Linked by diegocg on Mon 12th Nov 2007 19:45 UTC
Google Google has finally released Android, the opensource platform that will be used by the Open Handset Alliance. The platform is based in the Linux kernel, freetype, sqlite, webkit, a 2D/3D subsystem and other pieces, but the application framework is built in Java using a embedded-optimized VM called Dalvik. The SDK is available for Linux, Mac and Win and it includes an emulator. Video here. Update: The WebKit browser failed to render the desktop version of OSNews, so now we feed it our mobile one.
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Uninspiring
by BryanFeeney on Mon 12th Nov 2007 20:16 UTC
BryanFeeney
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's an amalgam of open-source technologies, with a basic Java API on top of it: it's Hibernate/Struts for phones, except not as advanced as either. And a quick look would seem to indicate that the XML schema they've settled on is a bit ugly, e.g.

<TextView id="@+id/text1" xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
android:layout_width="wrap_content"
android:layout_height="wrap_content"/>

It depends how well it's dressed up, but it's a disappointing effort for the amount of time they've ostensibly spent developing this software stack. The absence of an equivalent to iPhone's LayerKit is particularly telling - Unix desktops are already using high-level abstractions like Cairo and Arthur and others and Apple has CoreImage, and LayerKit on the Mac: OpenGL and SDL simply doesn't cut it.

It does look like they've invested time in performance, but the usefulness of that is open to question given how fast mobile hardware is developing (even bog-standard Nokias come with some basic 3D acceleration these days). Frankly, I can't see many people flocking to use it, which is why loads of companies have "joined" the alliance, but none have made any public commitment to use the software in a future product.

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