When Google calls Android an open mobile platform, it's no longer stretching the truth. This morning, a day before the debut of the inaugural Android phone, the world's largest ad broker finally released the platform's source code to world+dog. "Today is a big day for Android, the Open Handset Alliance, and the open-source …
Just begging to be ported to...
... the HTC OpenMoko FreeRunner. Then we'll find out how complete the open source is...
smart way to go
Well Im impressed. Its will be interesting to see if they stick with the Java only app restriction now that its open source. And like Gulfie, I wonder if its possible now to compile the OS to different mobile platforms. The biggest problems with Linux in general has been a lack of software installation standards. I wonder if Android addresses that in a way that goes beyond forcing people to use Java. Ive heard a large part of Nokia's meamo mobile Linux OS is open(I think its based on Debian), it will be interesting to see if they go all the way with open source.
The biggest winner...
...is the start-up that makes a business of releasing fully-functioning ports for all those sloooooow Windoze mobile devices out there haha! I'd pay £29.99 for an install onto my HTC S710 right now!
Yes, but, no, but...
And let's see the really cheap no-name chinese phones running Android. This is what we want.
As a laptot user, I would like to see Android stuff make it's way into Linux distros. I'd rather see telephony stuff on a tiny pc rather than pc features on a mobile. Skype and VOIP in general is ok. USB 3G modems ok, but... My eee pc has a home for a sim card. I see convergence the other way around from most. But I'm a bloke and I wear coats with big pockets. I carry a headset around with me - bangin' choons on my Sennheisers. I can see that there is a niche for a smaller pocket. I can see that people might want bluetooth headsets.
says my cat.
Android will not make your crappy HTC S710 blazingly fast.
S710 comes with 210MHz CPU and 64MB of RAM.
G1 comes with 528MHz GPU and 192 MB of RAM.
G1 has about three times more powerful hardware, no wonder it is reasonably fast. But on S710 Android would be painfully slow - most likely worse than WM, which was initially designed for such low end hardware. Most new WM phone still have lesser hardware than G1 and run fast.
It lacks PC syncing, Exchange support, a headphone jack, and stereo Bluetooth.
Pretty much useless then.
Almost passable, Metz
You nearly refrained from slamming Google with this article ... however your use of "ad broker" quickly became derogatory, and you finished up with your usual cynical bashing. Google does a lot more than just broker ads, but all you can see is your hatred. That's not good for El Reg or for those who read your work.
Maybe someday, with a lot of therapy, you will be able to rid yourself of your anti-Google malaise. Personally, I hope you just stop writing about Google. You're not a very good writer and you hate Google with a passion that should be reserved for something you enjoy. Why not give the rest of us a break, and take a really long vacation until you can find some inner peace? It would help your writing. Other El Reg writers, like Dan Goodin, do a fine job covering this beat, so, please, just let it go and find a new topic for yourself.
(El Reg, this could have been a good, informative article if anyone other than Metz had written it. Metz editorializes far too much for an IT writer.)
I think Dick Emery needs to appreciate what the vast majority of people want a phone for and that is to make phone calls and send texts! Features such as PC syncing and Exchange support are only needed by a tiny minority of people. So a phone that makes phone calls is 'pretty much useless'!
Surely the other point is that this is only the first release of a device using the open Android platform. Other manufacturers can release a phone (and I'm sure they will) that contains all of these features and more. Would you judge all Windows Mobile phones by the very first device released?
RE RE WTF!
To Ian: a dumb phone that makes phone calls and sends text is great. And there are already plenty of cheap dumb phones that make calls and send text, requiring less resources and running faster/longer.
But Android is not a dumb phone - it is smartphone and thus costs more, it is larger, less reliable, has more complex UI, and drains batteries faster than any of these dumb phones. If all you need a phone that 'makes calls and sends text' - Android is one of the worst phones for you.
Of course Android can do much more - like do GMail, maps, 3rd party apps, etc. So it is not so bad at all. But it provides too much of functionality for people like Ian and too little for people like Dick. Well, it is probably still useful for some folks. But I agree with Dick - until it gets PC syncing, Exchange support, a headphone jack, and stereo Bluetooth, it is junk to *me*.
Re: Useful for some folks
Fine for me. PC sync: don't care, I have multiple PCs in multiple locations, so the "constantly sync to the cloud" model makes a lot more sense (also, people who provide PC sync tend to mean Outlook sync and I don't run Windows). Exchange support: my employer has Exchange, but I only use it for email and they have IMAP enabled. Headphone jack: this is a WTF, I agree, but not a deal breaker for me. I'll just buy a small, cheap adaptor. Stereo Bluetooth: they said at the NY launch, this will come to this device in an update.
Openness means change
1) Android is open.
2) Android is the firmware, not the hardware.
3) Lots of Google stuff has Beta stamped all over it and continues to improve and improve.
1) The criticisms of lack of Exchange etc are temporary.
2) The criticisms of the mini USB headphone port only apply to this bit of hardware, not Android or Google.
3) The mass of Google products are effectively free, so give them a freaking break. You want free from Evil Apple? Or M$? Good luck with that!
There's more to criticism than just criticizing, but at least the article wasn't filled with comparisons to the iPhone '3G'.
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