Android — Google’s answer to phone market monopoly.
Google, the word which changed the way people look at internet. It’s really hard to find someone who haven’t came across Google. Google always comes up with something innovative and something which becomes a part of everybody’s life. My internet usage starts with Google and ends with Google. Gmail, Orkut, Google Apps, Google reader to name a few are part of my daily life.
The purpose of this post is to introduce Android i.e. Google’s entry in Mobile market.
Google has announced a new platform for mobile phones, called Android, which is based on Linux.
Today Apple is at lead position with it’s iPhone in place. But Apple’s iPhone is vendor locked and closed to third party applications, and thereby carries all the disadvantages and limitations of any closed machine.
Though apple is leading the market there are many hiccups in these areas like lack of open standards – inter operable platforms, control of content carriers. The good news is that Google is all set to address those problems using the power of linux and open source technologies.
Power of Open Source
Google and eventually everyone else, seems to have finally understood that the combined power of thousands of people working on the same project is much more efficient than few employees who are struggling to launch a product every 5-7 years.
Lets come to point:
Technologically Google’s platform is Linux Operating System. The company has reportedly worked hard to address all the requirements.
With the release of the SDK, features and specifications for Android are slowly being released.
The platform is adaptable to both larger, VGA, 2D Graphics library, 3D Graphics library based on OpenGL ES 1.0 spécifications, traditional smartphone layouts.
SQLite for structured data storage
Android supports a wide variety of connectivity technologies including GSM, Bluetooth, EDGE, 3G, and WiFi.
Both SMS and MMS are available forms of messaging including threaded text messaging.
The web browser available in Android is based off of the open-source WebKit application framework.
Java virtual machine
Software written in Java can be compiled into Dalvik bytecodes and executed in the Dalvik virtual machine, which is a specialized VM implementation designed for mobile device use, although not technically a standard Java Virtual Machine.
Android will support advanced audio/video/still media formats such as MPEG-4, H.264, MP3, and AAC, AMR, JPG, PNG, GIF.
Additional hardware support
Android is fully capable of utilizing video/still cameras, touchscreen, GPS, compasses, accelerometers, and accelerated 3D graphics.
Includes a device emulator, tools for debugging, memory and performance profiling, a plugin for the Eclipse IDE.
Open Handset Alliance
Thirty-four companies have formed the Open Handset Alliance, which aims to develop technologies that will significantly lower the cost of developing and distributing mobile devices and services. The Android platform is the first step in this direction — a fully integrated mobile “software stack” that consists of an operating system, middleware, user-friendly interface and applications. Consumers should expect the first phones based on Android to be available in the second half of 2008.
Sergey Brin and Steve Horowitz discuss the availability of the SDK, that it will be open source in the future, and demo applications on the Android platform.