Linked by chandler on Sun 16th May 2010 19:28 UTC
Google Google is set to announce Android 2.2 at the Google I/O event this week and one of the highly anticipated features will provide a big boost for performance and battery life. Originally the Dalvik virtual machine was implemented as an interpreter, but now a JIT compiler will be used. Already benchmarks show a roughly 6x improvement in numeric performance with the new JIT. While this will make Snapdragon-powered phones like the Nexus One seem even more responsive it will have the biggest impact on lower end phones using ARM11-based chipsets. It remains to be seen how many existing models will receive upgrades to 2.2.
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RE: What about GPS
by anevilyak on Mon 17th May 2010 22:14 UTC in reply to "What about GPS"
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All I've read so far in the specs of recent phones is "A-GPS", which means the GPS chips locks into position faster thanks to pre-computed something (maps, positions, I don't know). BUT, does it mean that the GPS (since it looks like all phones now have a GPS chip) is freely usable ? I wonder why there's no war going on about that specific feature; didn't Nokia vow, some months ago, to bring free nav to the masses ? What's missing there, the maps, the apps, something else ?

The difference between A-GPS vs GPS is basically sacrificing some hardware to save money ; A-GPS relies on using the cell tower as one of the triangulation points in order to avoid having to lock onto as many satellites. The upside is the GPS hardware doesn't have to be as sophisticated, the downside is you can't get an accurate GPS lock without being in cell tower range. It's purely a cost issue, nothing lock-in related whatsoever.

Edit: I should also note, at least in Android the GPS hardware is completely accessible via the SDK, there are plenty of 3rd party apps that use it, if that's what you're referring to. With respect to things like turn-by-turn Nav, the biggest problem is storage space ; good maps for a large area can literally run into the gigabyte range, Google Maps Nav basically just gets the subset it needs for the current area on the fly, whereas a real GPS nav unit has substantial storage dedicated to just that. The mapping data (and associated cost) tends to be the bigger barrier to writing your own GPS Nav app, not the hardware per se.

Edited 2010-05-17 22:17 UTC

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