Eyeing Android

The word 'android' might conjure up images in one's mind of tiny robots taking over the globe and plotting humankind’s downfall. Google, however, is hoping that its Android software will take over the smartphone world

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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  November 3, 2008

The word ‘android’ might conjure up images in one’s mind of tiny robots taking over the globe and plotting humankind’s downfall. Google, however, is hoping that its Android software will take over the smartphone world with the recent US launch of the ‘T Mobile G1’ (also known as the HTC Dream).

HTC’s Dream, which I reckon may make it to Middle Eastern shores in the future, is packaged with Google Android, a software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system (OS), middleware and a number of applications.

Some of the major features of Android are an application framework enabling the reuse and replacement of components, a Dalvik virtual machine optimised for mobile devices, an integrated browser based on the open source WebKit engine, optimised graphics powered by a custom 2D graphics library with 3D graphics based on the OpenGL ES 1.0 specification (hardware acceleration optional) and SQLite for structured data storage.

Android also includes media support for common audio, video and still image formats (MPEG4, H.264, MP3, AAC, AMR, JPG, PNG and GIF), GSM telephony (hardware dependent), Bluetooth, EDGE, 3G, WiFi (hardware dependent), GPS, a compass and an accelerometer (hardware dependent).

Android is currently available as a free software development kit (SDK), providing the tools and application programming interface (APIs) necessary to begin developing apps using Java code. The Android enabled Dream, in fact, already showcases applications such as Photostream, which integrates with photo sharing website Flickr.

Many apps developed via the SDK are to be floated on the Android Marketplace and a variety of applications is a priority for Google, who are awarding over $10 million to developers in the ‘Android Developer Challenge’.

Apart from Android, the Dream has other interesting features as well. For starters, it has a QWERTY keyboard and a three megapixel camera, whereas the iPhone lacks a fixed keyboard and only features a two megapixel camera. The iPhone, conversely, has a multi-touch screen, which is sorely lacking on the Dream.

With HTC being available in many countries in the Middle East, consumers will, if the Dream makes it over to our shores, benefit from a wide variety of useful application software. It’s definitely an exciting time to be a mobile consumer.

3280 days ago
RAJIIF

Excellent well written very informative

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