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Posts Tagged ‘os’

Android developer frustration!

Monday, October 12th, 2009

There are 75 million phone running the Android operating system due to be sold in 2012 alone according to the research firm Gartner.  If this is correct, Android will become the second most popular mobile phone operating system after Symbian.

Personally, I’m converted.  After using the iPhone for a while and owning a few blackberry’s, I switched to the HTC Magic under the T-Mobile “G2” banner and every day I’ve used the phone, I’ve found another use or feature which I genuinely like.  Saying all that, there is a long way to go yet and there are many improvements I’d like to see and expect.

Whilst an open source operating system is great in theory, like communism, it often can’t work in the real world and does need control and restrictions.  It looks like Android is splintering off and different devices are using different versions with a wealth of new technology coming in to the market place, there’s a chance the OS could follow the same path as Sun’s J2ME and lose it’s momentum.

With v2.0 on the horizon, backwards/forwards compatibility looks like it could cause problems!  Developers are starting to show signs of frustration as unlike the iPhone which has a code base maintained and built by Apple, the Android OS is changing all the time.  Hopefully Google will get a handle on it all and ensure that these problems are ironed out ready for the holiday rush.

Overall, I’m still a happy Android fan, but I’d hate to see it start to lose favour at such an early stage.

Android Donut – version 1.6 is released

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Each Google Android release is labelled as a confectionary item and the new release: 1.6 is no exception. Nicknamed Android Donut the new release has several updates and improvements on the current version.

Now, we could go through the long list but really you probably just want to watch a video and see it in action:


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The update is available for developers to play with now and it should start to appear on phones in October so there’s not too long to wait.

Android is really starting to gain momentum at the moment. LG and Motorola now have Google Android phones in the pipeline.  Samsung and HTC also have phones in the market, HTC (who also make T-mobile’s G1 and G2) has been the Google OS’s biggest supporter.

Last year 195,000 Android phones were sold, and this year that number will increase to 3.4 million, according to Gartner.

From the official Android Blog:

New Features

Quick Search Box for Android

Android 1.6 includes a redesigned search framework that provides a quick, effective, and consistent way for users to search across multiple sources—such as browser bookmarks & history, contacts, and the web—directly from the home screen.

The system constantly learns which search results are more relevant based on what is clicked. So popular contacts or apps that have previously been picked will bubble up to the top when a user types the first few letters of a relevant query.

The search framework also provides developers a way to easily expose relevant content from their applications in Quick Search Box.

Camera, Camcorder, and Gallery

An updated user interface provides an integrated camera, camcorder, and gallery experience. Users can quickly toggle between still and video capture modes. Additionally, the gallery enables users to select multiple photos for deletion.

Android 1.6 also provides a much faster camera experience. Compared to the previous release, launching the camera is now 39% faster, and there is a 28% improvement in the time from completing one shot to the next.

VPN, 802.1x

A new Virtual Private Network (VPN) control panel in Settings allows users to configure and connect to the following types of VPNs:

  • L2TP/IPSEC pre-shared key based VPN
  • L2TP/IPsec certificate based VPN
  • L2TP only VPN
  • PPTP only VPN

Battery usage indicator

A new battery usage screen lets users see which apps and services are consuming battery power. If the user determines that a particular service or application is using too much power, they can take action to save the battery by adjusting settings, stopping the application, or uninstalling the application.


Users will be able to download new accessibility services built on the new accessibility framework and enable them in Settings.

Android Market Updates

For devices with Android Market, the latest version improves the overall user experience and makes it easier for users to discover great apps and games from developers.

  • At the homescreen, users can choose among Apps, Games, and Downloads.
  • Inside a category, users can explore titles that are Top paid, Top free, and Just in.
  • For each title, users can now see screenshots submitted by developers in addition to reviews from other users.

Find out more here

Google Phone or Android Phone?

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Ever since the buzz started with the G1 there has been confusion over the name of the operating system… is it a Google Phone or an Android Handset? Well, it’s both. Sort of. Maybe.

The Open Handset Alliance is a group of companies founded by Google with the aim of opening up the mobile phone operating system marketplace to an open source alternative. The alliance came up with Android – a hardware independant operating system that could be built on, edited, changed and mucked around with by anyone – for the benefit of everyone.

Of course, with Google as a big player, the first glimpses of the OS were secretive and often called a Google phone. T-mobile hasn’t exactly helped the confusion by calling it’s first two HTC made Android phones the G1 and the G2.

But, at the end of the day the OS is called Android… Google just had a hand in setting it all up and giving it a push. This year there are several new Android phones being released and the big phone players are getting involved: Samsung, Motorola and possibly LG (rumours at the moment). Maybe we’ll move onto the possibilities of Android being used in handheld PCs and Netbooks in a later post…

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