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Android 1.5 SDK Is Released

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the get-your-hack-on dept.

Google 135

RadiusK writes "Starting today, developers can get an early look at the SDK for the next version of the Android platform. Version 1.5 introduces APIs for features such as soft keyboards, home screen widgets, live folders, and speech recognition. At the developer site, you can download the early-look Android 1.5 SDK, read important information about upgrading your Eclipse plugin and existing projects, and learn about what's new and improved in Android 1.5."

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Im awesome (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27576559)

FP?

Oh no run run (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27576699)

The android has escaped! It is programmed to CRUSH KILL DESTROY! Run!

Re:Oh no run run (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576929)

> The android has escaped! It is programmed to CRUSH KILL DESTROY! Run!

IDAK, is that you?

The big question is: (1, Insightful)

d3vi1 (710592) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576595)

Feature and usability-wise is it getting close to the iPhone?
I have a lot of "toys" at home, including a GTA01 and a Nokia N800. While a lot better in some technical aspects, and in most philosophical ones, they all fade in comparison to the iPhone. No SyncML, no PIM suite (GPE doesn't count as it's not really integrated to the platform).

OMG!!! Teh iPhone!!! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27576775)

"Feature and usability-wise is it getting close to the iPhone?"

What a fucking moron!

Android is being put on cellphones from every single major company this year: Sony Ericsson, LG, Samsung, Motorola, Asus, etc. Android is being readied for netbooks from the major PC OEMs like HP and Dell.

Android has quickly become the standard and default platform for a vast array of hardware devices. The number of Android based devices is soon going to be gigantic.

But will you wub it will all your heart and make your sad and pathetic little life fulfilled like your precious little iPhone does?

No one gives a shit retard.

Re:OMG!!! Teh iPhone!!! (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579431)

So to sum up, you talked adnauseum about hardware platforms that might end up using Android when the question was about usability of the software UI of Android versus the iPhone and the related software ecosystem. Watch who you call a moron Einstein.

Re:OMG!!! Teh iPhone!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27579549)

Might?

LOL! If people could see the pile of hardware from cellphone manufacturers and PC OEMs sitting right here on this desk...

Re:The big question is: (4, Informative)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577173)

In a word, yes.

I have a G1. It works well considering it is 1st generation hardware/software. No A2DP, but same situation as iPhone (3.0/Cupcake). Other than that, software-wise the widgets are smooth, and you can actually run services in the background. Some of the applications need improving, like the mail client needs IMAP IDLE support, etc.. but it's getting there. You can get a custom cupcake build for the G1 now which fixes a lot of those problems.

Hardware-wise, the G1 is not as pretty, but the upcoming devices should give the iPhone a run for its money. The really good thing about it though is that it's got the right number of real buttons, which make navigation a lot more manageable.

Talking about the N800, OS2008 is great. Nokia has been doing a lot for mobile Linux and I plan on upgrading my trusty ole 770 running OS2008 to whatever device they have for Maemo 5.

Re:The big question is: (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577347)

If the iPhone's hardware is so great, why does Jobs say that Flash Lite 'isn't right' for the iPhone? Way to cripple much website functionality.

Re:The big question is: (1)

kTag (24819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577537)

Agree with you, but Flash Lite support is not going to help with your crippled web site. I can take a Nokia with Flash Lite and my video on YouTube still doesn't work. You need full Flash support + plugin to get no crippled web site

Re:The big question is: (1)

rishistar (662278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577851)

My current and previous two Nokia handsets use RealPlayer to watch the embedded flash videos of Youtube. In fact N96 is touted to be able to run Youtube and BBC IPlayer videos.

Re:The big question is: (4, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577321)

No PIM suite on the Nokia one? All Nokia phones here an germany have PIM, SyncML, and tons of features that no iPhone ever had. The series 60 and series 80 phones from Nokia are pretty much a real OS. With everything that you would expect from a computer with such a limited physical interface.

I guess I will never get, why people like a phone that is already technologically outdated and still overpriced, and adds even more annoyances to the package (like not being able to even input some important characters, being locked-down, and having the display turn into a smudgy piece of shit after 5 seconds of usage)...
Are looks and the name Apple really that important to you? Or is it, that the other phones that they offer in the USA are even worse?

I mean, I'd love to make a business out of importing European and Japanese phones into the US market. There's no reason you should be that limited, that you think, the iPhone is great...

Re:The big question is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27577523)

No. The looks and the Apple name are important to him.

Re:The big question is: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27577653)

Slashdot/Apple Fanboy Checklist

step 1: purchase an iPhone
step 2: ??
step 3: have anal sex with Steve Jobs

Re:The big question is: (0)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578831)

Are looks and the name Apple really that important to you? Or is it, that the other phones that they offer in the USA are even worse?

The other phones are significantly worse for the average user.

I mean, I'd love to make a business out of importing European and Japanese phones into the US market. There's no reason you should be that limited, that you think, the iPhone is great...

Yeah, good luck with that. The telephone companies in the US have higher rates and use those rates to subsidize phones. That means you're trying to sell unsubsidized phones to people in competition with subsidized ones. Add onto that the fact that there is no guarantee any of the cool features or services of the phones will work on a particular network, and your market is going to be pretty small.

Re:The big question is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27577371)

Feature and usability-wise

not on those terms, but a portable platform for linux hackers. the synchronization is "on the air" , including system upgrades, so you need no pc unlike iphone and the damn itunes

Teh IPHONEEEEEEE!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580319)

feature and usability-wise, iphone is the standard, eh? For fuck sake, they did not even have copy-paste till now.

Only on /.. Now go and suck Steve's dick, you asshole.

a2dp !!!! Yay!!! Video Recording!!! (4, Informative)

8282now (583198) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576599)

# Camera & Gallery

        * Video recording
        * Video playback (MPEG-4 & 3GP formats)

# Bluetooth

        * Stereo Bluetooth support (A2DP and AVCRP profiles)
        * Auto-pairing
        * Improved handsfree experience

Youtube SPAM button and more efficient GUI! (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578625)

# Google applications

        * View Google Talk friends' status in Contacts, SMS, MMS, GMail, and Email applications
        * Batch actions such as archive, delete, and label on Gmail messages
        * Upload videos to Youtube
        * Upload photos on Picasa

All that stuff is nice (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576605)

but I just what T-Mobil to roll out stereo Blue tooth..now!

Re:All that stuff is nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27579857)

It's in there. Read the damn thing.

Holy Shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27576617)

Google has a product that's actually versioning? I wonder what type of weapons or blackmail the Android group have that lets them do this.

Re:Holy Shit! (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576791)

Considering there's a cost to the phone, unlike Gmail or something that's a service, they actually need to get a product out the door.

I'm curious (2)

SlashDotDotDot (1356809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576645)

Anyone here written code for Android? How do you like it?

Re:I'm curious (2, Informative)

john_anderson_ii (786633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576785)

I've done some doodling, nothing serious. The Eclipse plugin with emulator integration is very nice to work with.

Absolutely Love It (5, Informative)

MediaStreams (1461187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576949)

Picking up Android development was as easy as it could be.

Just downloaded Eclipse and installed the Android plugin. Everything is just standard Java that everyone already is familiar with. Standard OpenGL for the graphics stuff.

Tons of well documented example code and documentation.

The best part has been the people from Google so far. They are the most helpful and bright employees I've ever encountered or dealt with doing development support.

The only thing that has been an occasional pain has been there were some major changes from the pre-1.0 Android SDK that lost of old code was written for. Sometimes when looking for an example of a certain API feature you will get tripped up looking at old code. This is getting less and less of a problem as time moves forward, but there are still Android dev books that come from ancient versions of the Android APIs.

 

The standards that really matter... (1)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577251)

Picking up Android development was as easy as it could be. Just downloaded Eclipse and installed the Android plugin.

So, doesn't work with vi or emacs, eh?

Re:The standards that really matter... (1)

kTag (24819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577445)

Don't know if it's a serious question or not, but the answer is yes, it works with both. All command line stuff is there. You compile your Java with Android compiler, deploy the result to the emulator using command line if you want. If I remember correctly it's even based on Ant.

Re:The standards that really matter... (1)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578759)

Yeah, I was joking--I know Google has better taste than to distribute something that won't work well in a straight Linux environment (unlike some other wannabe companies that shall remain nameless).

If I remember correctly it's even based on Ant.

You say that as if it's a good thing. ;-)

I haven't done heavy Java development since before Ant had really caught on, but as far as I can tell, it was written to pave over Windows' entirely incompetent set of command-line tools. And maybe to catch the XML train, which probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but just makes Antfiles utterly unreadable to my eyes. (Even the tiny example on the Wikipedia page makes me want to hurl.)

Re:The standards that really matter... (1)

ickpoo (454860) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577793)

It works just fine with Emacs (and probably VI). There are command line applications for project generation, compilation (ant), moving stuff to the phone, or the emulator, for watching logs on the phone / emulator. The only thing I haven't done is use the debugger, which I understand that Eclipse has nicely integrated.

Re:Absolutely Love It (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578049)

How tied to Java is Android development? Is that the only option, or could I write in some other language if I wanted? (I don't care about C; I'm more interested in something like Python, Lisp/Scheme, and O'Caml.)

Re:Absolutely Love It (2, Informative)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578163)

All the APIs are based off of a stripped down version of Java so if you use their APIs you are constricted to that. With root access you can write programs in a language like C/C++, or any language you can compile to native code, and compile for ARM and run it, but that's not supported obviously.

PhoneGap - html/javascript coding for G1 Android (1)

sracer (534850) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578731)

I'm impressed with my G1 out-of-the-box (coming from a T-Mo Dash). And as long as there are significant improvements I will be delighted with it.

I use Eclipse for Java development on my job but I didn't want my leisure coding activity to feel like work so I went poking around. I stumbled across http://phonegap.com/ [phonegap.com] which is an add-on to the Eclipse/Android SDK that allows developers to create apps using html and javascript.

I downloaded, installed it, and manage to compile the sample code pretty easily. Reminds me a bit of ForwardPass for the PocketPC.

Re:Absolutely Love It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27578585)

Cool I was wondering how developing was on the Android. I currently own the Freerunner and wanted to get into developing software for it... except the instruction/wiki does not help at all. I didn't know what the hell I was supposed to be doing to even get started. Sounds like I'll be trying out the Android real soon (the panicking images for the Freerunner are great, except it goes to sleep when receiving a call).

what he said .... (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580559)

it's an easy pickup, even, if like me, you'd put off learning java until you really needed it

the integrated debugger in eclipse is excellent too - download the SDK now (not 1.5) you can do development onto the emultaor until you get a phone

Re:I'm curious (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577075)

Android is fine. Its API is quite good and easy to use, it allows to write background processes and features like call handling.

The main problem: it's _still_ interpreted.

Re:I'm curious (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577829)

Are you sure it's interpreted? According to the documentation it does use a jit compiler to compile java bytecode to asm.

Re:I'm curious (1)

sketerpot (454020) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579005)

Link please? All the sources I could find are explicitly stating that Android's VM does not have a JIT compiler. This saves memory, but can slow down code that spends a lot of time in the JVM. (The Android guys do say, however, that a JIT is definitely on their to-do list. For what it's worth.)

Re:I'm curious (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27577099)

I've been messing with it off and on for a few weeks now. Overall I'm impressed, the Eclipse/emulator integration is very good. The API itself is decent, business logic is easily separated from display logic via the Activity/View pattern it implements. There are a lot of utility classes to do things like animation, bitmap manipulation, maintaining collections of sounds, etc. It has a nice XML-based layout system that takes a lot of tedium out of designing the UI/layout (compared to Swing or something). I'm definitely sticking with it for now. They have a decent developer site that (IMHO) does a good job of explaining Android development and application architecture as well as providing an API reference:

http://developer.android.com/guide/basics/what-is-android.html

Re:I'm curious (4, Informative)

kTag (24819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577217)

I did a project for the Android Challenge.
I'm working with a Mac and Eclipse is not the most user friendly IDE on this platform.
The process is smooth enough, forget about Linux, it's all Java based. I do Java stuff 10h a day so I felt right at home. It takes a couple of days to feel right about the suggested class design. Appart from that, I felt it was all very standard stuff, nothing really amazing, persistence is nice enough with sqlite but that's about it. You won't find any major revolution in there, it's very close to a simple standard Java application. So I didn't do more code since (it was based on SDK 1.1 if I remember correctly) and since I didn't even win the right to carry on with the Challenge, I left everything as it was (I got good technical marks, but the profitability of the idea wasn't there...). You see, if you didn't win somehow you didn't have access to the new SDK, unlike all the other lucky bastards. So why bother...
Now I've got to get back to the Web SDK of the iPhone and the CSS transformations, these are rocking my days (actually more my nights).

Re:I'm curious (1)

edivad (1186799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577285)

It's wonderful! You will especially love their Parcelable interface, that you are FORCED to implement for every class (and contained/inherited class) that you plan to pass among views.
And this is not like the Java standard Serializable, that the JVM gives you for free. This is something that you are forced to implement.
Cheap poor interfaces design.

Re:I'm curious (1)

EboMike (236714) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580733)

You're not doing it right. There is barely ever a need to implement Parcelable if you're trying to pass data across your own app.

Re:I'm curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27577643)

are you also bi-curious?

Re:I'm curious (4, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578065)

I wrote an app which is now on the market. The good:

  • Java. OK, actually I hate Java. But I'd hate Objective-C a lot more. Implementing a simple crash reporter around my core logic was about 10 lines of Java code, and it works every time. Implementing the same thing in C++ or Objective-C would be .... non-trivial. No bother with heap corruptions, etc.

  • The whole design of activities and intents is quite well thought out. It seemed overly complicated at first but now I appreciate it a lot more. It's also very flexible, you aren't forced to use the infrastructure if you don't want to.

  • Really rich APIs. Background services, maps, multimedia, power management, package management, notifications .... even a face recognizer!

  • The market. I see a lot of people rag on the market and the comments system. Maybe I'm biased because my app has almost universally good reviews, but it's really nice to get that instant feedback about how you're doing. It's my experience that G1 owners (and there are apparently quite a lot) are ridiculously lenient. My app is extremely simple and could use a lot of extra features, yet I consistently get really flattering comments about it. It's actually been a long time since I wrote and launched an app directly to Normal People, and it's been a refreshing experience. Publishing my app to the market was a breeze - it's instant gratification. No approval process.

... and the bad ...

  • Java.
  • Documentation is rather rough in places. Precious few example apps. Non-existent HIG.
  • The SDK GUI editor is very basic (I believe it's much improved in 1.5, need to check it out).

... and the ugly ...

  • Bugs. The 1.1 release improved things a lot, but as a user I still the contact list system in particular to be distressingly buggy. It's by no means unusably buggy, but I expect a much more robust experience from my phone than I would a desktop OS.
  • HTTP APIs. There's two, the standard Java API and then apache httpclient. Unfortunately httpclient is version 4.x, not the more mature and well known 3.x. HttpClient 4.x has almost no useful documentation and doesn't support some features that 3.x did. PAIN.

All that said, I like writing apps for Android. Eclipse is decent. Java is decent. The distribution process is decent. And it's apparently improving pretty fast.

Re:I'm curious (3, Interesting)

caluml (551744) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578505)

Java. OK, actually I hate Java.

So you hate Java despite it allowing you to do precisely, easily, and compactly what you wanted to do? *

People are weird.

* I'm guessing you had a traumatic experience with an applet in 1998 that took 20 seconds to start up, and hung your browser. Get over it.

Re:I'm curious (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579611)

It's possible to use Scala for Android development: http://www.scala-lang.org/node/160 [scala-lang.org]

Try it, you'll like it!

someone send me $399 (1)

Maarek Stele (7770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576669)

the emulator's great, but I would like the DEV phone and utilize my AT&T connection. Thanks for the post.

Re:someone send me $399 (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576879)

Send me your account information. Sincerely, Nigerian business man

Re:someone send me $399 (1)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576953)

and utilize my AT&T connection

Good luck with that since they use different frequency bands for their 3g service.

Re:someone send me $399 (1)

ptrace (1078855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579889)

Yes, that's true, but from what I understand the HTC units can change the 3g frequency in firmware. Have not yet seen any hacks to enable 3g on AT&T though.

Re:someone send me $399 (1)

fangorious (1024903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580945)

I think if it were a simple firmware feature then far more full HSDPA phones would be available for T-Mobile USA. As of now, I can only find two: G1 and Sony TM506. Currently all the other T-Mobile USA 3G phones are UMTS.

but where's my motivation? (3, Interesting)

sverdrup (1532519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576683)

I'm hoping the API will eventually include some kind of anti-piracy options. I wish this version took some steps in that direction, but doesn't look it's going to happen anytime soon. I think the Android market is going to be huge, but until there's some kind of download protection for Android apps, I've got to stick to developing for the iPhone.

Re:but where's my motivation? (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576747)

Then I am sure the people who own Android phones thank you. DRM is not something they want, you can keep that stuff for the mac fans.

Re:but where's my motivation? (2, Insightful)

sverdrup (1532519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576911)

That might be the case for now, with bleeding-edge early adopters making up a big portion of Android's userbase. But the huge selection of apps for the iPhone came when developers realized it was the next gold rush. I think what you'll see on Android is a ton of apps with the DRM built into them, free apps that you have to pay to unlock.

Re:but where's my motivation? (2, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577441)

And then you'll see the open sourcers step in and clone each and every one of those apps. People don't want DRM, and the idea will ultimately fail on any open phone.

Re:but where's my motivation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27578279)

When it comes to cell phones most people actually don't know about DRM, much less give a shit about it. You buy an app, you download it, you use it. If you get a new phone, you might have to pay that hefty $0.99 again. An average user is going to see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Re:but where's my motivation? (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580375)

You buy an app, you download it, you use it. [...] An average user is going to see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Agreed. Until...

If you get a new phone, you might have to pay that hefty $0.99 again.

Whoops! Then there will be hell to pay.

I never really had a problem with Apple's DRM. Then Apple released music videos. I bought one because I liked the song and I liked the video. Then I decided I wanted to put the song on my non-video capable iPod. Bzzt! Can I rip the audio into an AAC file? Nope. What can I do? Buy a copy of the song for an extra 99 cents.

Sorry. I got the song when I paid $1.99 for the video. Don't need to pay again, thanks. Audio Hijack [rogueamoeba.com] to the rescue! And I haven't bought another music video from the iTunes Store since.

It's sort of like the old saw that a Conservative is a Liberal who got mugged. DRM doesn't bother people until they run up against it doing something they feel is legitimate. Then they become offended. And offended customers tend not to purchase again.

Re:but where's my motivation? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578109)

I have to agree with the other poster who responded to this. iPhone users are non-technical users, Android users are technical users. DRM your app? Watch the open source clone replace it.

Re:but where's my motivation? (1)

tpgp (48001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578345)

iPhone users are non-technical users, Android users are technical users.

What a load of bullshit. The userbase of both phones are a majority non technical, with a small minority of technical users.

Re:but where's my motivation? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27581013)

But the huge selection of apps for the iPhone came when developers realized it was the next gold rush.

That really is an apt analogy, like other gold rushes, most iphone developers will come out with less money then when they went in. Iphones are going to be a limited market much like Macintoshes due to the fact that Apple will refuse to license the OS, this limits both the number (and type) of devices that can be produced and the number people willing to purchase the device (mainly due to the lack of options and the prohibitive priceing). The volume of Apps for the iphone mean that there is an over-abundance of supply, whilst supply is unlimited (digital copies) money is still a very limited commodity.

Apple is setting up the appstore to cater almost exclusively to large dev houses that can crank out tetris clone 53 or pointless vanity app 137 in a quarter of the time it takes an independent dev to crank out a similar app, let alone something with substance. You'll probably see the advertising, *cough* I mean featured apps will all be from large dev houses, Popcap will be one of the first to start drowning people out with the sheer volume of mediocre games it can produce and I'm sure Apple will have no problem giving them preferential treatment given the amount of sales they could generate.

Android on the other hand has tried to tap into the open source community for app development and support and they've succeeded. While Apple maintain dictatorial control over the appstore and what can and cant be installed on the device, the Android Marketplace has few controls, while it's been shown that carriers can ask for apps to be removed this is relatively pointless as an Android phone can allow installation from any source, which makes de-listing apps from the marketplace futile, a placebo at best.

I think what you'll see on Android is a ton of apps with the DRM built into them,

Well there already are paid apps that run in a restricted mode until you buy a license, like Touchdown, the exchange client for Android. I suppose you could call that DRM if you're looking for faults. Even if you are right (and I'd say you're right to a degree) by the time that there is a metric ton of DRMed or restricted apps there will be 10 imperial tons (roughly 1.6 metric tons) of free and unrestricted apps. Android isn't like the Iphone however, DRM may be able to be tacked on to android apps but with the iphone its built into the system.

Re:but where's my motivation? (1)

prxi (1286702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576975)

Currently paid for apps can't be accessed unless you have root access (majority of users don't). That said, you could tie an application you write to an account that you validate with also. Other than that, what can they really do to stop people with root access?

Re:but where's my motivation? (2, Insightful)

sverdrup (1532519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577119)

I suppose that's the tradeoff. Android's openness lets you program cooler stuff, but shifts the burden of protecting your work to the developer.

Re:but where's my motivation? (1)

chonglibloodsport (1270740) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577349)

What? iPhone apps are being pirated left and right. There are even app stores dedicated to pirated apps.

Re:but where's my motivation? (1)

sverdrup (1532519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577481)

Are you really suggesting that there is no difference between Apple's DRM and Android DRM?

Re:but where's my motivation? (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579707)

If an app provides actual value at a price the market can actually bear (remember that "pirates" are part of the market too), then your app would do fine. But in my opinion, the market only has room for so many of these small, on-off apps that seem be cluttering the Apple app store, which are not worth the dollar that most people ask for. If you're so worried about your little app being pirated to the point that you can't make money on it, then you probably need to invest your efforts elsewhere on something that provides value to someone.

We can't just use DRM to enforce value on something that the market sees as having no value, especially in a market that is now commoditized. I would bet that for almost all the apps you have in store, if someone really felt it was of value to them, they could write their own version in fairly short order and undercut you.

So in the short term, you'll probably do pretty well developing on the iPhone. But the market there is not sustainable. Your market base will be saturated at some point, very quickly. And the lifespan of iPhone apps is pretty short I'd imagine, so unless you really come up with something imaginative with each iteration, you're unlikely to sell more than one copy to each person.

If I were developing on either platform, I'd be more worried about writing a program that could tie unto a useful service that worked with the phone's capabilities somehow. As long as people want a service I can sell, I don't think "download protection" matters at all. For example, developing a service that would integrate with a VPN (a la logmein.com) to your home computer to make your home computer documents available to you whenever you want and where ever you are, that would be worth far more in terms of income than an app.

The days of selling cute bouncy balls, simple book readers, or solitare games are pretty much past. (Where is Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, Pocket Powerpoint on the iPhone? Why aren't there any real apps yet?)

Re:but where's my motivation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580675)

Interestingly enough, there is a logmein.com app for the iPhone. It's $19.99.

Anyone seen any android phones ? (1, Flamebait)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576723)

The only ones I know are either horridly expensive (the German phone), provider locked AND not available here, the other one (openmoko) ... well coughing is to dieing from a HIV infection like buggy is to ... Oh and that one's bankrupt too.

I'd love to get unbelievably exited about this phone operating system. Except ... it's got a bit of an emacs problem ... this phone operating system does sooooo many things sooooo great ... except it doesn't seem to operate any actual phones ...

Re:Anyone seen any android phones ? (2, Interesting)

KBlommel (1165263) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577015)

Currently in the US there's only the G1 from T-Mobile. I'm currently on Sprint and I got very excited when Sprint said they were going to be coming out with an Android based phone this year, only later to read that they feel the Android platform isn't ready yet.

Sprint will be the first provider with the Palm Pre though, which I think looks amazing. I'm hoping it gets a strong developer base for applications, because that's what is going to decide whether the phone is great or a flop.

Re:Anyone seen any android phones ? (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577031)

HTC isn't German. HTC made the first Android phone, which is sold as HTC Dream, T-Mobile G1, and Android Dev Phone 1. HTC isn't German. The HTC Dream and Androidn Dev Phone are not locked at all. And I'm note completely sure the T-Mobile G1 is even provider locked. More Android phones, from multiple vendors, are on its way.

Re:Anyone seen any android phones ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27577087)

I got mine at a Car Toys... I think you are confused. This one is available at any T-mobile cellphone store. And I have yet to see the OS. I know it is there because I installed a "terminal" app. However, all the applications came from the Market. And I paid for one application.

Android Owners Aren't Losers Like iPhone Owners (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27577245)

People with Android phones, shockingly, buy them because they work well and get on with their lives. They aren't lifestyle choices. They aren't something that fills a hole in their sad and empty lives.

So, no, Android phones aren't:

* Carried in the most visible way everywhere in public places hoping everyone will notice just how 'special' they are for what phone they own

* Brought up in every single conversation with every single person they meet in public

* Used in the most annoyingly over manner in public places with a desperate and sad hope that people will ask them about their phone

Samsung
LG
Asus
Sony
Motorola

all have multiple Android based phones coming out in 2009. Companies like Motorola are building a 200 person team just to focus on Android phone development alone. It is rapidly becoming the default platform for cellphones.

Re:Android Owners Aren't Losers Like iPhone Owners (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27578227)

someone has iPhone envy and/or a small cock

lighten up, Francis

Don't Cry Assclown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27578697)

Awww, poor baby!

Don't cry assclown, no one is going to take your precious iPhone away.

Re:Anyone seen any android phones ? (1)

windsurfer619 (958212) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577421)

I believe you can get the G1 unlocked directly from google [android.com] .

Re:Anyone seen any android phones ? (1)

WaroDaBeast (1211048) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577707)

I'd love to get unbelievably exited about this phone operating system.

You'd need several doors constantly revolving around said phone for this to happen. I do think that it would be fun indeed, especially if done properly — à la Jazz, that is.

Last post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27577127)

Right, this is it. I'm really going to get last post this time, and you b*stards aren't going to stop me!

Every time someone posts something after this, I'm going down to deck 13 -- where that stasis leak is -- go back in time, tell my previous self not to post yet, then after everyone has finished posting in this thread I'll write the last post. Then we can all be safe in the knowledge that it will be, absolutely and finally, the last blasted post in this thread!

If you happen to see this with other posts following, it's just because I haven't gone back in time yet.

That's nice... (5, Insightful)

pdragon04 (801577) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577175)

...now how about getting some more phones that can actually use it?

C API yet? (0, Flamebait)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577193)

Do they have a C or C++ API yet or is it still Java? I'm not interested in using a memory hogging interpreted language on a mobile phone.

Re:C API yet? (2, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577275)

I keep hearing a lot of people ask this, especially from Symbian devs who can't see how their image processing code would even work on java.

Seeing as the underlying OS is all C/C++ it really beats me why they don't expose the 'environment' to C coders too. Then we'd see some fancy fast applications on Android that might make other phone manufacturers look on with envy.

There again, if they released a C API, you'd be able to run ruby/python and perl code on it too!

Re:C API yet? (4, Insightful)

josath (460165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578307)

The problem is that mobile phone apps pretty much have to be sandboxed, and that's a lot harder to do with C/C++ than it is with something like Java. The tools available on modern PC's for sandboxing applications don't even work all that well most of the time (see Vista). Now imagine that instead of a full-powered PC with all sorts of extensions and opcodes and so on, you're running on a much more limited platform. (sidenote: technically Android isn't pure Java, they've created their own bytecode, so they aren't beholden to Sun's iron grasp)

Re:C API yet? (1)

Leafheart (1120885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579787)

If they wanted sandbox they should have coded it in LUA.

Re:C API yet? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578877)

The Java VM doesn't mean only java. python and ruby can be compiled to JVM bytecode

Re:C API yet? (0, Troll)

zoid.com (311775) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577315)

You don't know very much do you?

Re:C API yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27578189)

The .java files don't get compiled into .class files on Android. It's some other format, I forget what it's called, but it's very lean and optimized for a mobile platform.

Re:C API yet? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578571)

It doesn't matter. You still have a layer in between the hardware and the code, which slows down speed, bloats memory, and drains battery life (due to needing more CPU power). I don't want to use that as a development platform. Especially when there's no sense in not releasing a C API, the libraries they're using are all written in C or C++.

Re:C API yet? (1)

cyngus (753668) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580503)

First off, its not a requisite that a VM add significant overhead to code. Its true that it can't have zero overhead, but its not true that it automatically causes a massive CPU performance hit and memory explosion. I'll point to one benchmark that at least indicates JVM performance can exceed C++ performance, http://kano.net/javabench/ [kano.net] . (To be clear, Android does not use a JVM, it uses its own VM).

Second, if you base your language choice for a mainstream, general purpose platform, solely on code efficiency, you're making a mistake. Speed is *not* all that matters. Portability and *programmer* efficiency are major factors to consider if you want a successful platform. In these dimensions the Java language and VM execution environments tend to be superior.

Third, for the vast majority of programs, its the code you write, regardless of language that makes the most difference. Languages create far fewer slow programs than poor programmers and designers.

None of this is to say that their aren't benefits to native code, and in the long run Android should provide a way to write native code for those tiny bits of the program that are doing heavy algorithmic work. What I do mean to say is that saying the best language for all your code is C[++] is incorrect (unless all you write is heavy algorithmic code, most applications have more than this).

Re:C API yet? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27578613)

Ah, I see the Javaistas are out in force modding me down. Guess what- Java is not the ideal programming language for many people and many situations. A limited power, limited memory, battery life dependent device is one of those. Deal with it.

Asking for a title on a comment is idiotic /. (3, Insightful)

greentshirt (1308037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577327)

Seems someone at Google didn't fully realize that their low fanfare and subtle product roll out system wouldn't translate well to consumer electronics. I was very excited to hear about Android in a Wired article last year and I was pleased to see it's just around the corner. But in my opinion the launch was terrible. There was little coverage in mainstream media, I didn't see any commercials or marketing of any kind. They should have waited till they had more carriers on board, more cell phone / electronics manufacturers on board and launched with a huge marketing campaign. I would argue that Google has a more marketable IP than Apple does (almost everyone uses something Google related and most people have a generally positive view on Google), and if Android was launched properly it would have easily gone head to head with the iPhone (particularily if it wasn't rushed out and maintained all initially stated functionality).

Re:Asking for a title on a comment is idiotic /. (2, Interesting)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579525)

Arguably, Android G1 was not really ready for widespread use. It has a lot of rough edges and device itself (I own it) is not very well polished.

Basic functionality (2, Interesting)

blincoln (592401) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577405)

Hey Google - have you fixed the mail reader so I can view messages composed by someone using Pine (or one of its derivatives) instead of just seeing "null" where the body should be?

All of the flash is nice, but getting the basics working would be better. This issue is supposedly fixed in the codebase, but I don't see anything in the 1.5 release notes indicating that it's included.

Re:Basic functionality (5, Funny)

greentshirt (1308037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577463)

I still think it's incredible that there is no Google toolbar for Chrome.

Re:Basic functionality (0)

blincoln (592401) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577889)

...also, can I make two small (but important - well, at least the first one is important) requests regarding the music player?

1 - "Shuffle" does not mean "play a random track after the current track". It means "advance through the current playlist in a random order, playing each track exactly one time. One all tracks have been played, pick a new random order for the playlist and repeat". While the G1's random order is more random than some other players I've used, it definitely picks a fraction of the tracks much more frequently than the others, and some tracks virtually never.

2 - The option to filter the file list while browsing for a track shouldn't affect the actual playlist (although maybe this can be a selectable option)? One of the main ways in which I use the music player is while I'm exercising. I would really like to pick a specific track to start out with, and then have the "shuffle" mode give me random stuff after that. But if I use the track filter to find a track, the app will only select from the filtered view in terms of tracks after the current one.

But does it support Java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27577577)

No, I am not trolling. It's just that earlier versions used something quite similar to Java (tm), but it was missing about half of standard JDK. It wouldn't matter all that much if it was unnecessary, useless parts of JDK. But that wasn't the case, rather, some arbitrary logic (if (rnd() > 0.5) { /* include */ } ?) seemed to be used to determine fate of any given API package.

So with version 1.5, does Android support some useful subset of real Java?

Android 1.5 Highlights (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27578143)

Android 1.5 Highlights

April 2009

The Android 1.5 platform introduces many new features for users and developers. The list below provides an overview of the changes.
User interface refinements

        * System-wide:
                    o Refinement of all core UI elements
                    o Animated window transitions (off by default)
                    o Accelerometer-based application rotations
        * UI polish for:
                    o In-call experience
                    o Contacts, Call log, and Favorites
                    o SMS & MMS
                    o Browser
                    o Gmail
                    o Calendar
                    o Email
                    o Camera & Gallery
                    o Application management

Performance improvements

        * Faster Camera start-up and image capture
        * Much faster acquisition of GPS location (powered by SUPL AGPS)
        * Smoother page scrolling in Browser
        * Speedier GMail conversation list scrolling

New features

        * On-screen soft keyboard
                    o Works in both portrait and landscape orientation
                    o Support for user installation of 3rd party keyboards
                    o User dictionary for custom words
        * Home screen
                    o Widgets
                                + Bundled home screen widgets include: analog clock, calendar, music player, picture frame, and search
                    o Live folders
        * Camera & Gallery
                    o Video recording
                    o Video playback (MPEG-4 & 3GP formats)
        * Bluetooth
                    o Stereo Bluetooth support (A2DP and AVCRP profiles)
                    o Auto-pairing
                    o Improved handsfree experience
        * Browser
                    o Updated with latest Webkit browser & Squirrelfish Javascript engines
                    o Copy 'n paste in browser
                    o Search within a page
                    o User-selectable text-encoding
                    o UI changes include:
                                + Unified Go and Search box
                                + Tabbed bookmarks/history/most-visited screen
        * Contacts
                    o Shows user picture for Favorites
                    o Specific date/time stamp for events in call log
                    o One-touch access to a contact card from call log event
        * System
                    o New Linux kernel (version 2.6.27)
                    o SD card filesystem auto-checking and repair
                    o SIM Application Toolkit 1.0
        * Google applications
                    o View Google Talk friends' status in Contacts, SMS, MMS, GMail, and Email applications
                    o Batch actions such as archive, delete, and label on Gmail messages
                    o Upload videos to Youtube
                    o Upload photos on Picasa

New APIs and developer tools

        * UI framework
                    o Framework for easier background/UI thread interaction
                    o New SlidingDrawer widget
                    o Horizontal ScrollView widget
        * Home Screen framework
                    o APIs for creating secure home screen widgets
                    o APIs for populating live folders with custom content
        * Media framework
                    o Raw audio recording and playback APIs
                    o Interactive MIDI playback engine
                    o Video recording APIs for developers (3GP format)
                    o Video and photo sharing Intents
                    o Media search Intent
        * Input Method framework
                    o Text prediction engine
                    o Ability to provide downloadable IMEs to users
        * Speech recognition framework
                    o Support for using speech recognition libraries via Intent
        * Misc API additions
                    o LocationManager - Applications can get location change updates via Intent
                    o WebView - Touch start/end/move/cancel DOM event support
                    o SensorManager - redesigned sensor APIs
                    o GLSurfaceView - convenience framework for creating OpenGL applications
                    o Broadcast Intent for app update install succeeded - for smoother app upgrade experience
        * Developer tools
                    o Support for multiple versions of Android in a single SDK installation
                    o Improved JUnit support in ADT
                    o Easier application performance profiling

I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27578197)

I, for one, welcome our version 1.5 overlords.

First poSt (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27579101)

SORELY DIMINISHED. a popular 'news website third, you a dead man walking. (I alwayS bring my numbers. The loss maintained that too 800 w/512 Megs of sadness And it was

J2ME (J2SE?) support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27579349)

Android may be more open than iphone, but it still seems wacky, at least when I last looked at it. All wierd android-specific apis, a wierd not-really-jvm underneath... It's "java"... but... Does it support running european/asian-phone-industry-standard J2ME applets or even J2SE? Network app stores generally provide J2ME games and stuff.

Google is no so Open Source as say. (1)

kvillaca (1276120) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580111)

I like google, but latest Android versions that had two distinct public and wasnt so open, some points into product certificates and Chrome that sent everything that we write to google... makes me have one step behind in all products that they have released and will release one day. Because this I don't use google produts anymore, even restricting gmail use either. Yes Google is a very good company with good products, but your policy isn't so clear.

Accelerometer-based application rotations (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580223)

Oh shit, no! Randomly rotating apps everytime you move your phone. Why did they have to copy the iPhone? The accelerometer is the most worthless gimmic ever put into a gadget.

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