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Google Android dev kit exposes Apple-inspired roots - Page 2

post #41 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post

Well, you may not need a virtual machine per se, since the vanilla version of the CPU used in the iPhone is supposed to be able to directly interpret Java byte code. You *would* however need a way to encapsulate the CPU's Java interpreter to reside within inside an ARM-native OSX process (much like the THUMB and ARM instruction sets can currently be interchanged in other hybrid ARM-based operating systems), and you would need a set of class libraries (APIs) capable of communicating with the outside world through that encapsulation.

But that would probably require specific extensions to OSX on Apple's part, whereas a completely software-based virtual machine would likely be doable by a 3rd party using only a full-featured SDK.

Right, I was just pointing out that it appears doable. Abstractly, I would still call either of those approaches a "virtual machine", as even if you execute the code bytecode in hardware, you still would likely have to encapsulate that action within a virtual machine-type block (to OS X). Android requires each application to run in a separate virtual machine.
post #42 of 62
I was just curious if someone could help me remember something. Wasn't there a apple secret/spoiler codenamed android before, around 12-18 months ago? For some reason, I distinctly remember a spoiler before one of the conferences that was codenamed Android. It was thought to be a fake since it never appeared. Just a thought, but what if Apple and Google are making a unified effort to overtake the markets? Neither really stands to lose anything but gain everything. Also, the Google phone fits nicely into where an iPhone nano would go. Just a thought.
post #43 of 62
^^ you're thinking "Asteroid."
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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post #44 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gambit View Post

Uh.... what happened to "over 200 patents that we'll vigorously protect"?

I don't think you understand what a patent is.

The impression I got was that most of those patents covered multitouch and the like, and the first phone doesn't have a touch screen, the second is only single touch. If those icon designs make it to a shipping device, then I think Apple might have a valid copyright dispute.

Anyway, I'm really annoyed by Sergey's hand gestures when he's talking. It looks like many of the same lame gestures that Apple's iPhone videos and ads use.
post #45 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

Sure there are other rendering engines around, but they fail for a number of reasons:
- IE: Intel & Windows centric and fails to follow W3C guidelines, , controlled by one company
- Gecko (basis of Firefox): Increasingly bloated.
- Opera: Closed source, controlled by one company

For non-Windows based mobile platforms Webkit is the obvious first choice.

As far as I know, Gecko is not a problem. I don't think Gecko is bloated. It's Firefox that's problematic, flaky and bloaty, and I'm pretty sure the problems are mostly due to how Firefox does its thing, and not Gecko's fault. The Mac port of Firefox seems to be doing worse than the Windows port too, I think due to neglect. Camino uses Gecko too, and as far as I can tell, it works great, despite being based on the same rendering engine. Except for one little detail, it's almost as if it takes the best of what I want from Safari and Firefox.
post #46 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by potterhead4 View Post

Ugh, really? The web history resembles both coverflow and the iPhone's interface for selecting between multiple open pages. The dialer has a very similar UI and icons, and the browser features many of the same conventions as Safari on the iPhone. Enough with this strawman crap, please.

Pothead, the web history looks nothing like coverflow:

1) The pages rotate in a circle, not linearly.
2) There is no deflection of the angle of viewing for the pages, all are laid parallel to the viewing surface. CoverFlow deflects at an angle.
3) Tabbed browsing is NOT the same as web history. Stop talking about that shit and get your facts right.

The one thing they have in common: they have a black background. Better start a class action lawsuit!!!!
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
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post #47 of 62
Now Google is going to give $$$ to developers to create killer apps for Android. Apple should have done this... but they once again miss a gigantic opportunity.

http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/20...oids-youv.html

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #48 of 62
Awesome.... this will only lead to better smartphones... Apple will continue to sell iPhones and the rest of us will have more and better options than we have today. How can you argue with that? I just hope the next Palm Treo will sport a similar OS... I know that Access (the company that now owns Palm's software) is working on a Linux OS for a future Treo device.
post #49 of 62
Why are people talking about the interface? Regardless of whether it's a ripoff (unlikely in any case) it doesn't matter, download the SDK and you'll notice that it's entirely customisable. I imagine each mobile manufacturer that puts out phones with the OS on it will have their own completely unique UI.

If you want to criticise Android then the UI isn't exactly the most obvious thing to pick (unless you're someone that just likes pictures and doesn't bother with text). It would be nice if Google had put a few more comments in their code, what are half the classes actually meant to DO? Their names may be somewhat descriptive but the lack of documentation makes finding what you want a slower process than it needs to be. And texting, why has the SDK been released without this facility enabled yet? A lot of little things too, the SDK doesn't seem very polished right now but it has some interesting ideas (intents and actions).
post #50 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jammiedodger View Post

Why are people talking about the interface? Regardless of whether it's a ripoff (unlikely in any case) it doesn't matter, download the SDK and you'll notice that it's entirely customisable. I imagine each mobile manufacturer that puts out phones with the OS on it will have their own completely unique UI.

The interface is probably not a ripoff but some of the icons used in the video are too similar to Apple's icons to be a coincidence.

Apple's icon for the address book is a little tan book with a brown binding and a big " @ " symbol on it, and Google's can be described exactly the same way, though Google's isn't tilted and it's spiral bound.

There is a folder icon that looks exactly like Apple's smart folder icon, a blue folder with a gear on it. The only thing different is it's displayed flat. I can't think of anything else that looks like it.

The shape of the microphone and speaker in google's icons are incredibly like what's found in the Sound Preferences pane, with only a slight difference in the shape of the base of the microphone.
post #51 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

The interface is probably not a ripoff but some of the icons used in the video are too similar to Apple's icons to be a coincidence.

Apple's icon for the address book is a little tan book with a brown binding and a big " @ " symbol on it, and Google's can be described exactly the same way, though Google's isn't tilted and it's spiral bound.

There is a folder icon that looks exactly like Apple's smart folder icon, a blue folder with a gear on it. The only thing different is it's displayed flat. I can't think of anything else that looks like it.

The shape of the microphone and speaker in google's icons are incredibly like what's found in the Sound Preferences pane, with only a slight difference in the shape of the base of the microphone.

And the app launcher in adroid bears a resemblance to the dock, no?
post #52 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

And the app launcher in adroid bears a resemblance to the dock, no?

Because it's a series of icons at the bottom of the screen? Windows has had some icons at the bottom of the screen you can click on to launch an app long before the dock was around. Okay, granted, the android app launcher looks more like the dock than some quick launch icons in the taskbar but the "dock" like interface is something you see frequently, especially in console games.

Lastly, the iPhone has a grid of icons for launching apps and so does my Motorola Razr which came before it - my point is that none of these interface elements are unique, you can arrange your icons for launching an app either horizontally, vertically or in a grid, not many choices for UI designers there.

Most importantly though this is all completely irrelevant, this is not a demonstration for the consumer. The UI is there to demonstrate what the platform can do, not what each mobile vendor will choose to make it look like. After all, everything on the platform shares equal importance, a vendor could remove google maps completely if they want or even have a command line interface if they really want.
post #53 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jammiedodger View Post

Because it's a series of icons at the bottom of the screen? Windows has had some icons at the bottom of the screen you can click on to launch an app long before the dock was around. Okay, granted, the android app launcher looks more like the dock than some quick launch icons in the taskbar but the "dock" like interface is something you see frequently, especially in console games.

Lastly, the iPhone has a grid of icons for launching apps and so does my Motorola Razr which came before it - my point is that none of these interface elements are unique, you can arrange your icons for launching an app either horizontally, vertically or in a grid, not many choices for UI designers there.

Most importantly though this is all completely irrelevant, this is not a demonstration for the consumer. The UI is there to demonstrate what the platform can do, not what each mobile vendor will choose to make it look like. After all, everything on the platform shares equal importance, a vendor could remove google maps completely if they want or even have a command line interface if they really want.

Um yeah cause you now the app launcher looks like the dock. Looking at the demo as shown thus far, I think as JeffDM points out Google has taken a lot of design cues from Apple. It isn't just the app launcher and not just the contacts app icon or other icons that strongly resemble Apple. Its all of it taken together.

I don't know what version of windows that you're talking about that has an app launcher. I'm only familiar with the 'start' way to launch apps but then again I'm no expert in windows.

We don't know how the mobile vendors will ultimately use android. They could make the interface confusing and ugly. After all these are the people that brought us Symbian. But then again they might get their heads out of their asses and use the pretty interface Google has demoed.
I know what I would do if I were in their shoes.
post #54 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jammiedodger View Post

Because it's a series of icons at the bottom of the screen? Windows has had some icons at the bottom of the screen you can click on to launch an app long before the dock was around.

Sorry, the dock came from NeXT. I think it's fairly safe to say that Windows wasn't the first OS to have a button/icon launch bar. Previous Mac OS versions did have button bars. The recent dock article says it was called a control strip.
post #55 of 62
If the handset makers can customize the UI, and the carriers can customize the UI, and Android is designed to run on a lot of different hardware, then wither ease of use?

Android may put give developers access to some standardized tools, but I don't see how Google's proof of concept UI demo tells us much about what Android represents, in terms of competition for the iPhone.

The iPhone achieves its user experience the usual Apple way-- through tight integration of hardware and software, and rigorous control of all variables.

Android, by its very nature, cannot do this. Android may mean more and better apps on more and cheaper phones (although I don't have the impression that a paucity of "apps" is really a big problem in the cell phone market), but will it mean better, more integrated UIs that work exceptionally well with the hardware at hand?

It doesn't appear to me that there is any reason to believe that, and "that" (tightly integrated user experience with seamless interaction among functions), IMO, is how one competes with the iPhone.

Why would I expect the same people that haven't managed to put together a decent UI yet to customize Android into a decent UI?
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post #56 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Android may put give developers access to some standardized tools, but I don't see how Google's proof of concept UI demo tells us much about what Android represents, in terms of competition for the iPhone.

The iPhone achieves its user experience the usual Apple way-- through tight integration of hardware and software, and rigorous control of all variables.

I don't think the UI or experience will be as 'nice' as the iPhones for the exact reasons you gave. But it can and should be a *lot* better than what they currently offer. And it will probably come on cheap phones subsidized by the carriers.

Think of it as a poor mans iPhone.
post #57 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I don't think the UI or experience will be as 'nice' as the iPhones for the exact reasons you gave. But it can and should be a *lot* better than what they currently offer. And it will probably come on cheap phones subsidized by the carriers.

Think of it as a poor mans iPhone.

But "cheap" pretty much means "no big touch screen", so right out of the gate a lot of the "better" gets set aside. A cheap candy bar or flip phone is never going to be a poor man's iPhone, because a great deal of what we would characterize as "iPhone-ness" is tied up in that big multi-touch screen.

And if developers have to write apps for the platform with the lowest common hardware denominator in mind (which they will if they want to maximize their market), then even higher end phones will have clumsy compromises in the UI. That's why Apple does it the way they do-- they know exactly what iPhone apps are going to be running on, and can tailor every bit of the user experience accordingly.

I still can't see where Android ushers in an era of improved UI on commodity phones. More stable OS, better access to services, possibly some groovy new apps, sure. But automatically better UI, when the final look and feel is being engineered by the current incumbent phone people? Why would that be?
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post #58 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

But "cheap" pretty much means "no big touch screen", so right out of the gate a lot of the "better" gets set aside. A cheap candy bar or flip phone is never going to be a poor man's iPhone, because a great deal of what we would characterize as "iPhone-ness" is tied up in that big multi-touch screen.

Well, I disagree.

Thinking of my Moto razor, I find the biggest hindrance is the UI. The hardware itself isn't so bad. Sure a nice multi touch screen would be nice but I've a 3g Nano that I watch movies on. A better interface is a big advance for most cell phones. Hell they can do all the things that the iPhone can now. If you can figure them out.
post #59 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Well, I disagree.

Thinking of my Moto razor, I find the biggest hindrance is the UI. The hardware itself isn't so bad. Sure a nice multi touch screen would be nice but I've a 3g Nano that I watch movies on. A better interface is a big advance for most cell phones. Hell they can do all the things that the iPhone can now. If you can figure them out.

OK, but the iPhone is not distinguished by its features, but rather how they all work together and how the UI enables top level access to almost everything. That's why you can "figure it out".

A Moto Razr isn't going to allow for that, because of all the dedicated buttons and relatively small screen. Lots of little buttons are the enemy of discoverability, no matter how the UI is designed, which is why Apple made the iPhone in the form factor they did.

Moreover, I still don't understand why Android solves anyone's UI problem, particularly on phones like the Razr. Google has given us a demo of a UI that Android is capable of supporting, on a sufficiently specced phone. But the UI they're demoing just shows that someone at Google is capable of designing a fair to decent UI, by borrowing heavily from some existing products.

Android isn't that UI, particularly, and what eventually becomes available for a given phone is still going to be dependent on whatever a given developer designs on top of the Android stack.

Android might make it somewhat easier to, or even help encourage, better UI design, but that's a long way from imagining that it somehow engenders a bunch of down market iPhones.
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post #60 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Moreover, I still don't understand why Android solves anyone's UI problem, particularly on phones like the Razr. Google has given us a demo of a UI that Android is capable of supporting,

I'm sure you saw the demo we're all talking about. You didn't think that was better than what you typically find on most cell phones nowadays?

Sure we don't know what the carriers and manufacturers will finally come up with but I'm guessing the success of the iPhone will cause them to pay attention to the UI more than they have in the past. Google has shown them a nice interface they are capable of producing. Whether they do so or not remains to be seen. I know what I would do.

Time will tell.
post #61 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I'm sure you saw the demo we're all talking about. You didn't think that was better than what you typically find on most cell phones nowadays?

Sure we don't know what the carriers and manufacturers will finally come up with but I'm guessing the success of the iPhone will cause them to pay attention to the UI more than they have in the past. Google has shown them a nice interface they are capable of producing. Whether they do so or not remains to be seen. I know what I would do.

Time will tell.

I've been playing with the android interface a bit more now and comparing it with what I've also got on my razr (v3i if that makes a difference). If you use the touch controls then it is a massive improvement on the razr but using the directional pad its more or less the same. I think part of the problem with the razr's interface is the weird place where settings etc. are kept which does seem better on Android. But the biggest problem to me is just the fact that you're using a directional pad to navigate, it takes me as many clicks to get anywhere in Android as it does on my Razr.

I mean, it's a bit better but I wouldn't define the UI as being what Android is "about".

I also don't know why people are talking about the demo and not the actual thing itself. Give it a go to get a proper feel for it (not that it turns into anything massively different when you do).
post #62 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I'm sure you saw the demo we're all talking about. You didn't think that was better than what you typically find on most cell phones nowadays?

Sure we don't know what the carriers and manufacturers will finally come up with but I'm guessing the success of the iPhone will cause them to pay attention to the UI more than they have in the past. Google has shown them a nice interface they are capable of producing. Whether they do so or not remains to be seen. I know what I would do.

Time will tell.

Well, I saw a demo of a small screen application chooser that I guess might be slightly better than some, and integration with Google maps.

I also saw a demo of an iPhone like, big touch screen device. If more of those get made with fair to decent UIs, then great. But those won't be cheap commodity phones.

The thing is, there has been literally nothing keeping any cell phone manufacturer from doing this kind of thing already. I'm just having trouble envisioning the scenario wherein a Nokia or Moto or LG or Samsung suddenly slaps its hand against its forehead and goes "Oh! An app chooser! Of course! And, holy shit, there's a thing called Google maps? That we could link addresses to? Let us adopt Android post haste!"

And these are the people who will be designing the customization of the Android phones (yeah, there will be some interesting third party variants floating around that the tech minded can install, but that will always be a very small part of the installed user base), so how is it that these people, who have had many, many years to sort out their phone UIs, suddenly get smart about usability? Because they adopted an OS that permits it?

The event notification looks nice, so I won't deny there may be some up-side. But I don't think the lack of decent phone UI is because Google hadn't gotten around to showing everybody how it should be done, or some technical limitation of the current underlying software.
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