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.
Videos about Android