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November 12, 2007

Android's SDK Now Available

Android, Google's mobile platform, is finally open to the developers. Now you can download the SDK and start to develop great applications in Java. Google launched a competition that offers $10 million awards for the most interesting apps (the biggest prize is quite significant: $275,000).

Note that "the Android SDK is being offered to the developer community on an Early Look basis. (...) Once the SDK reaches a more finished form, Google intends to release most of the components under the Apache v2.0 open source license."

Here are some of the most important features of the Android platform:
* Application framework enabling reuse and replacement of components

* Dalvik virtual machine optimized for mobile devices

* Integrated browser based on the open source WebKit engine

* Optimized graphics powered by a custom 2D graphics library; 3D graphics based on the OpenGL ES 1.0 specification (hardware acceleration optional)

* SQLite for structured data storage

* Media support for common audio, video, and still image formats (MPEG4, H.264, MP3, AAC, AMR, JPG, PNG, GIF)

* GSM Telephony (hardware dependent)

* Bluetooth, EDGE, 3G, and WiFi (hardware dependent)

* Camera, GPS, compass, and accelerometer (hardware dependent)

* Rich development environment including a device emulator, tools for debugging, memory and performance profiling, and a plugin for the Eclipse IDE

This demo shows Android on two different phones and you can see all kinds of applications from the built-in browser to Google Maps and a 3D game like Quake. According to Google, "Android will ship with a set of core applications including an email client, SMS program, calendar, maps, browser, contacts".

Some screenshots from the SDK's emulator: the iPhone-like browser, the always-connected phone using XMPP, a small application for managing contacts and a local search in Google Maps.

Android's website
Videos about Android


  1. This could really revolutionize our mobile phones!

  2. I just noticed that the applications have to be written in Java!

    What happened to "do no evil".....

  3. gphone + GPS support == sweet

    This could move social apps in a cool direction. Think about an app that would allow your networked social contacts to leave an electronic breadcrumb (GPS reported location and a quick note) on a shared Maps overlay. When you walk into the area you get buzzed and see the bread crumb. Use sqlite or Gears to seamlessly cache some info between network access points (and also save on phone network bandwidth). Plus you could see all the bread crumbs in the area on a desktop/laptop screen. Since (hopefully) many of the comments left are about local businesses it might lead to some decent ad clicks. Or maybe as a virtual graffiti network overlayed on Street View. =) IMO Android's openness is going to lead to some wild new apps.

    BTW, excellent blog.

  4. I am very excited about this! Can't wait to get mine!

  5. How exciting it is! Wow...

    But wait... How many clients do you have now?


    And what about the software marketplace? When it will be available?


    How about Java ME Support?

    Not compliant?!?

    How about the tools? The IDE, the Profiler and the Interface support?

    Just code Java, in Eclipse?!?

    How about inovative features?!?

    Just ripping the iPhone, badly?!?

    How about usability, design, quality assurance, documentation, samples, tutorials, etc?

    That already exists dude. Just google it. hum... right?

    Android will be nice. But it's not extraordinary.

    It's just a nice mobile OS. To be extraordinary, you need a lot more...

    You need awesome APIs, you need tools (useful tools), you need nice marketing (you need to understand your users), you need design and usability, you need optimization (you support recording AAC, thats just great to burn batery life..), you need good documentation, lots of samples and constant improvement.

    Openess is good, but it's not everything. You need a lot more.


  6. Har har har! Now in 2010, looking at the 2008 comment from this idiot "Bill Gates" is a great laugh!

    Android is outselling the iPhone in the US, and is only one percentage point behind Blackberry. Very shortly it will be the top selling smartphone platform, bar none.


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