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High Expectations For Google Android

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the keeping-up-with-the-googses dept.

Google 274

Several readers have pointed out recent articles discussing the development and features of Google Android. has what is essentially an FAQ for Android, providing the relevant basic information about it. Apcmag questions whether Google can meet the high expectations most enthusiasts have for the platform, and The Register discusses Google's claims that it will be competitive with Apple and worth the wait. We discussed a preview of Android last month. Quoting The Register: "Google mobile platforms guru Rich Miner acknowledged that for the moment, Apple may have an advantage. After all, Steve Jobs and company have actually shipped a piece of hardware, while the first Android handset won't arrive until 'the second half of this year.' But Miner also told the crowd that Stevo hasn't treated developers as well as they deserve. 'There are certain apps you just can't build on an iPhone,' Miner said. 'Apple doesn't let you do multiprocessing. They don't let your app run in the background after you switch to another. And they don't let you have interpretive language in your iPhone apps.'"

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First post? (2, Insightful)

rdhatch (1253652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745582)

iPhone will be hard to beat. Apple is way ahead of the curve no matter how you cut it.

Re:First post? (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745608)

Competition will be good. Perhaps the Feature Nazis at Apple will be forced to loosen the strings a little bit.

Re:First post? (5, Interesting)

rdhatch (1253652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745798)

That would be wonderful. You are right...competition is good. Along those is interesting that in many ways OS X (and the iPhone for that matter) have made it to the desktop and consumer market and become extraordinarily successful by utilizing open source software that was originally designed to run with Linux and other unices to compete with Microsoft all while the powers that be at Apple have been VERY strict about what goes in to the OS, what makes it to prime-time, etc. In my opinion, Apple has done a great job at both releasing very competitive products (with open source underpinnings and features) and maintaining a balance between the potentially chaotic open-source world and the "real" consumer world in their products...something that Linux unfortunately has failed to do thus far.

Re:First post? (1, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745856)

I don't know what you mean by "extraordinary". They're market share in the PC market has remained largely stagnant for the better part of 20 years. Yes, OSX is related to BSD, though the kernel is not.

Apple's big success for the last five years has been the iPod, which, I imagine, makes up a very large portion of their revenue stream.

Re:First post? (3, Informative)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745924)

They are about to hit 9% this year. 10% isn't so far off.

And regarding revenue stream, the iPod is something like 40% with 50% going to the Mac.

Re:First post? (3, Insightful)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746452)

Isn't it sad that he got modded up, for being Wrong, I was going to correct him, because since OSX apple has become the number one competitor to 'dell.' and it isn't all because of the ipod. maybe that helped at the start, but now, the ipod is just another portable mp3 player line... people Like OSX better than windows.

Re:First post? (4, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746792)

Isn't it sad that he got modded up, for being Wrong, I was going to correct him, because since OSX apple has become the number one competitor to 'dell.'
It'd be interesting to see where your figures come from. The figures from iSupply [] tell a very different story.

Units shipped for Q4 2007 were as follows:

HP 14,567,000
Dell 11,320,000
Acer 7,220,000
Lenovo 5,760,000
Toshiba 3,070,000
Apple 2,197,000
As you can see, apple are competing with Toshiba, not Dell - unless you call trailing by 80% to be competing?

Laptops (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746872)

I can't find the numbers handy, but I seem to remember that when you looked at *laptops* apple shoots up a bit in the rankings, may have been what the GP meant

Re:First post? (1)

ihatethetv (935399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745820)

Oh come off it man. What could you possible want an FM radio for on a ipod?! =)

Re:First post? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746640)

I wouldn't mind being able to record my own "podcasts" off of the waves from NPR. Then I could hear the other stuf that would be playing in the next few days, and only listen to the most interesting hour or two of the 5 hours I could potentially want to hear in a day. BBC World Service, Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, Market Place, and News and Notes can all be worth listening too. Without hearing bumps for other upcoming shows I don't know which to choose. If I could program to record one while listening to another I would be pleased.

FM Radio (4, Interesting)

EmotionToilet (1083453) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746890)

At the gym when I'm on an elliptical or AMT machine all of the TVs are muted and broadcasted in different FM stations. If you want to listen to the TV you need an FM radio. I have an iPhone and think an FM Radio would be a great feature considering that many cheaper MP3 players have it no problem.

Re:First post? (5, Informative)

KH2002 (547812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746360)

Yes, the new iPhone SDK reveals some really critical shortcomins vs. Android.

The lack of background processing in 3rd party iPhone apps will hamstring whole classes of new apps. The best summation of iPhone SDK problems I've seen is here:

Apple's iPhone SDK Prohibits Real Mobile Innovation []

Re:First post? (3, Funny)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745618)

How are they ahead of the curve? They have... a phone?

Re:First post? (1)

Exile1 (746114) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745700)

not so much that, but a very usable interface, if they open it up fully apple could dominate

Re:First post? (0, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745720)

Or they can sit there, deny developers and ultimately consumers the kinds of things they want, and watch Android grind them into the dirt.

I guess it depends. Apple has one thing going for them, severely retarded fanbois who'd sell their left nut to have this pathetic status symbol, even if it means potential bricking and a general attitude from Captain Jobs that he knows better than other folks what they should run on their own fucking phones.

Re:First post? (5, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746022)

Apple has released more features and functions to developers and consumers than Google has, courtesy of a shipping iPhone in four countries vs none, a shipping SDK, and multiple firmware revisions. I would be hesitant to proclaim Android capable of grinding Apple into the dirt until after an Android phone exists.

So Apple has three things working in their favor:
1) Resources
2) Developers
3) Customers

Google, thus far, only has hype :)

Re:First post? (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746234)

On thing can't be overlooked, if Apple becomes too much strong with a closed platform, that might push even more support [] for Android and if all those players were to release cellphones based on Android, all compatible with the same software, that becomes an enemy way bigger than even the Jesus phone can take.

Re:First post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22745748)

Only on a place like Slashdot can a person make this comment and not be joking.

Re:First post? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22745778)

A phone less than a year old with more marketshare than all Windows Mobile devices combined, 70% of the mobile browser market, a software SDK with 100,000 copies downloaded, and a central mobile, wireless application store on an established foundation and branding with a generous revenue agreement for developers due in a little more than two months

Yeah, Apple's not ahead of the curve at all.

Re:First post? (1)

rdhatch (1253652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745860)

Precisely. Even RIM is shaking in their boots...not to mention Palm...

Re:First post? (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745982)

Well, let us see:
Working product: Apple
Final OS: Apple
Beta SDK: Tie

So by the time an Android phone is released, Apple will have had all three (OS and product for a greater part of a year) where Google will not. Sounds "ahead of the curve" to me.

Re:First post? (1, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746362)

They have... a phone?
It's iPhone. iPhone. Not aPhone. Sheesh

(Note to mods in a bad mood: It is a joke)

Who's trying to beat iphone? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22745724)

I don't think that Google really intend to try beat iphone. There is room in the phone space for more than one phone.

Re:Who's trying to beat iphone? (2, Insightful)

kemushi88 (1156073) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746114)

I agree. I don't think this has much of a chance of being an iPhone killer, but more realistically a Windows Mobile killer.

Re:Who's trying to beat iphone? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746398)

more realistically a Windows Mobile killer
Today the phone, tomorrow the desktop/laptop/world.

Re:First post? (2, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745766)

Not really. There's nothing special about the iPhone. The touch interface is nice, other than that it's just another phone, and an expensive one. As a company they suck (read the iPod forums to learn what a mess they've made of the iPod Classic). Google can do no wrong, it seems. The only thing which they don't do, and which seems a little strange, is own/endorse a Free (capital F) Linux distro. I can't see how that would fail. They wouldn't have to employ a single person to support it.

Re:First post? (2, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746062)

You misunderstand the iPHone if you think it's just a nice, expensive, phone. It's really a small, portable computer that can make phone calls. As a computer, it can also browse the web, take notes, watch videos, listen to music, check your stocks, check the weather, take pictures, and email.

And with every firmware release and the release of the SDK, it will move further and further from being "just a phone".

Android, in comparison, doesn't exist yet. It's a beta SDK and platform in some developer's hands.

Re:First post? (2, Interesting)

not flu (1169973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746270)

>it can also browse the web, take notes, watch videos, listen to music, check your stocks, check the weather, take pictures, and email. How is this functionally different from, say, the 5 year old Nokia 6600? The iPhone is just a phone with a nice screen.

Re:First post? (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746396)

Hmm, functionally different:
4gb to 16gb storage, integrated
Twice the resolution
Higher resolution camera
6x the CPU
Support for WiFi or EDGE (2 to 200x faster)
Soft-qwerty keyboard (vs number pad)
The ability to store gigabytes of music and video
The ability to browse YouTube

Re:First post? (2, Informative)

not flu (1169973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746882)

Of course the iPhone's tech specs are better than the 6600's, it's not 5 years old! Other manufacturers have come up with new models since then too. But your initial argument that the iPhone is special in that it lets you do computer-y things was just plain wrong.

Re:First post? (3, Interesting)

tknd (979052) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746426)

There isn't much difference. The major difference is that Apple understands how to market products.

I had this same argument with a few different people including one of my friends who actually worked in the cell phone industry. He too thought the iphone "is just another phone". Well yes, it is, but that's because you are a knowledgeable about the topic. Consider joe six-pack who finds fox news more useful than any other media channel. He sees an iphone commercial. So what is he going to do if he gets sold on buying a new phone? Is he going to magically buy the product he doesn't know about (Nokia) or buy what he sees on TV?

You see, when people talk about the iphone, they are not just talking about it from a technological standpoint. When I say, "what about the iphone" I am talking from a business standpoint. That is, Apple is running a successful campaign to the point where they practically get free press on every new product. You are not. How are you going to compete?

Don't get me wrong, I don't like Apple much, in fact I refuse to buy their products because I think they are overpriced. But you can't deny that Steve Jobs understands marketing to the masses. That is ultimately why the iphone will trump all.

I'm confused (4, Insightful)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746304)

It seems like when you say "the iPhone is nothing but another phone" every Apple apologist in the world jumps all over you telling you that the iPhone is actually a full blown computer.

But as soon as you want to do something crazy like, say, run more than one program at once, you hear "Well, the iPhone is first and foremost a phone. . ."

So which is it? If I want to quit an application I imagine I am completely capable of doing so, and the iPhone runs OS X which these same people tell me is the most advanced OS around, and it ought to be perfectly capable of not giving a program in the background a lot of resources. Why is security on an iPhone suddenly such a huge deal, if its really a computer?

I guess I just don't get it.

*Gets ready to be modded -9999 Troll*

Re:I'm confused (4, Interesting)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746446)

I've read there is an API to enable multitasking within the iPhone SDK; just that by default it is turned off for battery/performance reasons.

Re:I'm confused (2, Informative)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746486)

Evidently you can override "applicationSuspend" so the iPhone doesn't kill your program, letting it run in the background.

Re:I'm confused (4, Interesting)

colonslash (544210) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746494)

>> Why is security on an iPhone suddenly such a huge deal, if its really a computer?

Let me start off by saying, I tried out the Android api, and I loved it; its event model was designed with switching applications in mind. It was very powerful and a joy to program. It will probably run my first personal smart phone.

My guess as to why Apple won't treat their phones as computers is because people expect phones to be responsive. People grew up with phones that you can start talking into as soon as you pick up the receiver. A slow phone would look like a piece of junk. The phone market is still quite open, as the iPhone has shown - it has gotten some solid sales numbers even though it wasn't the tried and true. The carriers have been very careful about what goes on their phones, even though it is mostly to protect arpu, so in general mobile phones are still quite responsive. Apple doesn't want to be the slow one.

Personal computers have the opposite expectation; people are used to slow personal computers. Remember waiting for Windows 3.x to refresh the damn screen? Somehow, the general population has accepted bloated software that keeps our computers much less responsive than they need to be, even as hardware keeps getting faster. When Apple's main competitor's, and the market leader's, OS can't even run on a lot of modern hardware out of cripple-mode, Apple can afford to include more features.

Re:First post? (3, Informative)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746336)

Couldn't agree more.

As the owner of a jailbroken iPhone I can tell you that in addition to being a phone, email & web device, camera and iPod, mine is also:

- a guitar tuner
- a scientific instrument. I can ssh into my office computer and start, stop, keep track of my data analysis from wherever.
- a remote control. using a variant of VNC I use my phone as a remote touchpad to control the media PC hooked up to my television.
- an IRC client
- a musical device. The multitouch piano (iAno) is actually quite good and can be used for working out melodies if not more.

This is obviously just the tip of the iceberg of what is possible considering all this was made without the SDK.

Re:First post? (5, Informative)

-noefordeg- (697342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746420)

I've got a 16GB iPhone right here... And I want to beat the crap out of Steve/Apple.

At work earlier today this happened:
Usually I bring along my iPod. At the office I plug it into the USB of my MacBook and just use iTunes to play music from the iPod. Well, today I brought along the iPone (with all my music on) and what happened? You can't play music from the iPhone! I can't do anything in iTunes, transfer movies/music from my office MacBook.
As I was about to go home, I had to bring with me some rather large files. Usually I just use Finder and drag the files over to the iPod. Does my iPhone show up in Finder? No!
Is my iPhone broken?!

It's not a small computer. It's a pretty black box, with very limited use. Yes. It has a great interface and good screen. But there the good things seem to end.

"As a computer, it can also browse the web, take notes, watch videos, listen to music, check your stocks, check the weather, take pictures, and email."
What videos? Only those you get from YouTube or the ones you transfer from the one special chosen Mac?
What if you want to transfer videos/music from another computer?
Can it watch my chosen stocks and notify me when they hit a certain limit? Can the stock-program do this in the background?
Where is MSN for iPhone?
Browse the web with which browser? Opera? Firefox? Lynx?
SSH? I often use SSH clients from my computers to log into and manage my servers. A computer should do this. Does the iPhone?

All the things you mention my previous phone could do too.
It's a rather new Sony Ericsson. Difference was the screen and the UI on the iPone, -and- the SE's ability to transfer files with IR, BlueTooth and USB, use exchangeable SD cards for storage, ability to use mp3 files as ringtones, or just play ordinary mp3 files.

Re:First post? (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746504)

Your iPhone doesn't (yet) have the feature of mass storage. Most Windows computers don't either. My Mac does.

Your Sony Ericsson sounds much more capable than an iPhone.

Re:First post? (0, Flamebait)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746358)

google can (and does) plenty wrong. They got search right (right up to the point they got gamed), but most of their other offerings are perpetually beta.

Exactamundo (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22745664)

About a week ago there was an article about development on the iPhone. I'll repeat here what I said there:

Waiting for Android. Fuck the iPhone.

That's all I have to say about that.

(In)Exactamundo (0)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745740)

Waiting for Android. Fuck the iPhone.

Without reason? Why not go with:

"Waiting for Intelligent Design. Fuck evolution".

or "Waiting for Windows Server 2009. Fuck Linux".

or "Waiting for SCO. Fuck the GPL!"

Without any kind of supporting reason, all the above statements are about as reasonable as yours.

That's all I have to say about that.

This is where the logic bomb kinda goes off. Because you said more about it, you said that you'd posted it before, and further, that it's all that you have to say about it. So you don't have any more to say about it, other than the fact that you do, but you don't have supporting arguments...

There lies madness....

In any event, come back when you DO have something more to say.

what the iphone should have been (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745694)

hopefully this will be it. then i can crack a beer, sit back and enjoy the nerd rage as apple fans go into great detail as to why their status symbol is so much better.

Re:what the iphone should have been (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746028)

by modding me troll, you are only proving my point.

Re:what the iphone should have been (0, Redundant)

fosterNutrition (953798) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746068)

Oh my God... your sig! It's so friggin' appropriate right now!

Re:what the iphone should have been (1)

professional_troll (1178701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746072)

You are a child beater
by modding me troll, you are only proving my point.

Re:what the iphone should have been (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746158)

What is your point?

There are no Android phones, yet. The iPhone is real, it is usable and used, and has real market share right now.

They're really stretching (4, Interesting)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745706)

I'm all in favor of openness and thus I don't plan to buy an iPhone, but it sounds like Google has to look pretty far to find advantages for Android. These "flaws" in the iPhone are obscure enough that I don't think most regular people would even understand them.

It's interesting to note that iPhone doesn't allow interpreted code... while Android doesn't allow native code. Which one of these is more "open"?

Re:They're really stretching (4, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745870)

Android is. The reason is the intent behind it. Android wants to keep binary executables from limiting platforms for Android phones, and as Java and .NET have shown, these days there is little reason to use native code except when the "interpreted" (which is a bad word for it) code can't access all the native APIs.

Apple wants no interpreted code so there is no way any software can get onto the iPhone that they haven't approved -- and they aren't going to approve a lot of the types of software that regular people are going to want (IM that works when they're on a phone call or surfing the net, for example).

Apple's made a huge mistake in their lockdown and with any luck Google will either beat them or force them to stop being... well... Apple. (And I say this as an iPhone and Mac user...)

Re:They're really stretching (2, Interesting)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745992)

Apple's made a huge mistake in their lockdown and with any luck Google will either beat them or force them to stop being... well... Apple. (And I say this as an iPhone and Mac user...)
Apple is Apple, it is why I returned my iPod Touch. I saw the greatness the hardware had, but couldn't stand the uphill battle with Apple to use the hardware in the way I wanted to. The iPhone is incredible, but I'm hoping Android will be literally awesome.

Re:They're really stretching (2, Interesting)

svnt (697929) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746342)

Apple wants no interpreted code so there is no way any software can get onto the iPhone that they haven't approved
Apple wants no interpreted code so there is no way any iPhone software can be used on another phone that they haven't created.

Fixed that for you.

We agree that Apple wants control over their hardware. I don't think that is their primary motivation here, as there is nothing I've seen to imply they might not later provide the interpreter and allow (Apple-approved) apps on it. In fact, provided that they can create a secure interpreter, it is in their interest to do so. They just haven't had time to create that interpreter yet.

Re:They're really stretching (2, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746912)


That doesn't even make any sense.

Apple stands to make 30% of every iPhone app that goes onto the phone.

You better damn well believe they're doing everything they can to ensure there is NO way to get any other software on their but through them.

Scripting, plug-in modules, extensions, etc all mean that there are ways to get code onto the phone after Apple has approved the software and taken money for it.

Re:They're really stretching (3, Insightful)

nbert (785663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746448)

Apple wants no interpreted code so there is no way any software can get onto the iPhone that they haven't approved -- and they aren't going to approve a lot of the types of software that regular people are going to want (IM that works when they're on a phone call or surfing the net, for example).
The last sentence is not true as of now. Quoting from here [] :

I'm a programmer and I just tried it [using the iPhone SDK] and you can keep your app running in the background in the normal way ApolloIM and iFob do it. I.e. overriding applicationSuspend.
If they approve such apps for their new store is a different story. However, neglecting certain appls like IM would be outright stupid.

I don't want to judge Apple's practice, but I see a trend here: Reduce functionality and make sure that things work the way they are supposed to. Instead of designing the ultimate device they deliberately skipped features which would cause trouble: GPS, 3G, battery replacement. The same applies to software: Instead of implementing a feature list with many broken things which don't work too well on a mobile phone (Flash being the most prominent), they made sure that the key components work as well as they can. Mobile browse and e-mail use statistics prove them right after all. Applying the same limitations to 3rd party software just seems to be the next logical step - why would you enable them to ruin the main selling point, which still is ease of use?

Re:They're really stretching (1)

ElBeano (570883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746578)

Apple's mistake may in part be a concession to the carrier's constraints. Android's success depends on Google getting further with a carrier(s) or rolling their own. Cellular phone lameness is in large part due to Verizon, ATT, Sprint et al.

Re:They're really stretching (0)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746894)

No, the iPhone works the same globally.

Apple pushed THOSE carriers into THEIR terms, not the other way around.

For any other phone, for any other manufacturer, you're right. Apple calls all the shots here. I mean, what other phone vendor gets monthly kick-backs per handset?


Apple is protecting themselves.

Re:They're really stretching (2, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746782)

Apple's made a huge mistake in their lockdown and with any luck Google will either beat them or force them to stop being... well... Apple. (And I say this as an iPhone and Mac user...)

Fellow iPhone and Mac user here and I'd say... doubtful. How many times does this have to be proven? Apple does not care what geeks want. Ever since the "No wireless, less space than a Nomad" days, Apple has been mostly ignoring the geek community and making bales of money despite this. Or maybe even because of it--despite how it seems when you spend your days on Slashdot, geeks really don't make up that much of the population. And even if we spend more moeny than average, our demands (support more hardware! support more crazy apps!) would lower profit margins. You saw the roadmap event, I assume? Didja see their sales numbers? Apple could have skipped an SKD for another six months, another year, forever... and iPhones would still be selling just fine.

Re:They're really stretching (5, Insightful)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745882)

It's interesting to note that iPhone doesn't allow interpreted code... while Android doesn't allow native code. Which one of these is more "open"?

From what I've seen so far, the limitations in Android are mostly technical, whereas the limitations in the iPhone SDK are mostly business. From that perspective I'd say that Android probably has a higher ceiling.

Re:They're really stretching (1)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745932)

Android. Just think of it this way, it all likelihood, about a week after an android phone comes out, the "open" version of the firmware/os will come out. The iPhone was Jailbroken, and clever people figured out how to program for it. What do you think the limit will be with Android phones? I'm pretty sure that it will only be hardware, unless you stick with the original firmware/os. Time will tell.

Re:They're really stretching (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22745968)

"It's interesting to note that iPhone doesn't allow interpreted code"

Where did you get that idea from? What I read on the web is "No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple's Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s)" So, Apple-supplied interpreters can be used. I guess there will be at least one: JavaScript (Safari uses it, and I do not see a good reason why it would not be available to other applications)

I also do not read that this rules out script code shipping with the application (unless you interpret "downloaded" to include the download of the application from the Apple server)

Re:They're really stretching (3, Informative)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746064)

These "flaws" in the iPhone are obscure enough that I don't think most regular people would even understand them.

As written, yes, those flaws aren't going to make sense to Joe or Jane Six-Pack.

For example, "won't let you do multiprocessing/won't allow running in background", near as I can tell, means "your IM chat session goes kaput if a call comes in", as your application will be shut down, causing your sockets to close, causing the IM provider to assume you've gone bye-bye. Likewise, multiprocessing will be key for any alternative music players (vs. the built-in stuff) or anything else that needs to be at least partly running when other applications come to the foreground. Android has the same freeze-and-kill-the-app logic, but only invokes it when memory is low, and you can set up independent services (think daemons) that won't be subject to those effects.

It's interesting to note that iPhone doesn't allow interpreted code... while Android doesn't allow native code. Which one of these is more "open"?

Android, in that it allows more handset makers to adopt Android without forcing as many dependencies on the underlying hardware. Phone vendors can choose from multiple Android-ready chipsets, or assist in porting Android's Dalvik VM and APIs to yet another chipset if they so choose. To Mr. and Mrs. Six-Pack, this means more phone options and, hopefully, lower prices.

Re:They're really stretching (5, Informative)

sogoodsofarsowhat (662830) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746118)

Why do people keep mis-stating the facts.... The SDK from Apple default is no-background running a simple flag set allows you too.... If your gonna spew hate, at least get your facts straight... Oh wait this is /.

Re:They're really stretching (1)

weg (196564) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746680)

It's interesting to note that iPhone doesn't allow interpreted code... while Android doesn't allow native code. Which one of these is more "open"?

Windows Mobile allows native code as well as interpreted code (.net, tcl/tk)...

Re:They're really stretching (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746700)

I think that if Google makes Android too open, it will end up like Windows Mobile - kind of a mess. Think about it - if you let developers install instant messengers as background tasks, how will you handle that in the UI? As you are typing an email, a big popup box jumps in your way? Or maybe you clutter the screen with little taskbar-like icons blinking and flashing and beeping? Then you wonder why the battery life sucks compared to when it was new, and why you keep locking up as the phone runs out of memory...

I think that limiting the device's features to keep it usable is a reasonable thing to do. Especially since usability is the main iPhone advantage. Sure, a few hard-core AIM'ers might not buy an iPhone without a backgrounding AIM client - but if the phone remains usable as a result then it is still a plus. Perhaps Apple can come up with a scheme to make exceptions for well-behaved apps...

As for interpreted languages - Apple isn't going to stop you from using Python to make your application, so long as your application cannot run arbitrary Python code. They just don't want to have an in for malware. It should be pretty easy to attack iPhones - they will all have IP addresses falling within a narrow range - only 4 carriers. If you have a signed application that simply executes arbitrary code... that sort of blows away the whole point of signing applications, doesn't it?

Re:They're really stretching (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746844)

The flaws in the iPhone are that more people don't realize that its the industry leader (and justifiably so) like the iPod is when it comes to MP3 players, and Macs when it comes to computing. Instead of wasting time a platform which will forever be in a quasi-beta stage like GNU's HURD, people should just buy their $99 ticket and use the iPhone SDK to write apps on a platform that will give them revenue.

Android is, and will always be an also-run to the iPhone. Its hard to compete with an OS and hardware that is proven as 100% secure, with absolutely no way to remotely take over the device.

My take. sure to be modded down (5, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745722)

Using my many years of reading Slashdot as a gauge, the enthusiasm for the Android handsets, and lack thereof for the iPhone, that are evident on this site lead me to believe that Android will flop and the iPhone will take over the mobile market. Large-scale market trends always seem to defy the common wisdom brokered by the denizens of this site.

Of course, I'm not making a prediction. Just a hunch, based on self-selected observations. My take means nothing, ultimately.

Re:My take. sure to be modded down (4, Funny)

Cyno (85911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745806)

iPhone will take over? When is that going to happen?

OpenMoko will put all the pretenders to rest.

Re:My take. sure to be modded down (2, Funny)

lelitsch (31136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745844)

OpenMoko will put all the pretenders to rest.
Damn, I'm out of +1 Funny

Re:My take. sure to be modded down (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745902)

So because you post that it's going to flop.. now it's going to succeed ??

Oh wait, now I've posted that it will succeed, nullifying your attempt to make it succeed by posting failure.. so It will fail..

but wait...
(post canceled due to slashdot psychic loop)

Re:My take. sure to be modded down (4, Insightful)

AGSHender (696890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746078)

No, I think you're largely right. I've watched so many "for sure" predictions become patently false on this site I've begun doing the exact opposite most of the time.

Example 1:

"OGG is the new hotness and will rule the compressed music formats."

How's that market domination working out for you? I'm glad I didn't invest my personal collection heavily in that format. Does it have a use? Absolutely. Will it ever come anywhere near matching the ubiquitous MP3 format? Nope.

Example 2:

"This is the year of Linux on the desktop!"

Mind you, this was said in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001...and so on. Are there players? Sure. Microsoft's missteps with the delays of and eventual bad user experiences with Vista and their stopping sales of XP opens a door for companies like Ubuntu, but no one's quite gotten their foot in despite your personal experiences to the contrary. Apple's been the real winner there, doubling their market share in the last few years while Linux has remained constant.

My take on Android versus iPhone (disclaimer: I'm a very happy unjailbroken iPhone user) is that they're not meant to compete with each other, at least not directly. Google offered a platform that depends on vendors to customize. Lots of potential? Sure. Lots of potential for suckage? Absolutely. Look at some of the stark differences between different Symbian and Windows Mobile devices and then tell me that Android is going to win hands-down. Hell no. Some company might be able to make phone with an interface and functionality to match the iPhone, but saying that it's better just because it's open is ridiculous. Better for who? Better for the consumer? Or better for you?

Apple offered not just a platform, but an "experience" where everything, if you'll pardon the over-used expression, just works. 99% of iPhone users aren't going to care less that software isn't GPLv3'd and you can't do whatever you want with your phone, and the sales they've racked up so far pretty much indicate that.

By the end of 2008, Slashdotters may find that they have 10 million so-called "pretentious hipsters" to deal with while they're still bitching about how bad the iPhone is. Yeah, that's me all right, a pretentious hipster. Windows/Exchange admin posting on Slashdot.

Apps for android are probably going to be terrible (1, Interesting)

DraconPern (521756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745828)

I'll make some predictions here...

Apps for Android will be few and far between. Most of them will be ports of games from other java mobile platforms that hasn't done well.
Apps will be slow. It's like compact .NET...
original apps for Android will be crappy in quality. (very few consumer level application written in Java has done well, also think CS101)
Social apps for Android will fail because of the lack of users.
Android is unable to attract ISV's because a 10Mil prize pool is 10x smaller than a 100Mil prize pool.
Android apps will be hard to install.

Re:Apps for android are probably going to be terri (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746030)

This game is looking pretty cool: parallel kingdom [] They're pouring money on the problem of lack of applications (10 million for developers isn't enough? - The tiered payout scheme should encourage polish on the finalists) I can't imagine that Google, which is developing all of these easy to use online apps, would screw up on the software on this thing. The company has done wonders where everyone else has fallen on their face over the years (at least they have enough money to sustain things until they have a chance). I would think that people developing these applications would consider branching out into other mobile markets after having developed their applications to try to get a larger user base if they are going to be in the mobile market anyways. Yes, I know that the platforms are very diversified and not cross compatible, but if someone is going to spend money developing applications they'll probably have the incentive to spread it to various platforms. I don't know how things would be hard to install, it shouldn't be any different than installing anything else, except that the it's actually a developer friendly environment - unlike the iphone has done so far and yet you still see people spending hours there to get things working there

Time will tell. (2, Insightful)

ultramk (470198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745830)

Get back to me when you have an honest-to-god product to sell me, not a plan for a product. Right now it's all promises.

Keep in mind that the road is littered with the bloodied corpses of alleged "iPod killers", and that the iPhone is undoubtedly the chosen scion of the same clan.

However, I do welcome any competition to the space, since a competitive market benefits everyone. Right now the competition is a wee bit on the pathetic side.

iPhone is NOT iPod (3, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746144)

First off, there is no such thing as an iPod, what you got is everything from the iPod shuffle to the latest iPod touch and what a LOT of people forget is that it is the lower end models that sell best.

This makes the iPods of which Apple sells most very simple single purpose devices. Play music.

Now ask yourselve just how many people actually use iTunes to BUY music and not justas a way to put music they already have on it on to the iPod as nothing more then a extremely bloated uploader.

By definition almost the iPhone is NOT just a phone. If you JUST wanted a phone, you can get far cheaper devices.

The idea is that mobile phones will become the PC's of the future, well ask yourselve this. If this is true, which one is the IBM PC and which one the Apple?

Cast aside the hatred of MS for a moment and remember WHY it was WinTel didn't just win the race but left overbody else standing. No, the reason isn't that Bill Gates produced a superior product, the reason was that he simply didn't do everything he could to ruin his own project. MS didn't win because they made the right decisions, they won because everyone else made far worse decisions. Atari, IBM and yes Apple, they ALL screwed up.

Now look at the iPhone again, for that matter, look at Apple itself, has it really learned from past mistakes? Remember, there was a time when APPLE led the field, but lost it. Is the iPhone not about to make the same mistakes as before, too much control when all people want is to use the device as they want?

Didn't we just have a story about Atari in which multiple posters pointed out how Atari never had proper documentation on how to develop for its systems so people just went to the IBM instead and went to work with the PC? Hell, that I can use PC as a synonym for an x86 bases cpu running MS software says it all really.

Apple may have sold a lot of devices, but they also sold a lot of Apples in the beginning, and then the PC happened and expanded the market to extents few could have imagined.

The iPod is a simple music player that for an awfull lot of people works PURELY as an MP3 player. Is the iPhone a simple mobile phone with a few added apps OR is it an attempt at the fabled mobile computing we heard so much about?

I personally haven't bought a single phone in recent years that did NOT allow me to install any java app that I wanted on it. (Europe is different regarding telcom control then the US), why should I NOT allow my carrier to decide what I run on my mobile computing phone, but give Apple total control?

In my eyes Android will have to launch on a sexy phone to get the same headlines, but if it truly introdudes an open PC like platform on which I can run what I want, how I want, then it is the clear winner for every user who runs non-apple or non-ms software on their computer.

It all depends on wether people buy their phones as single use gadgets or buy into the mobile computing hype.

Re:iPhone is NOT iPod (2, Funny)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746500)

look at Apple itself, has it really learned from past mistakes?

All Apple has to do here is look at every decision they made when designing the Newton, then not do that.

fta summary (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22745846)

from your description it sounds like the iphone is a fairly limited piece of kit.

well if you actually asked an owner what their experience was, then it might be said that its an overpriced media player, crippled by restrictions placed upon developers. truth is that although it may have some nice eyecandy going on - that soon wears thin. it would be nicer if it was powerful enough for the flash plugin (iphone 2?) the thing other early adopter say to me is its too bulky, especially when you consider it doesn't have a proper keyboard. its another nice apple toy with a lovely screen, but even with complete openness, its fairly unlikely that any number of developers can turn this into a viable work tool, and i'm already looking at the n96.

android is running on hardware you can buy today (4, Informative)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745864)

you can buy consumer hardware and run android on it today.. there's a good summary of what has been done at []

I am running the zaurus version which uses Poky linux as its base, and it looks quite cool. Admittedly, it is a bit of a hack, as it's not fully working, but it's much better than using a desk-bound virtual machine!

Why Google matters (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745898)

The Linux phone space is currently very fragmented and needs a big player to help bring it together. Without commonality, there will be no portable 3rd party apps etc (like there are for Symbian phones etc).

Taking a page from the history books, the Linux phone space is currently where MSDOS computers were in the pre-IBM compatable days. Before IBM came along and made a standardised platform, MSDOS programs were very clunky and typically not portable between different MSDOS machines. What made the difference was when IBM made their PC and people started cloning it. That is what really kick started the whole PC era.

Having one big player can really help to make a standardised effort.

Re:Why Google matters (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746194)


Seriously, do you have no idea the story behind MS-DOS? Microsoft sold it to IBM before Microsoft EVEN HAD IT.

To quote Wikipedia [] :

In the early days of the IBM PC it was more-or-less assumed that Digital Research's CP/M-86, based on their successful CP/M for the earlier 8080 and Z80 processors, would be the operating system for the IBM PC. There is a story that IBM executives went to visit the headquarters of Digital Research, only to be told that owner Gary Kildall was flying his plane or otherwise unavailable. IBM then spoke with Bill Gates of the small company Microsoft, who had never written an operating system. Gates found an existing operating system similar to CP/M but different enough not to be an illegal copy, QDOS, and bought it for USD$50,000 from its creators, Seattle Computer Products.

There were many MSDOS different machines (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746274)

I don't need the history lesson. I was there. There were a lot of different MSDOS machines out there before IBM's emerged as the dominant, and only, architecture. I programmed a few myself and had to deal with the differences.

The standard MSDOS interface was completely useless for dealing with hardware (eg. the screen and keyboard), so you'd have to bypass MSDOS and access hardware directly. That worked, but was not portable across machines. Some machines also came with special BIOS and BIOS extensions which also were not portable. IBM made the difference and stopped this fragmentation.

Re:There were many MSDOS different machines (1)

satellite17 (816105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746904)

Nope, TheRealMindChild is correct and you are wrong. Sorry to be blunt.

IBM made the original PC from off the shelf parts to get it to market quickly. To stop competitors from creating clones they designed the BIOS from scratch. They needed an OS and MS provided one (They bought QDOS and renamed it PC-DOS) however they let MS keep the rights to sell the OS under a different name. Compaq reverse engineered the BIOS, licensed MS-DOS and started the clone industry, and Billy and his friends hit the jackpot.

There were machines that ran MS-DOS which weren't 100% "IBM Compatible" (I used RM Nimbus machines in the late 80s which ran a version of DOS and Windows, but they wouldn't run software written for the IBM PC) but they all came after the original IBM PC.

The BIOS problems you describe were because IBM owned the original PC BIOS and other manufacturers had to reverse engineer their own version.

It's a tradeoff for users (-1, Flamebait)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745912)

Do you want compiled or interpreted applications on your phone that call 911, spy on you via built-in microphone and camera or run up your bill by constantly transferring the data on background. If you have an Anderoid phone I guess you will have treat it more like a computer, invest in an anti-malware package and keep it up to date. Some users are Ok with that, but probably most are not.

It'd be interesting to find out (1, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22745934)

How does it feel when your product is totally pwnt before it's even released? Hundred thousand downloads of iPhone SDK within 4 days is A LOT of downloads. By June we should see some serious appage showing up, running on a real device, with a business model, brand and strong distribution channel behind it. Stakes are high, so GOOG can't throw in the towel now, but one core mistake that companies often make is they assume their competitors will stand still while they catch up. And that's just not the way it works.

Re:It'd be interesting to find out (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746430)

Okay, this iPhone pwns all mantra is getting a bit ridiculous, especially in the context of Android where it is almost completely irrelevant. The iPhone has been quite successful - it has surpassed sales of Microsoft, and could very well overtake sales of RIM in time after the enterprise apps are officially released. But even if it does that is only a fraction of the cellphone market.

Do you honestly think that Nokia, Motorola, LG, Ericson, Samsung, Kyocera, and more all going to be put out of business by a single company, nay a single phone? As 1337 as the iPhone is, there will never be a single phone that is best for everyone. That not the way it works. These other phones need some OS to run and the current offerings suck. I would be ecstatic if the "only" affect that Android had was to wipe the Symbian/J2ME/BREW stack of the face of the earth. If it managed to do that, it would have the majority of the cellphone market, even if it was never anywhere near competitive with the iPhone, and even considering the growing popularity of smartphones. If that's failure sign me up on the loosing team.

Re:It'd be interesting to find out (2, Interesting)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746438)

Another is to assume that cos they have a head start they will keep the lead, Apple had the head start on MS with PCs, but who won that one?

Re:It'd be interesting to find out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746472)

Please stop upsetting the fanbois with pesky things like truth. It's rude and it hurts their feelings.

Android is a platform, not a piece of hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746004)

Android has been here a while already. What's lacking is vendors with phones that have android installed as it's OS. This is not, however, to say that they are non-existent, or are not in the works.

Technically speaking, the iPhone could very well run Android. It would need to have all of it's features and specifications opened up, but it's possible.

Android won't be the iPhone killer, Apple will be the iPhone killer.

Its about the experience, not the nuts and bolts (1)

StarsEnd (640288) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746202)

Honestly, who cares about multitasking? As a developer, I do. As a user, I really don't care. Since I've had my iPhone, I've been pleased with the user experience. It is intuitive and stable. It makes my life easier.
Have you tried android? I've downloaded the SDK. I thought I could use the emulator to demonstrate some of our mobile apps. I was really disappointed with the experience. It is clearly not polished yet. I have no doubt they will succeed. I believe their successful model will be inexpensive mobile devices, subsidized through advertising. That will be a model that Apple will not compete, at least for the next few years.

Android hardware may suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746206)

Android hardware will suck if it won't even support WVGA.

interpretive language (-1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746254)

"interpretive language"?

Is that like interpretive dance? Maybe code that says, url.openInputStream, but by the way it's written it makes you feel like you're walking on a beach with a newfound and transient love?

meh - I just looked it up, it's a synonym for interpreted language. But I still like my joke, so I'm posting anyway. :p

Re:interpretive language (1)

TopSpin (753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746332)

But I still like my joke, so I'm posting anyway.
We thank you for having inputted it.

Insane expectations (2, Interesting)

ecavalli (1216014) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746262)

Personally I'm just hoping Android will allow users to merge the innate genius and usability of the current iPhone with the freedom of OSS software creation. My only gripe about the iPhone is that the applications released for the thing are all under the totalitarian control of Apple (making my dreams of an easy to use SNES or NES emulator attached to my phone/music player/organizer/Internet appliance almost impossible).

Of course, if it also lives up to the expectations that the rest of Slashdot seems to have for the platform (heals the lame/blind, resurrects the dead, fellatio on demand, etc) that would be an excellent bonus.

Lengthy analysis of the iPhone vs. the Blackberry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746294) []

I think Android will have a *much* better chance than the iPhone, which I think has almost no chance of any penetration into the enterprise, especially since Blackberry has set the "standard" of what people can expect from a mobile experience. The lines between enterprise and consumer are blurring (albeit slowly), but the iPhone is so far in the "consumer" camp that it's almost a joke as far as actual productivity is concerned. Access your contacts while on a call on the iPhone? Put the call on hold. Add a contact while you're on a call? Nope. That is one of many examples. I just returned the iPhone for a Blackberry Curve.

While Android may not have nearly the glaring technological limitations that the iPhone has, it still must cross the same chasm into the enterprise, that *both* Google and Apple have not done.


Re:Lengthy analysis of the iPhone vs. the Blackber (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746378)

"Access your contacts while on a call on the iPhone? Put the call on hold. Add a contact while you're on a call? Nope. That is one of many examples. I just returned the iPhone for a Blackberry Curve."

You can do all of that on the iPhone .. you can also use other iPhone applications (just press the round button with the square).

Re:Lengthy analysis of the iPhone vs. the Blackber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22746410)

Many thanks for that, but it's a bit too late for me at least. I had seen so many other stupid things, that I guessed it was just another limitation. But I will be sure to let the others I know who still have the iPhone, but also couldn't figure out how to do it. I would be *very* interested in your assessment of the other items I listed in my post that I linked to.


Success is easy for Google. (1)

rindeee (530084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746400)

If they want to win the market, they'll make sure that Android is super easy to port to existing phones. They'll immediately have market saturation at no expense to the end user. Doing this will require a really close relationship with the FOSS community with all the necessary tools and code available. I'd put Android on my crap Q9c in a heartbeat. Once this is done, it becomes a defacto standard and people naturally lean toward buying new phones with Android installed.

Apple isn't the competition (1, Troll)

Meorah (308102) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746444)

The iPhone is slickly marketed, does a few things well, and sacrifices a lot of features to get that multi-touch display and maintain a $400-500 price tag.

Any serious phone addict could care less about the admittedly nice intuitive interface and awesome browser. They want PC-level features, and that means HSxPA, a-GPS, BUTTONS, both free AND commercial applications, and (travelers want) removable batteries whether Apple admits it or not.

Business users will still prefer their god-awful blackberries, E-series Nokias, and single-touch + full keyboard WinMo Pro handsets, simply because they are better at fulfilling the need of the user, and already have every app that anybody would want available for download.

Personal/individual users either want a phone that their carrier will subsidize 100%, or at least only make them pay $100 or less for a phone that would be $400-500 if it was unlocked. They still have N-series Nokias, SE walkman, and LG phones to compete at the iPhone price point, not to mention the Samsungs, Motorolas, and Nokias that are at the "a whole helluvalot cheaper" price point, minus the multi-touchscreen and desktop-level browser.

Apple, if anything, shows that you CAN catch up quickly to the competition... if you just aggressively market your sole device and make sure the news reporters catch your employees high-fiving the poor schmucks who coughed up >=$400 for a phone that plays music and video and has a browser, but lets you touch it in more than one place at a time... a kinky phone, in other words. Yes, I'm rooting for Android to lay the smack-down - but not to Apple - to MS, Symbian, Palm, and RIM.

Apple isn't the competition.

I strongly suspect that android will win (4, Insightful)

stokessd (89903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746522)

The iPhone is a great phone, and IMHO without peer in the US. But being the best cellphone in the US is like being the valedictorian of summer school.

My prediction is that the iPhone will always be more stable and have a more consistent interface and user experience. It will always be a great phone. But Apple is about giving you the core features you need and knowing what to leave out. That leaving out bit burns we basement dwelling robot building slashdotters. But Apple's brilliance is giving you a great user experience, and I don't see that ever changing. To apple the iPhone will always be a closed platform (sure you can put some apps on it, but don't try to fundamentally change it). It will always be a phone or/and ipod, not a computer.

The Android is whatever people think it should be. So it's a phone, a computer, a bottle opener. etc. It will have lots of uses in lots of arenas that apple doesn't want to play in. It will allow other countries phones to really kick ass. It will also be much less consistent as lots of people code for it. To a lot of people, this is insanely exciting, and provides the first glimpse of a unified geek tool in your pocket (are you glad to see me?).

Android being free will be super attractive to phone makers, and to consumers. It will gobble up marketshare in many markets. And I suspect that Apple is just fine with that. Apple is in a great place taking the top portion of the markets they play in.


Phones will suck as long as processor power is low (2, Insightful)

cylcyl (144755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746564)

CPU on smart phone/PDA has capped at 600MHz for the past 6 years. This is quite sad. This has been 4 gens of Moore's Law and nothing has improved. Resolution has gone to VGA, but has dropped to QVGA. Until the smart phone processors go > 1GHz, smartphones just won't achieve the promise of the convergent device.

Competition is good...but... (4, Informative)

zullnero (833754) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746608)

What it really comes down to is how polished the developer tools are. I've written professional apps for about 5 different mobile operating systems so far, and I can tell you that it's not so much in the languages and OS that it uses, but in how refined the tools are.

Right now, I don't like the Android emulator one bit. It's not an emulator. It's a marketing demo that pretends to be a phone, and tries to comfort me by adding "developer tools" as an option. An emulator is supposed to be able to run a ROM image of the OS taken from a machine. If the Google people put the OS on a piece of hardware and dump an image, THAT is what I want for testing my apps. Not some fake toy app for salespeople to be wowed by. I should be able to right click on the thing and load another ROM, save a ROM, and encapsulate a ROM for testing. Palm did that with their original emulator, and while it had lousy network support (I believe you could get a third party app called Mocha PPP that fixed that), it was easily my favorite mobile OS emulator for development that I've worked with. The Windows Mobile emulator is great for debugging and communication, but is crippled in a zillion other stupid ways. I disliked the Symbian and Brew emulators I've used as well, and most of the Java emulators out there have been equally bad. Folks always forget about how important emulation is, they just think that we can just buy a dozen phones and test on all of them. THAT is why homebrew apps don't get made, and those are the kinds of apps that build the entire economy around your OS.

The development environment needs to provide extensive command line support for automated scripting along with a system that makes it brain dead simple to debug and build apps. I don't honestly care if I'm writing an app in Java, C#, or C...I just want an IDE that lets me hit a simple, easy to remember control sequence that builds, debugs, runs, checks code into the repository, whatever. I don't want something that barks at me because it wants me to do things IT'S way, I want it to be flexible enough to do things MY way.

If Android can't deliver this, and a whole lot more, it's going to be only one of many mobile Linux OSs currently hitting the market. Everyone and their mom is releasing mobile Linux OSs. Like we saw on the desktop, it doesn't matter if the big corporations (like Novell) are backing you.

Apple's NDA Nonsense (2, Interesting)

Ilan Volow (539597) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746616)

iPhone developers are not allowed ask each other for help on the SDK []

Meanwhile, Android developers are free to give each other advice []

The only thing that this NDA is protecting is Google's ability to get more functional apps to market sooner.

"The finder needs your attention" in the iphone ?? (0, Troll)

nofactor (1053982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22746650)

Will we revisit the days of non-preemptive multitasking in the iphone.
The finder asking for my attention so that apps in the background can have their turn of execution.
Ufff, i'm already sweating!
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