Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Launch of Android

"Android" - As google says, its an open platform for Mobile Devices. Yet another to work on! Now along with the Microsoft Windows Mobile, RIM - BlackBerry, Palm, Qualcomm's BREW and most cheaply available J2ME, Android is making waves in the mobile industry. Month earlier it was Apple's iPhone that started the next wave in the mobile computing era, this Diwali its Android! Apple is still going slow as they are taking more time to give SDK open to developers. Apple development is still limited to Web 2.0 and its iSafari browser support.

Yesterday Google announced the development of Android, an open platform for mobile devices. Other partners in the Open Handset Alliance include T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm and Motorola. Not much has been said about the platform except that it will be Linux powered and the first phones to appear in under a year- mid 2008 has been mentioned. I recall simputer claiming to be cheapest PDA OS based on linux has disappeared in the crowd. The story for simputer's failure to cath up the heat are different though. Google's Android may not follow the same route!

Although the present generation of mobile phones can be powered in C, C++ or Java according to the type of phone, none of the present generation are truly open. Can you for instance write software that receives, processes and sends texts, or delivers voice messages depending on who is calling? No in true sense as they are limited in many ways. The functionality of the present phones is mostly built around playing games or acting as a thin client to some web services or mere data collection agents! Of course whether the phone operators want truly open phones, given how much revenue they derive from their "Walled gardens" is another issue. Still it's encouraging that the Open Handset Alliance includes at least one operator. Lets wait and see what future has to unfold in front of the mobile community!

The OHA will make available an SDK next week on November 12. So fingers crossed and eagerly waiting for getting hands on feel of it :)