidding on 700 MHz spectrum begins early next year. If Google merely looks to the FCC like a big pot o'cash and not a major player in the mobile market, the FCC will never accept their offer even if it is far higher than all others.

Now, this is the most logical and critically thought answer I've seen. I agree
post #16 of 25
For all the hype surrounding them, Google are no Apple. They seem more interested in back end stuff and platforms than end-user experience.
post #17 of 25
Good news, but there is very few details about the platform itself.

I see 3 options for Android on the table:

Option 1) it comes with a native open source JVM. This is the Blackberry approach. It will enable running existing J2ME applications (thousands exist today) and Google will provide more powerfull APIs for their integrationg with their application suite, like GMail, Google Maps and YouTube. GPS APIs would be great too. They will also provide a custom Java based UI toolkit to make applications consistent with the phone UI. IDEs will be Netbeans and Eclipse. The low level access to the underlying Linux OS would be hidden from the developer.

Option 2) The JVM is not part of Android, but available as a addon. This is Palm approach (IBM provides the JVM for Treos). In this case, Esmertec will likely provide a non open source JVM to run J2ME apps to each phone vendor. This is OK but not very good, as the JVM may or may not be present and they will be no integration with existing app or UI toolkit. Developer will have to code all apps running on Android with C or C++ APIs using Eclipse. the SDK will be very similar to the now defund Palm Foleo or the Nokia Linux Maemo platform.

Option 3) No JVM, but a powerfull mobile Web Browser ala Safari, based on the Safari WebKit, which is open source, to run local mobile AJAX apps written in Javascript and DHTML. Google would provide in the browser custom APIs as Javascript libraries to integrate with the platform and custon Javacript UI compomenents. This will be similar to the current iPhone development and also like the Google widget developement. This is ambitious and risky and will not work for mutimedia or game apps. This is not GREAT, but this is OK, specially if they can integrate some version of Google Gears, enabling mobile AJAX apps to run offline.

OR ... all 3 options ? Anyway we will know in 1 week time.

http://www.unyverse.com
post #18 of 25
Google does not impress me.

Android (oh, how original ) will allow everyone to make a crappy phone that is different and yet the same.
post #19 of 25
True, overall, good for Apple. ...I couldn't give a flying rat's ass about what the others do with this Android stuff.

REVENUE MODEL ????? HELLLOOOOO????
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe in miami View Post

Let's face it, iPhone is everyone's target and the mobile industry is very aggressive. Notice how quickly LG introduced touch screens for Verizon. However, Apple somehow continues to beat them to the punch.

Actually I don't think iPhone is the target - more an incredibly interesting player that is well worth watching and learning from. Microsoft/Palm/Nokia are the target (and, coincidentally, the same groups that didn't jump on the Google bandwagon.

Quote:
Bottom line, iPhone owners will realize more and better applications at a faster rate than previously thought. Thoughts?

Why?

BTW, I'd like to see Apple play nicely with Google here, but I have doubts.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Except that prior to the iPhone Apple had a history of producing tightly integrated software/hardware combos with excellent interfaces.

Google has no such track record, has never built any hardware, doesn't appear to be planning to build hardware, and has to this point released software with mediocre to bad UI.

I would go for the "infrastructure", which is probably why they didn't show it off. It sounds like the handset makers can make their own UI as they like, but it still means that it has a common back-end. I think much in the same way that a css file change can completely change the look & arrangement, but not the content, of a web site. Having that infrastructure already there frees up a lot of time to refine the front end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Android (oh, how original )

I much prefer it to butchering words to make a trademark.
post #22 of 25
but could boot camp make its way to the iPhone?

Meaning: one OS from Apple with limited third party applications and one OS from Google with unlimited third party applications?

Apple did say they were going to open up the iPhone to the world somewhere around spring 2008. Which is pretty close to Google's Android.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrethes View Post

Good news, but there is very few details about the platform itself.

I see 3 options for Android on the table:

Option 1) it comes with a native open source JVM. This is the Blackberry approach. It will enable running existing J2ME applications (thousands exist today) and Google will provide more powerfull APIs for their integrationg with their application suite, like GMail, Google Maps and YouTube. GPS APIs would be great too. They will also provide a custom Java based UI toolkit to make applications consistent with the phone UI. IDEs will be Netbeans and Eclipse. The low level access to the underlying Linux OS would be hidden from the developer.

Option 2) The JVM is not part of Android, but available as a addon. This is Palm approach (IBM provides the JVM for Treos). In this case, Esmertec will likely provide a non open source JVM to run J2ME apps to each phone vendor. This is OK but not very good, as the JVM may or may not be present and they will be no integration with existing app or UI toolkit. Developer will have to code all apps running on Android with C or C++ APIs using Eclipse. the SDK will be very similar to the now defund Palm Foleo or the Nokia Linux Maemo platform.

Option 3) No JVM, but a powerfull mobile Web Browser ala Safari, based on the Safari WebKit, which is open source, to run local mobile AJAX apps written in Javascript and DHTML. Google would provide in the browser custom APIs as Javascript libraries to integrate with the platform and custon Javacript UI compomenents. This will be similar to the current iPhone development and also like the Google widget developement. This is ambitious and risky and will not work for mutimedia or game apps. This is not GREAT, but this is OK, specially if they can integrate some version of Google Gears, enabling mobile AJAX apps to run offline.

OR ... all 3 options ? Anyway we will know in 1 week time.

http://www.unyverse.com

Oh gawd, please let it be C++ as the default development environment. I'm so tired of sluggish interfaces that look like @$$. People may write lots of apps for the other Java devices out there, but there's a reason nobody likes to use them. Just build a nice framework in C++ and your product will automatically have a major advantage over all the other phones out there. Development may be slightly more time consuming (I wouldn't say more difficult), but you'll end up with a program you don't dread opening.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Quite apart from the fact that the ill-chosen word "ovi" (which, unfortunately, sounds like a plural of 'ovum') might sound a bit creepy to 50% of the world's population, where/when have you heard "positive things about Nokia's OVI platform"?

Just curious.

A few investment/stock picking blogs. Shares of Nokia are right on Apple's heels in terms of performance (no doubt benefiting from such a strong Euro) but interesting none the less. The word OVI means "door" in Finnish(?) Expectations are building for this platform. My background is not technical but I scan several websites for ideas and feedback and I really appreciate reading everyone's comments especially the technical ones.
In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Reply
In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Reply
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I would go for the "infrastructure", which is probably why they didn't show it off. It sounds like the handset makers can make their own UI as they like, but it still means that it has a common back-end. I think much in the same way that a css file change can completely change the look & arrangement, but not the content, of a web site. Having that infrastructure already there frees up a lot of time to refine the front end.

I think that's probably right, although I think Google will also release a reference UI (which will be customized beyond recognition by the handset partners).

Still, "common back-end", while very useful from a services perspective, doesn't really seem poised to set the cell phone market on fire. As has been pointed out elsewhere, services aren't the problem so much as the tinkering by carriers (at least domestically).

I mean, are Nokia phones really hurting for apps or access to services? If a reference platform makes it easier to develop across multiple phones, that's great, but it doesn't appear that the lack of same has been much of a hindrance, does it?
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Notes of interest on Google's Android announcement