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Google's Android Cellphone SDK Released

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the can-you-hear-me-now dept.

Google 283

AchiIIe writes "The android SDK has been released to the wild. As expected it features the Linux Kernel, low level libraries such as FreeType, OpenGL, SQL Lite, WebKit (as a web browser), a custom Java Bytecode interpreter that is highly specialized for the CPU. A common java API is provided. A video has been posted with an the overview of the API." SM: Several readers have also written to mention the Android Developer Challenge offering $10 million in prizes for cool mobile apps.

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Posted from my Gphone (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21325869)

Frist Psot!

Hardware? (4, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21325889)

What hardware platform does it run on?

"a custom Java Bytecode interpreter that is highly specialized for the CPU" - Kind of hard to do that in an emulator on a PC. What CPU is this optimized for? (Guessing ARM... Still, to evaluate performance you need real hardware.)

Re:Hardware? (2, Insightful)

aneviltrend (1153431) | more than 6 years ago | (#21325963)

True, measuring actual current draw and temperature statistics will always require the physical hardware in question. But modern hardware simulators are able to accurately model such parameters (as well as architecture-dependent events such as cache misses) and give a good feel for the performance (both in terms of power consumption and software speed). And I'm sure an architecture as popular as ARM has several simulators for that exact purpose.

Re:Hardware? (2, Informative)

angryLNX (679691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21325965)

What would be needed would be a developer's model for these phones,
and the correct transfer hardware and developer's kit from a NON-OHA
phone.

Ironically, that makes this really hard, because the old-school (non-
Android) handsets make it very hard to independently develop with.

We have a forum thread discussing this possibility:
http://www.ohadev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=23 [ohadev.com]

Cheers,
Brian Jordan
http://ohadev.com/ [ohadev.com] - Android SDK discussion, code samples, tutorials,
application submission

Re:Hardware? (4, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326039)

What I would love to see is for HTC to port Android to some of their older devices in order to get a developer's platform out there quickly.

Android for Kaiser = drool. Even Android for Hermes would rock.

Re:Hardware? (2, Interesting)

radimvice (762083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326329)

"a custom Java Bytecode interpreter that is highly specialized for the CPU" - Kind of hard to do that in an emulator on a PC. What CPU is this optimized for? (Guessing ARM... Still, to evaluate performance you need real hardware.)

The "custom Java Bytecode interpreter" probably means a Jazelle JVM [arm.com] or variant. These are specialized CPU/JVM combinations that execute Java bytecode in hardware. This technology is used on many of the Java phones already in the market.

-Will [ohadev.com]

Re:Hardware? (2, Interesting)

ClassMyAss (976281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326613)

Having done a quick pass through the docs, it doesn't look like there's much info on the VM, other than that they're calling it the "Dalvik VM" (a Google search doesn't turn up much - Dalvik is just some place in Iceland, so it's likely they just chose the name).

I kind of doubt the Jazelle thing, though, since Warren East at ARM was talking smack about Android [wired.com] , and they are the ones that do Jazelle...

not using jazelle? (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326611)

If they say bytecode interpreter then they are probably not using jazelle, which is a pity. Jazelle runs java byte code natively on the processor and is much faster than any interpreter.
And of coarse it's ARM, practically all mobile devices run on some sort of ARM derived processor (OMAP, XScale, Qualcomm are all ARM based)

Re:Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326919)

"What hardware platform does it run on?"

It doesn't because Steve Balmer said it was "vaporware".

Java means (0, Flamebait)

rainhill (86347) | more than 6 years ago | (#21325913)

Real slow phones.

Eclipse means (1)

angryLNX (679691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326027)

Real fast development.

http://code.google.com/android/intro/installing.html#installingplugin [google.com]

-------
Brian Jordan
http://ohadev.com/ [ohadev.com] - Android SDK discussion, code samples and tutorials

Re:Eclipse means (1)

Metaphorically (841874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326219)

Eclipse is cool, I like it for development, but can you run the whole thing on an emulator like QEMU or something?

Re:Eclipse means (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326961)

Why would you want to run it on Qemu?
You could install Linux or Windows and run them under Qemu and then install the SDK but why?

Re:Java means (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326037)

WTFV. The Virtual Machine is not really Java. Java code gets converted to Google's custom "Dex" Phone VM.

Re:Java means (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326125)

Hardly true. Besides, whatever small speed difference you might gain by writing some C code (for example) that is compiled and optimized for that processor will be dwarfed by the extra development time and the fact that few developers will be interested in working with the API.

Re:Java means (1)

Metaphorically (841874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326253)

Lots of us still develop in and actually vastly prefer C apis. Even if I'm not actually using C for my development there are plenty of tools that will wrap up a C api and expose it in a language of my choice.

Re:Java means (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326709)

No doubt, but there are a lot more people doing OOP and Java specifically and thus for a project like this that wants people to contribute on their own free time to win a prize the pool of resources will be much larger.

Re:Java means (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327111)

More people doing Java than C? Possibly. More than doing C and C++? Nope. And if you write a C API, you can access it via C++ directly or write a thin class library.

Its too bad- I was interested in trying this out, but I don't do Java.

Re:Java means (3, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326177)

I'm assuming (need to confirm) that Android is primarily developed using native ARM code, it just happens to include a Java VM for all those legacy MIDlets running around out there.

It would be suicide (see Palm as an example) for Google to make developing using native code difficult. (For those not in the know, even though PalmOS has run on ARM CPUs for years, normal apps are still emulated m68k code, with the option of "ARMlets" to allow snippets of native code on PalmOS 5. Writing an ARMlet is an UNHOLY NIGHTMARE. I attempted to speed up a program by replacing some code with native ARM code and gave up.)

Re:Java means (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326813)

Actually, it seems to be missing some key CLDC and MIDP classes. Unless the docs are incomplete, it won't run a MIDlet in its current form.

I was wondering why Sun isn't an Alliance partner, and I'm now assuming it was because they didn't like the direction Google was taking this.

It would be suicide to make native code necessary at all. There are four major platforms - Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Series 60, and BlackBerry - and now there will be six - Android and the iPhone. Developing mobile applications is more difficult than desktop applications, and that difficultly is compounded when you want to target more than one of these platforms. They are nothing alike, and dealing with their idiosyncrasies can be painful and expensive.

If Android could be divorced from Linux, there would be nothing preventing it from running on any of these other devices. It could be what finally fulfills the promises of Java - write once, run everywhere, and this time actually look great doing it.

Ooops (3, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326833)

The documentation isn't quite clear, but it looks like I was wrong and unfortunately Android apps are indeed intended to be written in Java. (as opposed to, say, something like a C/C++ toolkit with bindings for other languages, such as TrollTech's mobile Qt variant.)

I just lost a lot of interest in Android, if it pigeonholes developers into a single language and makes compiling native code with an efficient language difficult. Java utterly failed in the "Write once, run everywhere" arena, and it's an ugly horse-designed-by-committe language that universally leads to bloat. (See, for example, the memory usage and UI responsiveness of uTorrent when compared with Azureus.) There's a big focus on mobile devices towards multimedia applications (video, audio), and smooth video playback on a phone takes even natively compiled code to its limits.

Re:Java means (1)

tkinnun0 (756022) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326989)

The reason it's in such a state is because PalmSource needs to support their legacy m68000 processor because that's what their developers are still using, and it's a vicious cycle. In contrast, BlackBerry [wikipedia.org] has gone from Intel 80386 to ARM 7/9 to Intel PXA901. Why aren't BB developers lamenting their lot? Because, due to Java, all they've seen are faster speeds and better APIs.

Java is not bad for mobile phones. (5, Informative)

radimvice (762083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326255)

Real slow phones.

No. Most of the phones on the market today use Java for graphics and applications, including pretty much all of the popular cell phones in Japan that make any phones in the Western world look childish by comparison. The problem is that there is an impression among standard Windows developers that Java is necessarily slow, which is absolutely not true. Sure, the early PC JVMs, the Swing toolkit and the applet model were resource-hungry abominations, but Java on cellphones is lean, mean, and it's already pretty much everywhere.

Re:Java is not bad for mobile phones. (2, Informative)

Metaphorically (841874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326367)

Most of the phones on the market today use Java for graphics and applications, including pretty much all of the popular cell phones in Japan that make any phones in the Western world look childish by comparison. The problem is that there is an impression among standard Windows developers that Java is necessarily slow, which is absolutely not true.


Not disagreeing with you but it's important to point out that the Java that runs on a phone is micro edition which has some important differences from standard edition. They're not exactly the same thing. And it's also important to note that there are other contenders for cell phone apps like BREW (at least that was around a while ago, not sure if it still is).

Re:Java is not bad for mobile phones. (1)

bitserf (756357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326959)

The impression among Windows developers that Java is necessarily slow is because they have something to compare it to on the same OS, which is functionally identical: The .NET CLR.

It still runs circles around Java on the same hardware.

Android is not on hardware yet (5, Informative)

angryLNX (679691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21325917)

The most common question I've heard is "What hardware is the Android platform running on?" Nobody outside of Google and possibly the Open Handset Alliance members has run it on hardware yet. If you're interested in trying to hack it, there is a board of people trying to get it on some phones: http://www.ohadev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15 [ohadev.com] ------------ Cheers, Brian Jordan http://ohadev.com/ [ohadev.com] - Android SDK code samples, tutorials, discussion

Prototype in the vids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326603)

Adding to the hardware questions and rumours: Does anybody recognize the prototypes in the google videos? Are these custom built, or regular cell phones which just run Android pre-pre-alpha (or mock ups)?

Now everybody form an orderly line ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21325937)

.. there's enough Google dick for everyone to suck!

a COOL app (4, Funny)

cadience (770683) | more than 6 years ago | (#21325995)

a TODO list!! ;-)

My Submission : MMORPG (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21325997)


FI2 ( Fucked In Iraq ) [whitehouse.org] .

Cheers.

Incorrect repository URL? (4, Informative)

radimvice (762083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326045)

Shouldn't this point to the official repository at http://code.google.com/android/ [google.com] instead of http://code.google.com/p/android [google.com] , which just looks like some ad-hoc mirror?

Re:Incorrect repository URL? (1)

gjuggler (934203) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326169)

The link goes to the "canonical" Google Code project page, but it appears that Google has set up a "special" page for the Android project. Note that if you try to use that format for a "normal" Google Code project, (such as my own PhyloWidget: correct [google.com] , incorrect [google.com] ) you get an invalid URL error.

Furthermore, I was disappointed to see that the Android project's SVN browser page [googlecode.com] turns up blank. Come on, we want Source Code!

greg
OHADev [ohadev.com]

Re:Incorrect repository URL? (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326211)

The 'p' is for 'paranoid'.

Re:Incorrect repository URL? (1)

shdwtek (898320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326843)

"What's that...? (I may be paranoid, but not an android)"

$10E7 ? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326089)

That's a large enough amount that even I might dust off my old Java skiilz..

Re:$10E7 ? (1)

angryLNX (679691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326121)

prize = 10**7

py fo life

--------
Brian Jordan
http://ohadev.com/ [ohadev.com] - Android SDK news, code snippets, and discussion

Re:$10E7 ? (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326155)

Well, you get $25k for being in the top 50. Then that gets subdivided after later development into two groups of ten, one group getting $100k and the better group getting $275k.

Re:$10E7 ? (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326237)

No dusting necessary. Just restore old memories by rummaging through the garbage collector.

$10E7 ? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326323)

Clearly I've been using Bittorrent to watch too much tv; I first read that subject as Season 1, Episode 7. :)

Re:$10E7 ? (3, Funny)

LoonyMike (917095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326903)

Well I've been doing too much hex math, I read it as 4327 dollars.

Re:$10E7 ? (1)

hitchhacker (122525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326939)

Sorry to nitpick, but shouldn't that be $10e6, or $1e7?
Hell, just use <Dr Evil>10 Million Dollars! Muahahaha</Dr Evil>

-metric

Re:$10E7 ? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327083)

You're right. I got my engineering notation wrong.

First patch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326107)

SIGALRM signals to implement timers. this makes for much better timing accuracy when using "old" emukated Linux kernels

android-emulator-20071111/README:

s/emukated/emulated/
Emulator is a patched QEMU.

Android will start the Java tornado on devices (4, Interesting)

Carl Rosenberger (449479) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326145)

Android is fully based on Java.

Being a developer of an open source java database [db4o.com] myself, I am absolutely thrilled.

This is the the single best possibe thing that could have happened for the success of Java on devices. This SDK will be decisive for how software will be written for the masses in the future: With Java. Don't forget: The number of mobile phone users without a PC will soon be an order of magnitude higher than the number of PC users.

Re:Android will start the Java tornado on devices (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326929)

This is the the single best possibe thing that could have happened for the success of Java on devices. This SDK will be decisive for how software will be written for the masses in the future: With Java.
Mobile Java *did* have a success. People realized it and it's now ubiquitous.

Don't forget: The number of mobile phone users without a PC will soon be an order of magnitude higher than the number of PC users.
That also has already happened.

Re:Android will start the Java tornado on devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326945)

Hey, Carl! Long time, no chit-chat. :)

Looking at the Android platform, it's not completely Java based. It's actually a Linux platform with the APIs exposed through Java APIs which are compiled down to a custom VM platform. AFAICS, it's not MIDP compatible. Which means that DB4O won't run without being full-up ported. Which could be interesting considering that the API looks like it was designed by a former Microsoft employee... (What is up with the Hungarian notation? And why are all the services so disorganized?) :-/

--jbanes

Re:Android will start the Java tornado on devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326947)

Of course, the infamous "write once, test everywhere" :-)

Re:Android will start the Java tornado on devices (1)

ReeceTarbert (893612) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326997)

This is the the single best possibe thing that could have happened for the success of Java on devices.
And what about Java ME then? It has been around for a while now and, for better or for worse, it's available on a lot of devices.


RT
--
Your Bookmarks. Anywhere. Anytime. [simplybookmarks.com]

Independent developers discussion forum (2, Interesting)

radimvice (762083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326151)

Some friends and I have started a discussion forum for independent developers at ohadev.com [ohadev.com] , please stop by and leave some comments if you're interested in getting in touch with some independent Android enthusiasts.

Terr'rists, Italians and Quebecers not allowed. (4, Interesting)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326171)

"The Android Developer Challenge is open to individuals, teams of individuals, and business entities. While we seek to make the Challenge open worldwide, we cannot open the Challenge to residents of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, and Myanmar (Burma) because of U.S. laws. In addition, the Challenge is not open to residents of Italy or Quebec because of local restrictions."

Mama Mia! Tabernak!

Re:Terr'rists, Italians and Quebecers not allowed. (1)

bucky0 (229117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326339)

IIRC, There's some weird laws in Quebec about contests with prizes. Most contests aren't applicable there because of that.

Re:Terr'rists, Italians and Quebecers not allowed. (4, Informative)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326407)

Yep - you have to pay a "license fee" of 10% of the potential prize to the government as a "permit" - even if nobody wins.

Of course, the simple way around that is to submit it via the web, naming a relative in another province/state.

Here is an idea for Google (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326257)

Rather create just cell phones, how about creating a regular house phone that uses VOIP (not a big deal), but have the base be able to talk to the local network (not just in VOIP mode).

Now, your phone is your true home assisitant.

  • Want to see the tv guide? Look it up on the house phone.
  • Want to control lights on the X-10 network ? Use the home phone.
  • Likewise, you want to look in on baby? Buy the extra network baby camera and then use the phone to listen or view.
  • Want to jot down a note, then do it on the phone and have it show up on the home server.
  • Want to view your photos? Do it on the home phone, hit #9, and have it show up at the TV in front of you.
  • Want to control the TV, Stereo, etc? Buy the inexpesnive IR controller (LIRC based) and then use the phone to say, volume up, channel change, etc.
All in all, an inexpensive form of this AND the interesting attachments are missing.

Re:Here is an idea for Google (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326409)

Now the remaining question: who wants this and why?

Re:Here is an idea for Google (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326507)

Well, we have a baby camera here with a portible monitor. Great thing going. In addition, I have recently put all the video/audeo in a cabinet and I use an IR extender to control them. I have several house lights on X10, as well as several outdoor outlets (holiday lighting), and then use this for xmas lighting indoors. We have comcast, but only 1 tv has digital. The others are analog. No guide there. Have to go to the computer to get it. All sorts of uses for this. Heck, average ppl are spending 200 for simply IR controller. That is ridiculus. For what I talking about, even if the phone costs 200, that is nothing. Esp. if the system is extensible (i.e. 1 or more phones per base leading to a phone per house member).

Re:Here is an idea for Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326465)

I think you just described the 1960s' concept of home computing. Join us in the 21st century, where we have these magical devices called PCs that can do all that and more.

Re:Here is an idea for Google (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326479)

Rather create just cell phones, how about creating a regular house phone that uses VOIP (not a big deal), but have the base be able to talk to the local network (not just in VOIP mode). Now, your phone is your true home assisitant.
I've read your post 3 times and I still don't know if you are serious :-)

Re:Here is an idea for Google (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326535)

Isn't Android open source?

Isn't the iPhone SDK coming due out right around February? And doesn't that support the iPod Touch as well as the iPhone?

Seems to me that you could combine what Google and Apple are doing in the handset space right now to achieve pretty much what you want...

(By the way, I've already been doing some of the specific things you're talking about with web apps designed to render on phones. There's a Java API (other languages too) for X10, and so you can write web apps tuned for handhelds that when used control the lights in your house. Add a handheld-tuned Wiki, a computer-controlled IR emitter, et cetera, glued to your web server with APIs in your favorite web app language and you can already to most of it.)

Re:Here is an idea for Google (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326649)

So you'd rather see them jury-rig a home phone to do complicated things than have them create an interface on a mobile platform (PDA, phone, etc) that could do it much easier and visually, instead of having the user constantly listen to prompts and/or memorize button presses?

No thanks. I'd much rather see the same hooked up to a phone with a decent-sized screen (the iPhone comes to mind, even though I don't own one) and be able to control it like that. Maybe the Neo1973 ... Since OpenMoko is open source, it's probably not that hard to add this stuff to it, assuming most of it exists already and just needs to be modified for mobile use. In fact, I was just reading here yesterday that someone managed to use Bluetooth on a phone to track which housemate was where and great them when they enter, etc. I would love to have the house constantly adjust the lighting according to what room I'm in, which direction I'm walking, and what time of day it is.

Re:Here is an idea for Google (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326763)

So you'd rather see them jury-rig a home phone to do complicated things than have them create an interface on a mobile platform (PDA, phone, etc) that could do it much easier and visually, instead of having the user constantly listen to prompts and/or memorize button presses?

Apparently, you have not looked over android yet. Short answer, they are targeting touch screens as well as old style. I would assume that most of the phones that will come from this will be iphone style. Me? I would rather see an iphone set-up. After all, if I am at home, and have need of a full keyboard, then I will simply use on of the systems.

Just out of curiosity, where did you read into the original post that you had to listen to prompts or deal soley with button presses?

Re:Here is an idea for Google (2, Interesting)

senor_burt (515819) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326911)

I'm doing most of this already, using a mashup of Asterisk (open source), Voxeo Prophecy (2-4 ports free CCXML/VXML ASR/TTS in English), Linksys web-cams, and the Insteon developer kit. It works with wireless PDAs which have SIP clients running on them, too. The cost was just in hardware.

worth a try.. (4, Informative)

abes (82351) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326259)

I just downloaded the SDK, so will hopefully have some time to play around with it. It looks potentially very interesting, but here are a few quick thoughts:

(1) It's Java. Sometimes Java is the right tool for the job. Unfortunately, I've never been a big fan of the Java libraries. They always seemed overly complex and verbose to do simple things. I say this comparing it to both the STL/Boost for C++ and Cocoa. Granted, both of those libraries have their issues.

(2) It's eclipse-centric. It looks like they want you to use Eclipse. I'm sure you can do fine without using Eclipse. I'm not sure how dependent it is on creating interfaces etc. So you might do best to ignore this point. Eclipse does some things really well -- taking advantage of being a Java-based editor, it can use RTTI to help in the code-writing process.

That said, I would be very happy if I never had to use Eclipse again. The interface itself is extremely non-intuitive, gets in the way, and caused a great deal of swearing to occur. Nowadays I use either Emacs, Textmate, or XCode. XCode isn't perfect but it does a really good job of not getting in your way, and occasionally actually helping out (like the reference panel that automatically calls up info on the function your cursor is over .. it's on the side so it doesn't get in the way, but it's there if you want it).

(3) Code layout. I'm not sure how much of it being a Java thing, or how much it is google, but the fact that I need to go 3-4 directories in just to get to the source code is very frustrating. I'm pretty sure there's better ways to do that.

(4) I have an iPhone. I'm waiting for the iPhone SDK to be released .. it will be interesting to see how it compares. I really like Cocoa. It's really a great language/libraries for developing windowed systems. Interface Builder is the only GUI builder I think makes sense. I hate code generation, and I hate the weird quirks that come with many others (QT, Visual Studios, WxWidgets, GLADE++). IB just works.

(5) It appears to come with an emulator, which is very cool! That is a major win for fast development times.

Give all my complaints, I'm probably going to try writing an app or two for it ASAP. Code should be fun to write, which will be my major test for how good/bad the platform is. I also wonder how configurable it is. Did they come up with good conventions? If not, can you override them, or will all apps suffer the same?

Re:worth a try.. (4, Insightful)

radimvice (762083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326453)

Some responses to your points:

(1) It's Java.

Java is the entrenched standard for mobile development. Google isn't pushing Java here, they're trying to maximize their reach to existing mobile developers.

(2) It's eclipse-centric.

As mentioned on their site, Google's developers use a mix of Eclipse, IntelliJ, and NetBeans for development, which is pretty much the standard in Java development. They've probably released an Eclipse plugin first because it had the broadest reach and perhaps it was the easiest environment to create a plugin for. I doubt this means that Google is pushing Eclipse, however, I would expect tutorials and documentation (if not additional plugins) to be released for the other environments soon enough.

(3) Code layout.

Code layout in package directories is pretty much a Java thing, again pretty standard.

(4) I have an iPhone.

iPhone is a single phone. Android will support a whole platform of upcoming phones. This is a big enough difference to be interested in the Android SDK at the very least, if not both. Plus, you can check out the Android SDK now while you'll have to wait until February for teh iPhone SDK.

(5) It appears to come with an emulator, which is very cool!

Yeah, it is very cool! This is also pretty standard for wireless toolkits (WTK), since development on the devices themselves is usually difficult and time-consuming. My company's [javaground.com] suite of game development tools includes a similar universal emulator, which I love using. It's pretty much a must for mobile development.

I'm also looking very forward to playing around with the SDK. Hope some great things can come from these developments in the mobile world.

-Will [ohadev.com]

Re:worth a try.. (1)

eric2hill (33085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326557)

(4) I have an iPhone. I'm waiting for the iPhone SDK to be released .. it will be interesting to see how it compares. I really like Cocoa. It's really a great language/libraries for developing windowed systems. Interface Builder is the only GUI builder I think makes sense. I hate code generation, and I hate the weird quirks that come with many others (QT, Visual Studios, WxWidgets, GLADE++). IB just works.
I've had a much better GUI design experience after switching to JFormDesigner [jformdesigner.com] . It does a spectacular job of making all the layout managers completely intuitive. The only other GUI designer that even came close to it was the Delphi/C++Builder designer, but it was still a distant second place.

It's paid for itself many times over in saved headaches and time.

Correction (1)

Osvaldo Doederlein (34220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326725)

"Eclipse does some things really well -- taking advantage of being a Java-based editor, it can use RTTI to help in the code-writing process."

Not true. Eclipse (as well as NetBeans and ALL other Java IDEs) never uses RTTI (i.e. instanceof, reflection and other dynamic / runtime Java features). I does everything it does through parsing the source code. You know, in a decent language like Java (grammar of sane size and complexity, no preprocessor etc.), editors can perform a fast, but precise parsing of your entire projects in real time. And they even do that without monster-sized files - like "precompiled headers" our "source browsing information", common in C/C++ IDEs that struggle to implement a modest approximation of all smart-editing, refactoring and other features of Java IDEs. ;-)

Re:worth a try.. (2, Interesting)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326857)

(1) It doesn't come with java libraries, they have written their own framework. It pretty big though... I count 2000 classes.

(2) You need a bit of patience to learn eclipse. Don't try to learn it without reading the tutorial. Once you get over the learning curve you probaly will like it.

(3) Yeah, that annoys me too, but only minor annoyance.

ZOMG! (2, Funny)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326267)

It's a Cylon!

I demand that henceforth we all refer to the runtime as the Dalek VM.

How will Google make money on this? (2, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326297)

Can someone tell me how Google will make money off this open source platform? Individual phone companies will create their own apps and port them to the phones. How will Google cash in? May be via ads but suppose the phone companies refuse.

Re:How will Google make money on this? (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326631)

It might be worth it for them just by making it hook in easily with Google ads and search.

Think about it this way: as mobile phones become more powerful and internet-ready, more people will be doing more of their casual online stuff on their phones. Right now, lots of smartphones are defaulting to Windows for their development. That means their web browsers will probably use Live search for their search engine. Phones will recommend Hotmail for anyone looking for webmail. It will become a good way for Microsoft to fight Google for online dominance.

So what's Google's way to fight back? Apple's keeping the iPhone software to themselves. Palm is basically a joke. RIM's stuff is pretty limited. Google has to build their own platform so that Nokia and Motorola will be using Google Search, Gmail, Google Apps, Blogger, etc. as a default.

So that's where the money is. That's where all Google's money comes from.

Re:How will Google make money on this? (2, Insightful)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326681)

I don't think they plan to make money from this, it just looks a way to avoid Microsoft doing in cellphones what it did in desktops.

WebKit? (5, Insightful)

DdJ (10790) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326377)

Holy crap, they bundled WebKit? I somehow missed that in all the hoopla.

That means that the gPhone web browser has the same rendering engine as the iPhone web browser, the one that's shared by Safari (and OmniWeb) on the desktop. It's going to get less and less safe for web developers to ignore that rendering engine...

Re:WebKit? (4, Insightful)

ianare (1132971) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326837)

It's going to get less and less safe for web developers to ignore the standards and only code for IE...
There, fixed.

Re:WebKit? (0, Troll)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327009)

Now they can ignore the standards and only code for webkit now!

One thing is for certain... (1)

SlipperHat (1185737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326381)

it's cool, even without the Google hype. Imagine being able to tag a location (restaurant, hotel, just about anywhere) and the phone would get the GPS coordinates, update your Google profile, and maybe even Facebook (Think of a "Where am I?" app).

We are doing just that... (1)

Wonderkid (541329) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327033)

...to be kept informed, hit owonder.com/contact [owonder.com] and submit the form.

So, were all the nay-sayers now? (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326405)

You know who you are, the ones that said Ballmer had a point last week when he called Android a press-release. Well, here is the SDK, as promised. On time.

So will all those slashdotter who doubted eat crow now? Or will the MS fanboys just pretend this never happened, or now move on to, "all google has is a press-release, and a sdk, and an alliance".

Come on, we need some amusement here. Spin this one!

Tivoization (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326413)

To what extent is this OS truly open, as compared to OpenMoko, which is open almost to a fault (they're moving at a snail's pace) but completely customizable?

Being open is nice, but if I can't fiddle with it at every level (including repackaging and replacing the firmware) then it's only partially open. Will there be locks on the base firwmare put in place by hardware/network providers that inhibit tinkering? I understand that all apps are "equal" but you only have so much control when you're running in Java.

Can you do C/C++ applications? Can you even do anything outside of Java?

Random? (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326429)

So does an ad pop up every time I make an OpenGL call? Every X calls? Every 5 minutes? 30 minute video before I can make a phone call?

Lets not pretend Google isn't an ad company. If it doesn't push ads, they wouldn't do it. We already know from their announcements they will use voice recognition to figure out what ads to push.

Sorry Google, but F' you and your little ads too.

Re:Random? (1)

dyefade (735994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327027)

A lot of Google products have ads, and yet I've never wanted to avoid Google because of it so far. What makes you think this new phone will be worse?

Re:Random? (4, Interesting)

hitchhacker (122525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327077)

They don't necessarily need to make a profit w/ Android. This whole thing might be a defensive strategy to keep the client-side web open, which is something google's real profits depend on.

-metric

Webkit as a powerful new platform (5, Insightful)

605dave (722736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326439)

To me the most interesting aspect of the announcement was the inclusion of WebKit as the HTML rendering solution. This is a huge boon for the WebKit project, and should make many of the new iPhone web apps compatible with the new system. I'm not an expert on this, but isn't any one else surprised by the decision? Isn't Google traditionally associated with the Mozilla engine? By going with the WebKit, developers now have a target browser for Windows, Mac, the iPhone, Nokia, and now gPhone. (and there seem to be several linux projects building on it). Not to mention that the KDE group is now working to merge back in with WebKit. Sounds like a pretty strong platform for me. And an open standard that will benefit a great deal from the powerful groups working with it.

Android: An indie game developers' paradise? (1)

gjuggler (934203) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326455)

This is what excites me the most about Android: OpenGL ES compatible Graphics API [google.com] .

Today, mobile phones in the US are completely "locked-in," not only with regards to content distribution, but also creation of applications. The process of creating a program that will run on a reasonable number of mobile phones is so needlessly complicated, that entire companies are built around technologies that translate between platforms in a semi-automated way (see JavaGrounds [javagrounds.com] , for example).

Although Android won't break open mobile phones on the distribution side of things, it *will* make development a WHOLE lot easier for those of us who enjoy making games for fun, not for profit.

Comparisons between industries in other companies can often inform one of the problems or idiosyncrasies of a particular national industry, and it seems like mobile phone applications in the US are an example of that. See an interesting post on OHADev comparing the state of mobile phone gaming in the US and Japan [ohadev.com] , for example.

Will Android change the way mobile games and applications are distributed? Will it "open up" the seriously hierarchical mobile services infrastructure? Will it make the world a Much Better Place? Probably not. But, here's hoping that at least in some small way, it will twist open the nozzle, allowing community collaboration and indie developers to forge ahead into the mobile world.

Cheers,
greg

Re:Android: An indie game developers' paradise? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326859)

Personally I'd prefer webkit to support Canvas3D [mozilla.org] and to have a fast ES4 implementation. Google are not using Suns hotspot VM so I think typed ES4 on a fast VM would be competitive (and run in standard web browser)!

I see this release as a hurried and premature foot in the door; an uncomfortable mishmash.

So... Java... standard APIs... WebKit... (3, Interesting)

DdJ (10790) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326461)

You know, it may not take a whole lot of work to get an Android runtime up and running on the iPhone once they open up the iPhone SDK. I read through the Android dev docs, and apps are written in Java. You don't directly call native code, you just have a JVM with libraries available to it. So it may not be all that hard to get a compatible runtime into a much wider variety of devices.

That would mean that you could code for the gPhone and deploy on the iPhone (or even iPod Touch), either by loading the runtime onto the iPhone first (cf. "Cedega"), or by bundling a stripped-down runtime into the iPhone version of the app (cf. "Cider").

That'd rock. That'd rock hard. I'd become an Android developer if things work out that way.

Great for operators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326467)

The diagram looks like the one of the Access Linux Platform

http://www.access-company.com/PDF/ALP2007_08.pdf [access-company.com]

It looks nice. I think the operators will like it. An open platform, cheap, with standardized tools. And Google has potential for big bandwith consumption: search, maps, video, desktop...

This cannot be true! (4, Funny)

sribe (304414) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326501)

The android SDK has been released...

No it hasn't. THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE! IT'S JUST VAPORWARE! IT'S JUST A PLAN ON PAPER! THERE'S NOTHING BEHIND IT, NO SPECS, NO DETAILS!

I'm 100% sure this is the case because Steve Ballmer said so. All claims to the contrary must therefore be lies.

Re:This cannot be true! (2, Insightful)

Creepy (93888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326895)

Not to be the rationalist when you're clearly poking fun of Mr Nervous (Ballmer), but at the time he said that (in a press conference last Thursday in Tokyo) he was right - there really wasn't much info out there, and a lot of the speculation was wrong. Today was the first release of any hard info and SDK, but they still haven't released any performance numbers and it still doesn't run on any existing handset (at least publicly).

Google does have a strong corporate backing, however, including companies that are currently customers of Microsoft and Symbian, so from their standpoint, they need to bash it and promote their own solutions. Expect a lot more to come.

Ballmer comment? (1)

ikirudennis (1138621) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326563)

So does Steve Ballmer think this is still just a "press release?" [slashdot.org]

included libraries (1)

doti (966971) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326581)

FreeType, OpenGL, SQL Lite
No SDL?

SQL Lite ? (3, Informative)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326645)

I belive that should be SQLite (www.SQLite.org)

"SkyNet" Developers Kit (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326657)

The movies got it wrong - SkyNet started with the mobile phones. They used radio mind-links to control two-legged slaves. The GooglePlex became sentient years ago and has patiently building its drone army.

I speak for all of us when I say (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326693)

Use these power tools for good. Forget about finding a seafood restaurant, find me a gas station with low gas prices based on my location! I believe that alone may spur sales of the unit!

"Turn left to Red Lobst...Ahem...You may want to pull into the gas station that's selling unleaded for 3.09 per gallon. No? Brain the size of a planet..."

Gentlemen, we have the technology.

I, for one, welcome our new Android overlords... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326753)

(:]

I, for one, welcome our new Android overlords!

android's dungeon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326789)

What, nobody has made the simpon's reference yet?

Not very exciting (1, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326791)

This is looking decidedly un-exciting so far. It looks like an API to make more of the exact same kind of garbage that has been produced by phone makers so far.

What phones desperately need is much, much better interface design. That's not solved by a new OS, and it's certainly not solved by one whose emulator has eleven funcion keys above the keypad.

Apple is breaking new ground, but this seems planted squarely in the past.

I could be wrong, I hope I am wrong, but I don't see it yet.

OMG! Sergei Brin's Outfit! Long Slv T-shirts FTW! (2, Interesting)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326797)

http://code.google.com/android/ [google.com]

Check out the video of Sergei! He's the CEO of the company, worth billions of dollars, making an official product promotional video and he's wearing a shirt that looks like he slept in it! If you can be a billionaire wearing shirts that you slept in I don't even know why I even bother wearing a collar at all :).

Java? what about C/C++? (1)

ardiri (245358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326829)

Android is a software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. This early look at the Android SDK provides the tools and APIs necessary to begin developing applications on the Android platform using the Java programming language. where is the C/C++ SDK? i have not had a chance to look at the SDK, but i assume you should be able to JNI (java native interface)? i was looking forward to android, but unfortunately, if it only has a Java SDK, it does not suit the needs of my development

JAVA is SLOW (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21326909)

-1 redundant I know.

First Post? (3, Funny)

dfj225 (587560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21326993)

First post from the Android emulator? Its slow as balls, btw...

Dollars? (3, Funny)

nicklott (533496) | more than 6 years ago | (#21327109)

$10 million in prizes
I hope that's Canadian dollars, US might not cover your ADSL charges...
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