Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Google Android is Not Science Fiction

Android Logo
The iPhone is one of the most wide spread phenomina since the rubix cube, with thousands of aps and just as many options it has become a top contender in wireless communications. Have you ever looked at your iPhone and wonder what drives it? Android is the underlying foundation and operating system developed by Google and later enhanced by Open Handset Alliance for mobile devices. The system relies on the Linux kernel for core system services such as security, memory management, process management, network stack, and driver model. Android allows developers to write managed code in the Java language, controlling the device via Google-developed Java libraries. Applications can be written in other languages such as C but the paths may not be supported by Google.

The Android Platform was released in November 5, 2007 along with the forming of the Alliance consisting of 48 hardware, software and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Android was released by Google under the free-software and open source license Apache. Open source makes it harder for the “search giant” to corner the market in wireless aps. The Android project just keeps growing, with giant companies coming on board; like Sony Ericson and Toshiba. However, Blackberry and Palm are notably in the game.

Many other companies are creating phones that will run Android like Moterolla, Acer, Sony Ericson, and Samsung all of whom are planning to release Android based phones in 2009.

Android is not without its criticisms, Wikipedia reports:

“Tethering (internet connectivity to a laptop or pc via the cell phone) is forbidden by T-Mobile USA and Google has banned such applications for their customers. However, tethering applications are still available for non T-Mobile USA users.[100] This also means that the apps can be carrier specific as chosen by Google.[101]

Android uses a Linux kernel, but does not contain a full Linux stack. Its specific nature makes it difficult to reuse existing Linux applications or libraries.[102]

Android does not use 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.[103]”

At only a year and a half old Android has taken the country by storm and while it does have its limitations I am certain that this is only a foundation of bigger things to come, and I think it is safe to say we will all be looking forward to what comes next.

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