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First Sight of Google Android

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the it's-little-it's-lovely-it-lights dept.

Google 166

CorinneI writes "At the Mobile World Congress show, four mobile processor vendors demoed pre-production devices running versions of Google's Android OS — a Linux-based, open operating system for mobile phones that will sport Google applications. The biggest surprise of the demos was how well Android runs on slow devices. 'TI showed Android on a Motorola Q-like QWERTY handheld with its 200 Mhz OMAP 850 platform, where the user interface felt smooth and fast, even with little Apple-like animated transitions between screens.' HTC, Motorola, LG, and Samsung all belong to Google's Open Handset Alliance"

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Not surprising (5, Insightful)

erick99 (743982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398816)

"The biggest surprise of the demos was how well Android runs on slow devices. TI showed Android on a Motorola Q-like QWERTY handheld with their 200 Mhz OMAP 850 platform, where the user interface felt smooth and fast, even with little Apple-like animated transitions between screens."


I don't know why that would be so surprising. Google has quite a bevy of talented people at all levels. All products that come out of Google seem to have something to do with advertising and Android will be just such a vehicle for them. It's how most everything in cyberspace gets funded. You get something for free (a video, a song, a game) and an advertiser pays.

Re:Not surprising (4, Interesting)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398956)

Also, 200 mhz really isn't that slow for an embedded device. My Mio 339 had a 233 mhz processor running Windows Mobile 2002. It flew, I really loved it. I replaced it with a Dell Axim x50v Windows Mobile 2003SE. The Dell has a 624 mhz processor and I'm always waiting for it. I believe that speed is 10% hardware, 90% software.

I won't even talk about the performance of Compiz-Fusion on my Inspiron, as compared to Vista on the same hardware that an associate has.

Re:Not surprising (2, Interesting)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399036)

I don't know why that's slow for any device? Why on earth do you need fancy graphics for a telephone anyway? Linux runs on much slower hardware.

Re:Not surprising (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399166)

I'm guessing the ascii version of google earth wouldn't wow people much.

You are here ---> .

Your destination is here ---> .

Re:Not surprising (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399786)

Funny. But am I the only person who thought how cool googleearth would be through aalib?

Re:Not surprising (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399338)

Rendering web pages takes a decent amount of CPU to do quickly, for one.

Also, it's an ARM core, so (presumably) no FPU and a single integer pipeline. Something like the performance of an mid-range Pentium 1.

Re:Not surprising (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399502)

Rendering web pages takes a decent amount of CPU to do quickly, for one.
Not really. Web-page rendering is memory intensive and I/O bound. The amount of device memory available combined with the speed of your connection and phone bus will have a much greater impact on the performance of page rendering than the CPU.

In fact, there are few common tasks which are CPU-bound these days. Video encoding/decoding come to mind. (Thus the low resolution of the Android player.) This can easily be mitigated in a multimedia device by including hardware decoder chips. Gaming is another area where CPU can have an impact, but I imagine these phones aren't being presented as portable game machines. If someone wanted to make the next Android NGage, they'd probably look to NVidia for an embedded 3D chip to offload much of the work from the CPU.

The iPhone's success wasn't because it had a fast enough CPU to render web pages. Quite the contrary. The success was that its memory, storage capacity, and touch screen allowed the iPhone developers to provide an easy-to-use interface to the browser. Safari itself isn't necessarily "better" than Opera Mini, but it is wrapped in a superior user-interface.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399712)

I wasn't aware of the memory issue - I just remember how slow web pages rendered on my Nokia 9500 with its puny CPU even using a WiFi connection.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401098)

Basically with more memory, you only do the initial rendering once, and cache that. Then when you scroll around, etc., it is just basically just blitting from memory.

Re:Not surprising (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401264)

Palms seem to do it with Blazer pretty well.
The bandwidth is always the bottleneck not the hardware.

Re:Not surprising (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399438)

God...why do people need color and graphics? Why can't they just use the console to do everything on their phones? God, people are so stupid. If everyone would just learn how to use emacs and program in Fortran, every computer could just have a 133MHz processor and 128MB of RAM. People are so dumb.

./ruby phone.mask/maps fsk -kshk BOOM!!1 (fire, people screaming in the background)

Re:Not surprising (2, Interesting)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399668)

My Newton 2100 runs on a 162 Mhz processor. Is still plenty fast.

Martha will never know what hit her!

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22400080)

If the old one worked, why replace it? Or did it break down?

Re:Not surprising (1)

Oldav (533444) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400216)

If your axim is slow try the kozahura WM6 ROM which I believe supports the AXIM, made my HP4700 a sh*tload faster! See http://forum.brighthand.com/showthread.php?t=246529&page=4 [brighthand.com] Worked great for me,!

Re:Not surprising (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398964)

The OMAP 850 is a multimedia-focused chip with graphics acceleration built in. The only surprise is that the reviewer called it "slow" based on the mere fact that it's a 200MHz chip.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399292)

No acceleration is currently used on these platforms. All graphics are done using a frame buffer at this time.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400064)

The only surprise is that the reviewer called it "slow" based on the mere fact that it's a 200MHz chip.
Reading the full article. Try it.

One of Marvell's Android demos ran on their XScale Monahans processor, which comes in various configurations up to 1 Ghz.
If I was comparing 200MHz to 1Ghz, I would consider it slow as well. 1Ghz compared to 0.2Ghz. One fifth the power.

=Obligatory Car Analogy=
If you had a car with 300Horsepower next to a car with 60Horsepower, what would you call the lesser car in a performance test?

Re:Not surprising (2, Insightful)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400448)

If I was comparing 200MHz to 1Ghz, I would consider it slow as well. 1Ghz compared to 0.2Ghz. One fifth the power.

=Obligatory Car Analogy=
If you had a car with 300Horsepower next to a car with 60Horsepower, what would you call the lesser car in a performance test?

Unfortunately in this day and age, saying one CPU is faster than another based on clock speed alone is like saying one human runs a race faster than another based on his height, "Well obviously the big guy's going to win! He's 20% taller than the short one!"

Re:Not surprising (3, Insightful)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400566)

If the 300HP car weighed 6x as much as the 60HP one? I'd call the 60HP one "faster".

Re:Not surprising (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400838)

If you had a car with 300Horsepower next to a car with 60Horsepower, what would you call the lesser car in a performance test?

What would I call it? Perfectly capable of driving on the Interstate, that's what I'd call it. The bar isn't being set very high when we're just talking about meeting the needs of graphics rendering. A CPU with a built-in GPU is quite capable of "driving on the interstate" as it were. Now if they were in an actual race, presumably the 300hp car would win. (Assuming it's not an oversized truck. ;)) But there's no race. Only a minimum requirement.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401268)

So I guess the 3.2 Ghz Pentium 4 that I was using 4 years ago was better than the 2.4 Ghz Core 2 duo in my new computer? Because 3.2 is bigger, right?

Moron.

Re:Not surprising (1)

GreenEnvy22 (1046790) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400556)

Quite true, the TI 850 is in all sorts of HTC devices, it runs WM6 at a reasonable clip (quicker then WM5 I find).

not only that (2, Informative)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399048)

Not only are the developers good, they have implemented exactly this system before and run it on low-end processors: they developed Danger's Hiptop (a company built from the ground up on Java, strangely enough recently purchased by Microsoft).

Re:not only that (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401426)

hmm, danger. wasnt the woz involved there?

Re:Not surprising (1)

symes (835608) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399208)

All products that come out of Google seem to have something to do with advertising and Android will be just such a vehicle for them
And that is why I'll probably pass - Google has permeated through to many corners of my life but when it comes to such an intimate gadget (in that... nah, I'll let you work that out) I think I'd rather pay a premium and leave the advertising behind.

Re:Not surprising (4, Interesting)

dlim (928138) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399378)

I can't say I'm surprised either. If you look at their design philosophy [google.com] , the first subheading is "Fast". Coming from a web/desktop development background, I was surprised at first to see the constant focus on efficiency. But apparently, it's paying off.

As in "robot"! (1)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399398)

Surprise? I read the headline and was expecting, finally, Google Android. And instead I get something about some mobile phone thingie. *DISAPPOINTED!*

Re:Not surprising (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399960)

I don't know why that would be so surprising.

Well, the emulator is a tad on the slow side. I for one, was hoping the actual devices were going to be faster, so it's nice to hear that they are.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Erpo (237853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401088)

"The biggest surprise of the demos was how well Android runs on slow devices. TI showed Android on a Motorola Q-like QWERTY handheld with their 200 Mhz OMAP 850 platform, where the user interface felt smooth and fast, even with little Apple-like animated transitions between screens."

I don't know why that would be so surprising.

Android is based on Java. In many minds, Java = slow. Also, some mobile phones have very high latency interfaces. Example: on the Virgin Mobile MARBL phone that I just replaced, it would take several seconds to respond to a keypress when dialing phone numbers. I would dial 17078221927, and the 1 would show up on the screen at about the same time that I pressed the 9 button.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Ryukotsusei (1164453) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401580)

I for one welcome our new gAndroid overlords!

People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22398948)

After the endless iPhone hype and the actual product turning out to be an overpriced and underfeatured commercial dud, cellphone users are anxious for something like this. With Apple having to hand out refunds to early adopters and slash their future iPhone shipments numbers for 2008 in half its clear that the iPhone hype only touched the hardcore Apple fanbase.

Hopefully the barrage of Apple iPhone story spam will come to an end as everyone moves on to better and less overhyped products like Android.

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (2, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399038)

After the endless iPhone hype and the actual product turning out to be an overpriced and underfeatured commercial dud

Uhhh...I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but by exactly what standard is the iPhone a "dud"? Last I heard, [arstechnica.com] it was beating every forecast sales target and had already captured 20 percent of the smartphone market in less than a year. In fact, if you haven't seen one at your local coffee shop, bar, or train station yet, you probably live in a cabin in the Ozarks.

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399136)

If the iPhone wasn't selling just to Apple fans it would have been a dud. It's more of a 'meh' product. Nowhere near the iPod, and nowhere near as bad as the Apple TV.

Apple having to slash shipment estimates from 2 million down to 1.1 million shows the product is quickly running out of marketplace demand after getting the high disposable income Apple fanbase to buy the product. There are just too many fantastic phones out there to compete with unlike the portable digital music player market.

We'll see if Apple learned their lesson with the first iPhone and come out with a competitive iPhone 2 that is focused more on features and usability and price instead of marketing.

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (4, Interesting)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399262)

That's the disadvantage for the iPhone in Japan: fantastic phones already being present. Even though the interface doesn't compare with the iPhone, Japanese cell phones have long since been about style, and even on a bad day, they make "fantastic" American phones look pretty sad indeed.

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (4, Interesting)

Takichi (1053302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400042)

Are you trying to say the iPhone won't do well because it isn't stylish enough? I don't see the Japanese phones being more stylish than an expensive, globally buzzworthy product that has a sleek physical design and ubercool user interface. If anything the iPhone will do well because of its association with style and the status that comes with it. I think Apple products in general have an extra sense of style because of their computer designs and the success of the iPod. I can't tell you how many Japanese people look at my powerbook and go, "Makku? Coooru."

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (1)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400560)

Thats because the majority of people in Japan don't have PCs and 20" flat-panel LCDs to browse a rich web environment. Yes, that is a generalization...but my Japanese friends tell me that a very very large percentage of the population do not own computers. Their sole method of communication is via small handsets...even at home. Maybe I am not mobile enough, but my computer does the heavy lifting for surfing the web and my cellular phone is for making phone calls. Call me old school.

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (3, Insightful)

Lonedar (897073) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399430)

Having talked to some people around here (UK) it seems to me that Apple would sell many more Iphones by ditching the carrier lock-in it is plagued with currently. Seriously. I can get any phone on the market without having to sign any contracts - except for the Iphone.

Now, O2 is not a particularly bad carrier, but I travel a lot and I would really like to be able to use my phone abroad without paying the quite extortionate roaming fees.

Also, no 3G (yet).

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (5, Funny)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399188)

you probably live in a cabin in the Ozarks
Hey! I in fact AM from the Ozarks, you insensitive clod!

I'm also stoked that I FINALLY got to use one of those phrases!

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (0, Offtopic)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399794)

Hey! I in fact AM from the Ozarks, you insensitive clod!

I'm also stoked that I FINALLY got to use one of those phrases!
In Soviet Russia, those phrases are stoked to use you!
/see how easy that was?

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399396)

In fact, if you haven't seen one at your local coffee shop, bar, or train station yet, you probably live in a cabin in the Ozarks.
Or you live in a market where apple has note brokered a sales contract with the local telecom, or basically anywhere except select parts of the US, the UK, Germany, and France. It's got techlust on its side but thus far lacks many of the features smartphone have so it may not crack all of that market yet. I think the only thing it has up on most smart phones is web browsing and hype.

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399416)

In fact, if you haven't seen one at your local coffee shop, bar, or train station yet, you probably live in a cabin in the Ozarks.
Or you live in Canada, where the iPhone still hasn't been officially released yet.

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399432)

Market share statistics, have to love them... If they don't look good, just redefine the market. Your "smart phone market" there is probably either US-only or not very close to what most people would call "smart phones".

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399446)

It sells so well because it's the "smartphone for idiots". And there are a hell of a lot of idiots buying cell phones these days. :)

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (0, Troll)

MvD_Moscow (738107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399458)

Oh man, I hate when people *cough* Americans * act like nothing exists outside of their local surroundings...

While the iPhone was not a dud, it's commercial success isn't what Jobs & Apple fanboy club pimp it out to be. Long term prospects for the iPhone in particular are quite questionable...

I appreciate you linking to the Ars Technica article, but I wouldn't too excited about it. The 4 million figure has been approached with caution by many analysts. And what forecast are you talking about? I am not too big on following Apple's business dealings, but I don't remember any of the mainstream (Business Week, Economist) making any forecasts that would portray the iPhone's commercial success as phenomenal. Don't get me wrong, but what else did you expect from Apple? They are usually pretty good at making their product appeal to consumers and they have a lot of goodwill among it's primary demographic...

Your 20% figure is a load of BS. It's 20% of the US smartphone market, that's not that big of a deal, specially considering that Apple is extremely US focused. In developing markets, no one gives a fuck about Apple (although this is slowly changing), smartphones in general aren't all that hot. People who have just entered the middle class have better things to do than paying $200 premiums to have the pleasure of having a logo on your phone. The 20% figure is representative of sales of smartphones in one particular year, it doesn't guarantee that sales will be 20% next year. Again, I am not saying that no one will buy iPhones in 2008, I am just saying that there is more to this whole issue than the 20% figure.

Then there is the issue of market demographics, there is a strong possibility that Apple has saturated it's core market. I live and in university environment and I see iPhones all over the place. This doesn't mean as much as you think. While the Facebook generation is in love with the iPhone, this isn't the case for everyone else. When everyone in the Facebook generation demographic gets themselves an iPhone, who is going to buy all those 10 million iPhone that Jobs is going to excrete? We might think that browsing Facebook on your phone is cool, but that's obviously not the case for most consumers.

Finally, there is the issue of competition. Expect a lot more touchscreen based devices in 2008/2009. Any new iPhone that Apple releases is going to be competing with all those products and the original iPhone model (the Facebook generation doesn't have that much cash).

You need to stop eating into the Apple hype (on a business and a consumer level), Apple is just another company. Nothing less nothing more...

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (3, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399986)

We might think that browsing Facebook on your phone is cool, but that's obviously not the case for most consumers.

I often browse Facebook on my phone. It's a Sony Ericsson K800i - high end 18 months ago, nowadays it's getting to be the standard issue free-with-cheap-contract phone that everyone in the world seems to have. Certainly it doesn't compete with the iPhone as a web browser, but it's capable enough, and Facebook has a perfectly good mobile-optimised site. And you can always install Opera Mini.

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399566)

I'm not a troll (some say i'm decent looking!) but I have only seen 1 iPhone in Pasadena, CA. The one I saw was by mere chance when someone went into the mail room and someone else asked how they liked their phone. The i was like hmmmmmm but that's about it. This person did mention she waited in line over night to buy it and that she didn't regret the price or the wait, although this was before they mentioned the apple store credit.

I myself have an HTC ppc-6800 and am loving it! I like the fact that i can do what ever i want on it, including running old palm applications from my old kyocera smartphone! But what matters is what i always say, whatever works for you is the best thing for you.

Re:People Excited After The iPhone Marketplace Dud (1)

walter_f (889353) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399636)

... was beating every forecast sales target...

On the other hand, in Europe the iPhone rather seems to be missing every forecast sales target.

In Germany, T-mobile on average sells just a fraction more than one iPhone per retail shop per day (there are around 700 T-mobile shops in Germany, total sales figures are between 700 and 1000 iPhones a day, which even includes sales of T-mobile's online shop).

In Great Britain, Apple doesn't allow its partners O2 and Carphone Warehouse to publish their iPhone sales figures at all.

In France, Orange sold 70,000 iPhones in the 33 days between Nov. 29 to Dec. 31, not too bad a start. But in the following 31 days of January, Orange FR's iPhone sales were down to 20,000 iPhones.

Sadly, Android and OpenMoko... (2, Informative)

theGreater (596196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398950)

...seem destined not to converge in any significant way, in spite of some pretty awesome hacks:

http://benno.id.au/blog/2007/11/21/android-neo1973 [benno.id.au]

-theGreater.

supposedly open source (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399094)

Google has promised that Android will become fully open source at some point; then it should be fairly easy to port it.

Re:supposedly open source (1)

phillips321 (955784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399664)

proof of this? link would be appreciated :-) more people need to rtfa.co.uk [slashdot.org]

Re:supposedly open source (4, Informative)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400048)

Just use Google!

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=android%20open%20source [google.com]

Then you find:

http://www.openhandsetalliance.com/android_overview.html [openhandsetalliance.com]

"Android will be open source; it can be liberally extended to incorporate new cutting edge technologies as they emerge. The platform will continue to evolve as the developer community works together to build innovative mobile applications."

Re:Sadly, Android and OpenMoko... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400620)

Sadly? Isn't choice a good thing?

Re:Sadly, Android and OpenMoko... (1)

cecom (698048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401040)

Not in this case. Android cannot be ported to the Neo 1973 because sadly it is not open source (yet).

Twould be nice... (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399120)

... to be able to flash older phones which have the hardware support to handle Android..

I'm lookin at YOU E70.. (Or Treo..)

Re:Twould be nice... (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399868)

And I look at my HTC StrTrk

Missed opportunity (0, Offtopic)

GBC (981160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399154)

Off-topic I know, but surely the obvious headline for the article seen at the top of this [pcmag.com] image was "Weepublican or Democrap" given the subject matter?

Linux_kernel+BSD_libc+gJava != linux based open OS (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399218)

Since only the kernel is Linux, and that is the only GPL component, I'm not sure you can call it linux (it the distribution sense), or open.

Re:Linux_kernel+BSD_libc+gJava != linux based open (-1, Flamebait)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399426)

The BSD license is significantly more open than any version of the GPL.

Re:Linux_kernel+BSD_libc+gJava != linux based open (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399684)

It is only open until someone decides not to publish the source (which google is free to not publish).
Then it is closed.

Re:Linux_kernel+BSD_libc+gJava != linux based open (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399882)

As opposed to the alternative of .. sorry you can't own your own phone you bought and its all drm locked and you can't develop your apps and you need to buy all your $3 midi ring tones and proprietary apps from us only.. alternative?

It should be alright illegal to drm something you own. Imagine if our desktops were that restrictive? Why put up with it on your phone?

With the google phone I can at least download apps and develop my own.

Re:Linux_kernel+BSD_libc+gJava != linux based open (2, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399890)

Since only the kernel is Linux, and that is the only GPL component, I'm not sure you can call it linux (it the distribution sense), or open.

Only the kernel of my Kubuntu system is Linux. It should perhaps be properly called Mozilla / OpenOffice.org / KDE / X.org / GNU / Linux.

Re:Linux_kernel+BSD_libc+gJava != linux based open (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401356)

Or MOOKXGNUL for short. I think it should be pronounced as "MOOK ZNULL".

Re:Linux_kernel+BSD_libc+gJava != linux based open (1)

kwabbles (259554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401272)

Android isn't "linux" just like Ubuntu isn't "linux".

Linux is and always has been just a kernel. Just because it's a kernel of an OS distribution doesn't make it any more "linux" than a device that has it as a kernel for a mobile OS distribution.

The unfortunate thing about this Android is (2, Funny)

fohat (168135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399296)

it's got a pain in all the diodes down it's left side. (and it's very depressed)

Where's Google Talk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399364)

Where's Google Talk in all those screen shots or article text? I sure as heck have no interest in SMS for my chat needs. Google Talk with a video capable client (a la iChat on the Mac) would be really nice for my VTC needs. *sigh*

200MHz is slow? (5, Insightful)

bigdanmoody (599431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399382)

Since when was 200MHz slow? My old Visor Edge has a 16MHz processor and it feels quite peppy. It does everything I would expect a smartphone to do (other than the fact that it can't make phone calls), and it's easy to use. Have we gotten so used to bloat and poorly optimized code that a 200MHz processor in a phone seems slow? It's a *phone* for Pete's sake.

Re:200MHz is slow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401758)

It's a *phone* for Pete's sake.

What does MY sake have to do with any phone, you insensitive clod?

Too long to wait (2, Interesting)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399388)

I'm looking for a new smartphone right now. The Android based phones will fit the bill, but I doubt any products will be available until near the end of the year - perhaps just in time for the Christmas rush.

What I want:

  1. QWERTY keyboard, the LG Voyager has the nicest keyboard I've tried. To bad the Voyager is locked down in BREW hell.
  2. Internet connectivity.
  3. Supports IMAP email to any server (I run my own).
  4. I don't have to pay a damn fee to enable for every little feature that it already comes with.
  5. I can install new applications without using some paid for server, e.g. there's a Symbian OS version of Putty. An ssh client would be awesome.
  6. Unlimited data plan available with provider - and reasonably priced.

Would be nice, but not required:

  1. Linux based (not much out there, probably have to settle for a Symbian based phone).
  2. GPS module.
  3. Wifi support.
  4. If the phone has music playing capability, support for OGG (I'm not holding my breath).
  5. Camera, not really a big deal to me. I can live without one.

Deal breakers:

  1. Locked down. It's my damn phone, you won't be telling me how I can use it!
  2. Windows Mobile. I'm a Linux system administrator, running a windows based phone would be so wrong.
  3. BREW/GIN or anything similar.

So far, the Nokia E90 is the closest to match what I want. The Road's HandyPC S101 surpasses it, but isn't available in the US (afaik).

Re:Too long to wait (1)

lubricated (49106) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399734)

I got the sidekick id. It's got an sdk but you can't install any application. There is an ssh client for it though.

Re:Too long to wait (1)

phillips321 (955784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399984)

I'll second that, The E90 is a mint phone. What i would like is a full OS with phone capabilities. Imagine something the size of the Road Handy PC S101 that ran ubuntu, then we could have ssh, vnc, ftp, etc.....My dream come true!

Re:Too long to wait (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400232)

That's exactly what I've been looking for. If OpenMoko worked on something with a qwerty keyboard, I would be happy.

Re:Too long to wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399992)

I'm looking for a new smartphone right now. The Android based phones will fit the bill, but I doubt any products will be available until near the end of the year - perhaps just in time for the Christmas rush.

The closest phone that I know is the upcoming Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.
  1. QWERTY keyboard, the LG Voyager has the nicest keyboard I've tried. To bad the Voyager is locked down in BREW hell. -> It have this
  2. Internet connectivity. -> It have this
  3. Supports IMAP email to any server (I run my own). ...I don't know but is Symbian based so you can have this in it
  4. I don't have to pay a damn fee to enable for every little feature that it already comes with. ...is Symbian based, you can have this in it
  5. I can install new applications without using some paid for server, e.g. there's a Symbian OS version of Putty. An ssh client would be awesome. -> It have this
  6. Unlimited data plan available with provider - and reasonably priced. ... I don't know this thing it in US, but in Spain we have this with one provider (1,20/day without traffic limit 3G speed)

Would be nice, but not required:

  1. Linux based (not much out there, probably have to settle for a Symbian based phone). ...Sorry is Symbian based
  2. GPS module. -> I'm not sure about this
  3. Wifi support. -> It have this
  4. If the phone has music playing capability, support for OGG (I'm not holding my breath). -> Sorry, no official ogg support
  5. Camera, not really a big deal to me. I can live without one. -> It have a autofocus 3,2mpx camera


Some technical details:
size 4.3 x 0.7 x 2.1 inches
resolution: 800 X 480
networks: # GSM 850 # GSM 900 # GSM 1800 # GSM 1900 # EDGE # HSDPA # HSUPA # UMTS 850 # UMTS 900 # UMTS 1700 # UMTS 1900 # UMTS 2100
more info in: http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/products/mobilephones/specifications/x1?cc=en&lc=en [sonyericsson.com]

Re:Too long to wait (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400108)

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 looks great, but it's running Windows Mobile.

Re:Too long to wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22400176)

Dammit, i was sure that it was Symbian based like the past Sony Ericcson smart phones, I have the P1i and is Symbian based.

Re:Too long to wait (2, Informative)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400030)

I've got a Blackberry 8800 with all of the features you require (free apps for SSH and everything, I also run my own IMAP server) on T-Mobile, which has a flat-rate data plan and doesn't lock any devices. In fact, I just got a cheap Motorola L6 to toss in my pocket for when I don't feel like putting my crackberry on my hip when I go out. It has GPS, but no wifi. It does support music, but only MP3's, and no camera unfortunately. But the Pearl has Wifi and a camera, just no GPS that I'm aware of. So you can have most of your requireds and would-be-nice's.

Can you tell I'm a fan? ;) I also like how T-Mobile treats me over Verizon... the only bad thing is that the mobile Internet isn't as fast as it is with a CDMA phone, since T-Mobile is GPRS/EDGE.

Re:Too long to wait (1)

phreakhead (881388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400906)

I'm pretty sure it's not the phone manufacturer that locks the phone down, it's the service provider. My T-Mobile Razr can do a hellof a lot more than my friend's Verizon Razr. T-Mobile is usually pretty good about letting you use your phone without having to pay extra for every little feature that other providers disable by default...

Re:Too long to wait (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401052)

Making the LG Voyager BREW-based was a manufacturer's decision, I thought. If not, then poo on Verizon (again) for letting their marketing division ruin what would otherwise be the best smartphone on the market.

Re:Too long to wait (1)

rindeee (530084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400908)

Okay: Nokia N810. Done. Hear me out. I have an n810 (does EVERYTHING you ask for save for the built in unlimited cellular data plan) and a cheap-o Cingular phone with data service (MediaNet Unlimited for $15/mo) which lets me run everything via a Bluetooth connection to my Cingular phone over the data service. I have a VoIP carrier I'm very happy with that I use at home with a second line for my n810. Works fine over HSDP and works 'okay' over EDGE. Even the VTC over SIP works over HSDP. When I'm some place with WiFi, the n810 'prefers' that. Pidgin for chat. Full IMAP client. Bazillions of Linux apps. Sweet new interface with OS2008. I'm happy as a clam. Also worth noting that Nokia released OS2008 for the n800 which you can pick up brand new for only $250ish. I like the slide out keyboard on the 810 though...worth the price diff. Note that the GPS in the 810 is not the most accurate I've seen, but gets the job done.

Re:Too long to wait (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401086)

I've actually considered going that route, but dislike having to carry around two gadgets instead of one. A really good smartphone will support putty so I can ssh into a system to do an emergency repair. If it's something so complicated that it's too much bother to use the tiny phone screen and keyboard, then I'll go home and get on a real computer. The idea is to use the phone to avoid having to interrupt something if at all possible. I have no intention of using it as a total replacement of a real computer. Nor do I want to carry around a laptop or tablet so that I can always be connected. A smartphone with a full (albiet tiny) keyboard is a compromise.

Re:Too long to wait (1)

rindeee (530084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401192)

If you bide your time a bit, the N810 is rumored to be coming out with WiMax and 3/3.5G built in. I haven't heard if it's going to include carrier branding/lock-in, but I'd venture to guess it will be available unlocked regardless.

Re:Too long to wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22401560)

You want a Nokia N810. Linux, not at all locked down, wifi, qwerty, GPS.

- happy N800 user.

Q9 P.O.S with WM6, also no push e-mail? (2, Interesting)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399608)

I can testify that the Q9 is a piece of crap with Windows Mobile 6. very sluggish and clumsy feeling after coming from the slick responsive world of a Blackberry 8800.

Also I notice there isn't any "e-mail" icon on any of the screenshots...
Does this mean it's going to be another iPhone (can only get push mail from Yahoo) type device..

that would really suck if true. I _really_ hope that they're thinking of the enterprise with these things.. having to accept either RIM or MS devices only sucks balls when I know that Linux based OS's would be so much better.

Re:Q9 P.O.S with WM6, also no push e-mail? (1)

Lonedar (897073) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399680)

Well, the SDK for Android is already available, so my guess would be that even if Google doesn't include an email client (which, IMO, is unlikely) 3rd party clients would be easy to come by.

Re:Q9 P.O.S with WM6, also no push e-mail? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400646)

"iPhone (can only get push mail from Yahoo) "

Wow, that's among the most ignorant comments I've heard about the iPhone yet.

Try IMAP/IMAPS/POP/POPS/ExchangeIMAP

It's as good as any other phone for email.

Yes I've seen it.. (2, Funny)

biscon (942763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399638)

going trough the trash outside my block.. mumbled something about having seen tank ships on fire off the shoulder of orion or something..

Re:Yes I've seen it.. (1)

TurinPT (1226568) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399796)

WHERE IS SARAH CONNOR?

Smooth and Fast (3, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399792)

The UI was smooth and fast on my 486/33 running Windows 3.11. It's still quite capable running a no-frills X window manager and Pentium Overdrive. The Apple ][GS was reasonably snappy when it didn't have to access a drive. The only reason why a multi-hundred MHz device could be slow is programmer laziness.

Re:Smooth and Fast (2, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401542)

In part it's laziness; in part it's architecture; in part its economics.

Economics means you have to have a product in user's hands if you want to make a difference. That's true even in open source. Things would have been much different for Linux if BSD hadn't had licensing issues. I myself, when faced with downloading either 386BSD or Debian 0.9 over a 28.8KBaud modem, went with Debian first because of uncertainty over the licensing. I wanted a "real" unix, but it turned out Linux was good enough.

Then there is architecture. Since economics means you have to get things done quickly, the most attractive way of doing that is standing on the shoulders of a couple of giants, who are each in turn standing on the shoulders of a couple of giants. This means that each increment of functionality tends to be accompanies by an exponential increase in code executed, roughly speaking. Since we had exponential increases in computer power for a long time, things seem more or less the same; there's little incentive to improve once things are good enough.

Believe me, I started out writing software for CPUs with sub megahertz clock speeds. The things we did to make things "fast" back then really wouldn't take a modern piece of software, with all its bells and whistles running on top of a modern system with its own bells and whistles (and recursively down to hardware), and make it exponentially faster. Crimes against maintainability were common back then, only most people didn't even know maintainability was a problem. In fact, I'd have a hard time saying that programmers were better back then; true, it was a more elite profession, and certainly it was an easier profession to know more or less every relevant thing about. But the flip side is that we know a great deal more about good practice, and even a tiny bit more about theory than we did back then.

Which brings us to the rub. Back in the day, bad programs were always the product of lazy programmers. Now it takes even a conscientious programmer considerable time to learn the ins and outs of some programming environment. Conscientious programmers still write better programs, all things being equal, but not necessarily on time.

software 4 andy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399942)

hahaha, the software for android [android-freeware.org] is already available and is waiting for the devices

Google (1)

Teflon_Jeff (1221290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400302)

It's about time. I would bet we start seeing hardware from them in the next two years, given some of their patents. Exiting times, when you have a non-evil corporation doing things in technology.

One word from looking at the photos of it (1)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400390)

DISAPPOINTED!

Surprising to some, but we're expecting more (1)

kspurr (1233742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400586)

I'll apologize in advance for using the royal we, but if you're surprised by the zippy Android interface on a 200MHz processor, you really should take a look at what the Pointui team has done with a PocketHAL based app sitting on top of... GASP.... Windows Mobile 5/6.
http://www.pointui.com/ [pointui.com]
Their interface runs nice and smooth on my T-mobile USA MDA (aka HTC Wizard) with a puny 195 MHz TI OMAP850. Please don't mistake this for me downplaying Android or saying I'm impressed with winmo. I'm just saying that we should keep waiting before we start getting surprised.

Speed is only one issue (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400730)

What matters most for me is reliability. I've a crap Orange SPV C600 that crashes all the time. Even the alarm function is buggy.

My experience with mobile implementations of linux hasn't been great, experiencing laggy software and random crashes (the GP2X even had an issue where it would randomly brick itself). A mobile OS which is a Java software layer on top of Linux on devices with limited resources makes me uneasy.

Dear Google (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400962)

The word android [wikipedia.org] is a combination of Ancient Greek andros and the suffix -oid, which literally means "in the form of a man."

Why, oh why, did you have to choose this name for your project since it does not have a form of a man AND confuses MILLIONS of /. readers everytime we get a headline about Android?! MILLIONS I SAID!

Thank you.

snappy (2, Interesting)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401004)

Am I the only one who thought snappy meant you didn't see the apple like animations?

BTW- slashdot: fix mobile.slashdot.org so us new centro owners don't have to fight with the webpage!

Re:snappy (1)

mattgoldey (753976) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401438)

Yes. Yes you are.

200 Mhz != Slow (1)

Romwell (873455) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401536)

I like how 200Mhz is "slow" for everyone. I mean, not so long (6 years) ago I had a 200Mhz Pentium II running windows 98. Now guess what - it did web browsing, video playing, basic gaming (CS, Starcraft) just fine. It wasn't slow at what it was doing. Now I don't really understand why technologies that perform well on 200Mhz processor should be something complicated to implement. The tasks are not that much different.

OMAP850 is Edge (1)

kybred (795293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402072)

The TI OMAP850 [ti.com] has an ARM9 in it for the application processor and an Edge radio [ti.com] . Everyone blasts Apple for coming out with Edge on the iPhone, but since this is Google it's OK?

Actually, for Edge, the OMAP1030 [ti.com] is the current TI solution, but it has only a single ARM9 for the radio and application processing.

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