Discussion on Android

scacchicgardenSoftware and s/w Development

Dec 13, 2013 (3 years and 3 months ago)

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Mobile SIG

Larry Copeland

September 20, 2008

Discussion on Android

Android


Android

is a
software platform

and
operating system

for
mobile
devices

based on the
Linux

operating system

developed by
Google

and later the
Open Handset Alliance
. It allows developers to write
managed code

in a
Java
-
like language that utilizes Google
-
developed Java libraries, but does not support programs
developed in
native code
.


The unveiling of the Android platform on
5 November

2007

was
announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a
consortium of 34
hardware
,
software
, and
telecom

companies
devoted to advancing
open standards

for mobile devices. Google
has pledged to make most of the Android platform available under
the
Apache

free
-
software

and
open
-
source license
, once it is
released in 2008 .


History



In July 2005,
Google

acquired

Android, Inc.
, a small
startup
company

based in
Palo Alto, CA
.Android's co
-
founders who
went to work at Google included
Andy Rubin

(co
-
founder of
Danger
),
Rich Miner

(co
-
founder of Wildfire
Communications, Inc.),
Nick Sears

(once VP at
T
-
Mobile
),
and
Chris White

(one of the first engineers at
WebTV
). At
the time, little was known about the functions of Android,
Inc. other than they made software for mobile phones. This
began rumors that Google was planning to enter the
mobile
phone

market, although it was unclear what function it might
perform in that market.


At Google, the team, led by Rubin, developed a
Linux
-
based
mobile device
OS

which they marketed to handset makers
and
carriers

on the premise of providing a flexible,
upgradeable system. It was reported that Google had already
lined up a series of hardware component and software
partners and signaled to carriers that it was open to various
degrees of cooperation on their part.


SPECULATION


More speculation that Google would be entering the mobile
-
phone market came in December 2006.Reports from the
BBC

and
The Wall Street Journal

noted that Google wanted its search and
applications on mobile phones and it was working hard to deliver
that. Print and online media outlets soon reported rumors that
Google was developing a Google
-
branded
handset
. More
speculation followed reporting that as Google was defining
technical specifications, it was showing prototypes to cell phone
manufacturers and network operators. As many as 30 prototype
phones are reported to be operating "in the wild."
Phoronix

had
reported that Google wanted to team up on the
GPhone

with
OpenMoko
, a project to create a
smartphone

platform using
free
software
, including the
Linux kernel
, but
Network World

reported
that Google’s phone was actually a mobile
operating system
,
rather than a specific hardware device like the
iPhon


Patents, patent applications filed



In September 2007,
InformationWeek

covered an
Evalueserve

study reporting that Google has filed several
patent

applications in the area of mobile telephony, hinting
at the arrival of the
gPhone

in the (then) near future.
Notable US patents and patent applications include:


U.S. Patent 6,785,566

: Cellular Telephone Case


U.S. Patent 6,982,945

: Baseband Direct Sequence Spread
Spectrum Transceiver


U.S. Patent 6,829,289

: Application of a Pseudo
-
randomly
Shuffled
Hadamard

Function in a Wireless CDMA System



US

patent application

20070067329

: Overloaded Communication Session


US

patent application

20070159522

: Image
-
based Contextual Advertisement
Method and Branded Barcodes


US

patent application

20060004627

: Advertisements for Devices with Call
Functionality Such as Mobile Phones


US

patent application

20050185060

: Image Base Inquiry System for Search
Engines for Mobile Telephones with Integrated Cameras


US

patent application

20070066364

: Customized Data Retrieval Applications
for Mobile Devices Providing Interpretation of Markup Language Data


Google applied for a patent for a mobile payment system to complement its
plans to launch what was thought to be a Google phone. Known as
GPay
, it
covered a system that would let the user send a text message to Google giving
the details of a payment to a specified recipient.
GPay

would then debit the
user's bank account, crediting the money to the payee. (This patent may be
invalid in light of prior art.
[18]
)


Open Handset Alliance founded



On
5 November

2007
, the
Open Handset Alliance
, a
consortium

of several companies which include
Google
,
HTC
,
Intel
,
Motorola
,
Qualcomm
,
T
-
Mobile
,
Sprint Nextel

and
NVIDIA
, was unveiled with the goal to develop
open
standards

for mobile
devices.Along

with the formation of the
Open Handset Alliance, the OHA also unveiled their first
product, Android, a mobile device
platform

built on the
Linux

kernel.


Google Chairman and CEO
Eric Schmidt

took a moment in
the official press release to dispel all previous rumors and
speculation about the existence of a stand
-
alone Google
phone.


Today's announcement is more ambitious than any single
'Google Phone' that the press has been speculating about over
the past few weeks. Our vision is that the powerful platform
we're unveiling will power thousands of different phone
models."

-
Eric Schmidt
,
Google Chairman/CEO

Features


Current features and specifications:


Handset layouts The platform is adaptable to both larger,
VGA
,
2D graphics

library,
3D graphics

library based on
OpenGL ES

1.0 specifications, traditional
smartphone

layouts. Storage The Database Software
SQLite

is used for
data storage purposes Connectivity Android supports a wide
variety of connectivity technologies including
GSM
/
EDGE
,
CDMA
,
EV
-
DO
,
UMTS
,
Bluetooth
, and
Wi
-
Fi
. Messaging
SMS
,
MMS
, and
XMPP

are available forms of messaging
including threaded
text messaging
. The XMPP
implementation is based on Jive Software's
Smack
Web

browser
Main article:
WebKit


The web browser available in Android is based on 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. Media support
Android will support advanced audio/video/still media formats
such as
MPEG
-
4
,
H.264
,
MP3
,
AAC
,
AMR
,
JPEG
,
PNG
,
GIF
.
Additional hardware support Android is fully capable of utilizing
video/still cameras,
touchscreens
,
GPS
, compasses,
accelerometers
, and accelerated 3D graphics. Development
environment Includes a device emulator, tools for
debugging
,
memory and
performance profiling
, a
plugin

for the
Eclipse IDE


Hardware products running Android



Several manufacturers have expressed interest in implementing
the Android platform.


Prototypes


Google has unveiled at least three prototypes for Android at the
Mobile World Congress

on 12 February 2008. One prototype at
the ARM booth displayed several basic Google applications. A 'd
-
pad' controls zooming of items in the dock with a relatively quick
response.
[
citation needed
]


A prototype at the Google IO conference on
May 28
,
2008

had a
528 MHz
Qualcomm

processor and a
Synaptics

capacitive
touchscreen

and used the
UMTS

cellular standard. It had a
128

MB of RAM and 256

MB of flash. The demo was carried out
using a 3.6
Mbit
/s
HSDPA

connection.


T
-
Mobile Smartphone




T
-
Mobile announced in August 2008 that they would deliver
the first production smartphone
-

the
HTC Dream

-

to use
Google
's
Android

software. The product is intended to
compete head
-
on with the
Apple iPhone
.The device received
FCC

approval in August 2008. The phone will be available as
early as
September 2008
.


http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/17/android_launch_next_week/





Software development



The early feedback on developing applications for the
Android platform was mixed. Issues cited include bugs, lack
of documentation, inadequate QA infrastructure, and no
public issue
-
tracking system. (Google announced an issue
tracker on 18 January 2008.)MergeLab mobile startup
founder Adam MacBeth stated,
"Functionality is not there, is
poorly documented or just doesn't work... It's clearly not ready for
prime time."
[27]

Despite this, Android
-
targeted applications
began to appear already the week after the platform was
announced. The first publicly available application was the
Snake game
.


Software development kit



The Android SDK includes a comprehensive set of development
tools.These

include a
debugger
,
libraries
, a handset
emulator
,
documentation
, sample code, and
tutorials
). Currently supported
development platforms include
x86
-
based computers running
Linux

(any
Linux Distribution
),
Mac OS X

10.4.8 or later,
Windows XP

or
Vista
. Requirements also include
Java Development Kit
,
Apache Ant
,
and
Python

2.2 or later. The officially supported
integrated development
environment

(IDE) is
Eclipse

(3.2 or later) using the Android
Development Tools (ADT)
Plugin
, though developers may use any text
editor to edit Java and XML files then use
command line

tools to create,
build and debug Android applications.


A preview release of the Android
software development kit

(SDK) was
released on
12 November

2007
.




On
15 July

2008
, the Android Developer Challenge Team accidentally
sent an email to all entrants in the Android Developer Challenge
announcing that a new release of the SDK was available in a "private"
download area. The email was intended for winners of the first round of
the Android Developer Challenge. The revelation that Google was
supplying new SDK releases to some developers and not others (and
keeping this arrangement private) has led to widely reported frustration
within the Android developer community .


On
18 August

2008

the Android 0.9 SDK beta was released. This release
provides an updated and extended API, improved development tools and
an updated design for the home screen. Detailed instructions for
upgrading are available to those already working with an earlier release.


According to the developer roadmap, a 1.0 pre
-
release is expected to be
released sometime in
September
, with a final release before the end of
2008
.


Android Developer Challenges


The Android Developer Challenge was a competition for the
most innovative application for Android. Google offered
prizes totaling 10 million
US dollars
, distributed between
two phases of the competition.The first phase accepted
submissions from
2 January

to
14 April

2008
. The 50 most
promising entries, announced on
12 May

2008
, each received
a $25,000 award to fund further development.The second
phase ended in early September with the announcement of
ten teams that received $275,000 each, and ten teams that
received $100,000 each.

Criticism


Android has been criticized for not being all
open
-
source software

despite what was announced by Google. Parts of the
SDK

are
proprietary

and
closed source

and some believe this is so that
Google can control the
platform.The

Android Software
Development Kit License Agreement

states that:


3.2
You agree that Google (or Google's licensors) own all legal right, title
and interest in and to the SDK, including any intellectual property rights
which subsist in the SDK. Use, reproduction and distribution of
components of the SDK licensed under an open source software license are
governed solely by the terms of that open source software license and not by
this License Agreement. Until the SDK is released under an open source
license, you may not extract the source code or create a derivative work of
the SDK.



However, Google has since announced that all parts of the OS will be
released under the
Apache License

where applicable and under the GPL
elsewhere. Google's applications that interact with Google's systems,
such as their email service, are not open source.


Also, at least for now, software installed by users must be written in Java
and will not have access to lower level device
APIs.This

provides end
-
users with less control over their phone's functionality than other free
and open source phone platforms, such as
OpenMoko
.


Another issue is related to Android's disregard of established Java
standards, i.e. Java SE and ME. This prevents compatibility among Java
applications written for those platforms and those for the Android
platform. Android only reuses the Java language syntax, but does not
provide the full
-
class libraries and APIs bundled with Java SE or ME.


//END//


COMING UP FOR THE MOBILE SIG


October


Clinton Fitch (New Smartphones, Advice on
Carriers, more)


November


Subnotebooks, new laptops


December


Mobile Games


January


GPS Systems


February


Desktop Replacements


March


Using your Mobile for business





COMING UP FOR THE IT PRO SIG


Oct


Clinton Fitch with present on new Mobile Trends


Nov


discussion on Windows 2008


Dec


discussion on Exchange 2007


January


discussion on Disaster Recovery


February


discussion on Troubleshooting techniques


March


discussion on Backup Software





Other Area Events coming up soon


IT Roadmap Dallas


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Center
-

September 23


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-
16