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Old 01-19-2010, 06:44 PM   #1
Nate the great
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What do you know about Android?

Can anyone give a general background on Android? I'm lost on some of the nuances. For example, over at UMPC Portal I read about "authorized" vs "unauthorized" devices. What does it mean when Google "approves" a device?

Thanks.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:42 PM   #2
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Sorry Nate, I have no idea. Android is still mostly a mystery to me.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Can anyone give a general background on Android? I'm lost on some of the nuances. For example, over at UMPC Portal I read about "authorized" vs "unauthorized" devices. What does it mean when Google "approves" a device?

Thanks.
Peverel is your best bet, he's developing software for Android (at least I think he is from the last time he was on, he posted something about working with Android).
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Can anyone give a general background on Android? I'm lost on some of the nuances. For example, over at UMPC Portal I read about "authorized" vs "unauthorized" devices. What does it mean when Google "approves" a device?

Thanks.
im about 90% sure it just means that google has looked at the phone and seen that it works, and that it has the google apps installed by defalt.

love my droid. if you are getting a android I would tell you dont go for a custom ui by a phone maker... ie blur/the htc one/whatever. go with stock os and add apps on top of it. phone like this get updates more commonly then phones with custom ui like blur.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:45 PM   #5
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I haven't found anything on the 'nuances' yet, but the wikipedia article is a start, and then the developers intro page starts to make some sense. Linux Journal had an article way back in March 2008 which may be somewhat dated now.

It looks like a modified Linux base (no X11, different libC) using a custom Java VM and custom class libraries. Obviously the phone control can be pulled out to give us netbooks and e-readers...

Some days I feel like I'm getting too old to keep up with everything - I used to try.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:24 AM   #6
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I'm not sure if this is the same thing as "approved", but I do know that device makers have to pay a certain amount extra to include the app store with their device. So not every Android device has access to the app store. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't install things, it just means you have to do it the hard way - pointing your device at the install file and running it.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Can anyone give a general background on Android? I'm lost on some of the nuances. For example, over at UMPC Portal I read about "authorized" vs "unauthorized" devices. What does it mean when Google "approves" a device?
What specifically do you need to know?

Android is an embedded Linux derivative, which Google got by acquiring the outfit developing it. It's modular, with a wide assortment of drivers included to support Wifi, Bluetooth, and various forms of cellular communication, as well as Java (through a third-party source, as Google had issues with Sun's license). The vendor builds a custom image with support for the particular things their device will do.

I don't see Android as a UMPC OS just yet, since it's targeted at smartphones, and various phones are either present (an HTC device, Motorola's Droid, and Google's own Nexus One) or in the pipeline. But when I read the specs and got the SDK, my first question was when we'd see Android in something that wasn't a smartphone, and I've heard rumors of some ARM based netbooks in development that will use Android under the hood.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:42 AM   #8
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Having now owned a larger Android device than a phone, I can say the system itself is designed for a small screen, such as a phone. The user interface on a 7" device is still quite lacking. I found my finger had to dance all over the screen to complete simple procedures... not a problem with a 3" screen but kind of ridiculous when using larger real estate.

As a system for ebook reading, I prefer Windows CE and other custom systems. So far, Android has been my least favorite way of reading ebooks, but perhaps it will keep improving. My advice is to wait.

Last edited by pphilipp; 05-29-2010 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:17 AM   #9
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Hope this isn't too late but......

A Google approved device must meet a number of google guidelines for hardware. Currently, although likely to change shortly with the number of Android tablet devices being shown, your device must have physical buttons for Home, Menu and some sort of trackball. I also believe that they require you to have a camera, a gps and some sort of compass but I am not positive on that, also versions prior to 1.6 (Dohnut) did not offically support medium or high density screens. Hence the reason a device like the Archos 5 IT with Android was not an approved or google experience device.

An approved or google experience device is allowed to preinstall the google App suite that includes Google Mail, Google Maps/Navigation and the Google Marketplace. Unapproved devices are not allowed to have these apps installed by the device Manufacturer.

Some device like the Archos 5IT have been modified by the user community to install the google apps without being an approved device. Google have not passed comment on what they think of this.

To cut a long story short the Android OS is open source and anyone can compile it and install it on any device (assuming they have the development skills) but the Google Experience Apps are the property of Google and only released for install on 'approved' google experience devices.

Hope that helps
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:34 PM   #10
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But, Wait, there's More

Android is the fastest growing mobile O/S in existence. Version 2.2 (Froyo) will provide a speed increase with the new Dalvik just-in-time Java compiler.

http://www.taranfx.com/android-internals-jit-froyo

http://www.androidcentral.com/benchm...roid-21-eclair

Life in the fast lane will just get faster. Remember that saying about living in interesting times? The tablet market is in its infancy, even though tablets have been around for years. The rebirth of the tablet market was made possible by the iPhone and Android smartphone devices. Apple's iPad is/was the groundbreaking tablet device. The adoption rate has been phenomenal (just try to buy a 3G model at your local store). For a brand new product, bugs and breakdowns have been very few. Now, it's Android's turn to play catchup. The next few years will be fascinating for gadget freaks.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:10 PM   #11
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You are right, Android is in its infancy and already in just 2 years has 50,000 apps. We do indeed live in interesting times. Apple is now the largest techonology company in the world but it has many contenders, Android is growing and the multi vendor approach is playing off. Will Apple beat Android? who knows but it will be interesting, for now I will keep developing for both as they both have their strengths.

Interesting times are fun!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by Peverel; 05-29-2010 at 06:12 PM.
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