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Print 11 comment(s) - last by dalingrin.. on Jun 24 at 11:36 PM

Developers say its hard to build applications for Android when the OS isn't complete

Google has its fingers in nearly every aspect of serving ads to users on the internet. Google is also looking to the future of serving ads and believes that in the future ads on mobile phones could be a very lucrative market.

To grab its share of this market, Google announced its Android mobile phone operating system in November of 2007. With the Apple iPhone being such a hot item, many handset makers eagerly anticipate the open source operating system being available.

Google released its Android SDK in November of 2007 and announced rewards totaling $10 million to developers who could build applications that work on Android. Despite the high hopes Google and cellular phone makers had for Android and the big push to get developers to adopt the operating system and write applications to run on it, Google is finding that the cellular market is a tough road.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is saying handsets using its Android OS won’t hit the market until Q4 2008. Handsets were originally expected in the middle of 2008. Cellular provider T-Mobile was expecting to launch an Android handset in Q4 2008. T-Mobile is now saying that the launch of Sprint’s Android handset is occupying so much of Google’s resources that it will be forced to delay the launch of its own handset until 2009.

Cellular providers outside the U.S. are facing delays in launching Android handsets as well. China Mobile is saying that it will delay the launch of its Android mobile phone which was originally slated for Q3 2008. Its handset launch will be pushed to late 2008 or early 2009. China Mobile says that it and its handset partner have run into problems translating the Android OS from Roman characters to Chinese and have had trouble merging China Mobile branded data services with Android.

Developers are also not adopting Android with the verve Google hoped for. Developers are saying that developing applications for the Android OS isn’t as easy as developing them for the iPhone. The Wall Street Journal also reports that some developers are saying that it is difficult to develop applications for Android when Google is still not complete.

Director of Mobile Platforms for Google, Andy Rubin said, “This is where the pain happens. We are very, very close (to completing Android).”



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Whats the big draw?
By lifeblood on 6/24/2008 2:26:51 PM , Rating: 4
Why is this a big thing? Is it because it's open source? I'm not being a smarta$$, I really don't know, with all the other cell OS's out there, why one more makes a difference.




RE: Whats the big draw?
By dalingrin on 6/24/2008 3:07:17 PM , Rating: 4
Less restricted development basically.

You should see a larger variety of apps for free.
That is the reason I'm excited about it. Not to say there won't be applications that cost $.

Once everything is open sourced, you can have the ultimate control over your handset.


RE: Whats the big draw?
By livelouddiefast on 6/24/2008 3:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
The reason for it being so hot to trot is that it is all open source. Usually at some levels phones have a level of security in them that prevents 3rd party apps, android, as i understand it, is aiming for total integration amongst 3rd party apps and the os.

What will be cool to see is the new levels of innovation in other phone companies that android will push.


RE: Whats the big draw?
By Pottervilla on 6/24/2008 3:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
Most would agree, Apple has made something special in the i-phone. Other companies, such as blackberry and Samsung, have delivered some of the same level of functionality for business users, but it was Apple that made it for the average person--or not, considering the $$$ price tag. As far as I can tell, Android is supposed to be a non-propitiatory phone software, similar to the i-phone. It should lessen the price tag of such devices, and also will renounce Apple's single carrier option.

Open source is the other draw, but wouldn't be necessary if the proprietary stuff was less restrictive. As it is, open source will allow better apps.

Other cell OS's tend to provide standard functionality, and are not as fully featured as the i-phone or (hopefully) android.

Other than that--not much. :) Most people (including me) have never owned one of these devices. Maybe these phones will change that.


RE: Whats the big draw?
By Mojo the Monkey on 6/24/2008 3:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
What about security? Being open source, will the phone be easier to crack with a trojan-like free app? For example, one to steal all of your phonebook and call log information?

Or maybe not. Just a thought.


RE: Whats the big draw?
By Icelight on 6/24/2008 4:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
You never know...but security by obscurity is never a good way to do things anyways.


RE: Whats the big draw?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/24/2008 4:45:17 PM , Rating: 2
Works pretty well in most cases actually. Look at Lotus or Apple. Even Microsoft doesn't get hit much with Vista and its extremely obscure. If everything is open source, and people are targeting the platform openly, it makes it trivial to find holes and exploit them. Harder to find holes when your reduced to fuzzing and chance.


RE: Whats the big draw?
By wayout41 on 6/24/2008 6:56:35 PM , Rating: 4
Exactly why open source is a better security model. Someone can be in possession of a zero day exploit for a proprietary platform due to spending huge amounts of time looking for it and the business or end users running that platform have no idea they can be exposed. And neither does software maker for that matter. As opposed to open source where the entire community or business can review the source code before implementing it. They can see with relative ease the security implementations and possible exploits and if necessary change them.

That’s not to say its fool proof but in my opinion more eyes on the code is better as the more likely it is that someone will spot an issue and report it. Not to mention the benefits to business or end user of being able to evaluate and change the code.

Apples a fairly bad example to use for proprietary security being superior as they actually fair pretty badly and the Darwin core is open source anyway!


RE: Whats the big draw?
By Staples on 6/24/2008 4:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. It is open source. Big deal. Linux is open source and guess what? There are Windows ports for most of its award winning software and it works just as well if not better. If Google was not behind this, I doubt it would have even made a splash in the media.

The only thing I see is that if this OS is used and the carrier allows you to install stuff on the phone, you might be able to have two different brands of phone and they both can run the same software (but then again, so can all phones that use Windows Mobile).


RE: Whats the big draw?
By dalingrin on 6/24/2008 11:36:46 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, if Google wasn't behind Android it wouldn't make as big a splash.

I don't find Linux/Windows analogus with Android/Windows Mobile. Windows mobile is much more restrictive than Windows on your desktop. While you can find programs for nearly everything on Windows, its hard to find good programs for Windows Mobile.

I see Android as a platform that developers will actually want to develop for. This is something you see for both Linux and Windows on the desktop but not Windows Mobile.


RE: Whats the big draw?
By grath on 6/24/2008 6:58:25 PM , Rating: 2
Technical aspects aside, its a big deal because its a foothold for Google in the wider operating system market. We know we would all love to see a PC based Google OS go head to head with Windows, but that market is too firmly entrenched to jump straight into, even for Google. The mobile OS market is much less treacherous to enter and will get their product quickly into many consumers hands.

If Android delivers on its promises, then a few years down the road Google will be in much better position to take on Microsoft in the PC market. As consumers seek increasing levels of integration between their devices, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Google OS on a game console in the future, or in more embedded applications such as DVD players and home theater equipment, all of which seem fairly straightforward to do under the Android-type framework. Its what I would do if I were Google...


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