Author Archives: Vincent Nguyen

Android phones still on track this year!

Recent rumors earlier today from a source familiar with the situation reported that "although a large number of people are hard at work on the Gphone and the open-source operating system/platform for mobile devices (Android) the actual Gphone will not be ready for release this year.

The Android Dream phone demoed during the keynote wowed me along with a whole bunch of people at Google IO as well as those that didn't attend.  As far as I'm concerned, Google along with OHA partners are on track to announce Android-powered phones this year. Google Spokesperson had this to say regarding my inquiries into this matter: "We're still on track to announce Android-powered phones this year. Some of our partners are publicly stating that they plan to ship Android phones in the fourth quarter." When asked whether Google is getting into the business of making hardware, a la the gPhone, I was given the following statement: "We hope the Android platform will spur the development of thousands of different kinds of phones. It's too soon to tell what forms these phones will take, but we've excited about the possibilities this kind of open platform will engender, and the benefits that users will ultimately enjoy. We envision phones that will feature more engaging, easier-to-use interfaces and a rich portfolio of applications -- all of which will make it much easier to do more with the phone than just voice calls or simple messaging." - Google Spokesperson Well there you have it, if Google says Android is on track to announce Android phones this year, that's good enough for me.

Google Android Application Market

A question came up during the Android Fireside chat regarding Android application distribution system.

"We’ve thought about it. It would be a great benefit to the Android community if there’s a place people can go to safely and securely download their content and have a billing system so that developers can get paid for their effort, and I have nothing to announce today, we’ve thought of it…We wouldn't have done our job if we didn't provide something that helps developers get distribution." –Andy Rubin


Well there it is folks, if you read between the lines, it sounds as though Google is working on an Android app store for content distribution.

Google IO2008 after hour party!

Google really knows how to throw a great party. After a long day of listening to folks talk about various topics ranging from Android to Google App Engine, all you want to do is kick back and relax with a nice cold adult beverage or shoot some pool with that new programmer you connected with at the Fireside Chat. You’ll see from the video below that Google has entertainment, music, arcades, plenty of food, drinks (lots of drinks) and most important of all, thousands and thousands of people from around the world hanging out.


In the next article/video, I’ll walk you through the “other side” of this room to tour the different groups just hanging out and chit chatting about YouTube, Google Web Toolkit, Google Data APIs, Gears, OpenSocial Application, Android, etc. As Robert of put, “How can you tell what’s hot at a conference?” Come to the party and check out the size of the crowds around the tables.



Meet the leads for Android platform

Android Fireside Chat is a Q&A session that is often considered the best part of Google IO, as it gives developers a chance to ask what's on their minds as well as talk to the product engineering teams. Come tell the team what you want, discuss issues and design decisions, and hear the team's thoughts on just about whatever you ask.  In this first, you’ll get to meet the leads for Android platform.


More videos from the Android Fireside Chat coming soon.

That me - with the best seat in the house!

Android prototype Q&A video and transcript plus hardware details

After wowing the IO conference crowd with their Android prototype demonstration, the developers sat down for a Q&A session.  The question on everyones' lips was what exactly the demo hardware consisted of, and who made it; while the answer to the latter was under NDA, we were given some details of the former.  Based on a 528MHz Qualcomm processor, the smartphone used a Synaptics capacitive touchscreen and the UMTS cellular standard; the demo itself was carried out using a 3.6Mbps HSDPA connection.  Android's memory requirements continue to be reasonable: the prototype had 128MB of RAM and 256MB of flash.

First LIVE images and videos of FULLSCREEN Android demos!

Google's latest Android prototype is miles improved over the versions we last saw. Back at CES the GUI was clunky and the whole thing looked relatively primative; Google themselves asked us to keep an open mind and instead concentrate on the OS' potential. Now, they've brought out a device that you could, frankly, mistake for production hardware.  The HTC Android Dream phone is a worthy competitor to the forthcoming iPhone 2.0! As our exclusive demo videos show, the Android team have been putting in some long hours bringing the user interface up to the standard people expect. The iPhone sets the bar high, and leftfield rivals like Samsung's TouchWiz GUI really pile on the pressure. What they've given us is, at first glance, a blend of the successful parts of each of those, together with a dose of Google's own minimalist aesthetic. Hopefully you'll agree with us, once you've looked through the photos and watched the video, that the design is a winner. In this first video, we see an overview of the new interface and menu structure, including the clever pattern-based unlock screen. Much of the GUI can be interacted with - for instance pulling down the title bar reveals missed calls and new messages - using the familiar palatte of swipes and taps. You can also see the straightforward way to create shortcuts on the home screen; a matter of holding down your finger and then following through the contextual menus. [youtube][/youtube] Next up, Google's Street View gets the Android treatment with a built-in compass. That lets you pan around the location-based image, turning the handset into something of an augmented reality device. As you can tell by the applause, this was one of the most popular apps! [youtube][/youtube] Google briefly touched on their work with developers, including the latest round of entries in their Android Developers Challenge. Here you can see a port of Pacman, developed for the handset: [youtube][/youtube] In this last video, a demo of Google Maps, you can see how closely the Android experience matches that of the desktop. All of the usual mapping options are present - satellite views, traffic, etc. - and, with a 3G network, load and update quickly. [youtube][/youtube] Pac-Man on Android for the firs time! [youtube][/youtube] Customize how you want to unlock Android [youtube][/youtube] [gallery]

Google IO keynote: “Client, Connectivity, and the Cloud”

Google will be announcing quite a bit of news over the next two days, starting with the opening keynote and a press conference this morning.

The keynote will be given by Vic Gundotra, VP of engineering, at 9:30am in Moscone West.  The title of the keynote will be  "Client, Connectivity, and the Cloud." After the keynote, there will be a press conference where I'll have an opportunity to ask Google spokespeople additional questions and see product demos.  They'll be discussing the news and may have some time for 1 on 1s. 9:47AM The lights dimmed and keynote is about to start!  Vid Gundotra is on stage - Engineering VP, Google Inc.  There are now standing room only! Vid is painting a picture of how Google will move forward with the "What? Why? How?" right now.  Allen Hurff, Engineering SVP is up on stage talking about what MySpace is doing with Gears.  MySpace allows for search and sort in mail and it's available now if you have Gears installed. Stay tune for tons of Android info and demos!!! [gallery]

New AndroidGlobalTime app added to the apps-for-android project

AndroidGlobalTime has been added to the apps-for-android project. It is a 3D world clock open source application developed by an engineer at Google. It's intended to serve as an illustrative of how to use the OpenGL ES APIs in your Android Applications.
Just a quick word on how to use AndroidGlobalTime. When you launch it, you'll see a spinning globe showing day and night regions. Pressing the space bar will overlay an analog clock with the time corresponding to location you're currently examining. The arrow keys allow you to spin the Earth and traverse through different time-zones while the clock is displayed. Pressing the center key in the emulator toggles between a 3D and 2D view of the earth. Pressing the L key will turn the city lights on or off. You can also zoom-out by pressing 2 and zoom-in by pressing 8. - Megha Josh

Google IO: Android Community will be there – are you going?

Hey everyone - I just got my Google IO registration email this morning.  I'm planning on attending and providing coverage (video and blog) the following sessions in addition to the keynote at 9:30AM on 5/28.  If you're attending, make sure to shoot me an email or post your reply in this thread.  I'm looking forward to meeting all you "android heads" at Google IO!

ADC finalists gets early access to SDKs

Google notified the top 50 teams from the Android Developers Challenge to explain some of the details of Phase II of the ADC. Google is going to be using these top 50 teams as beta testers for new SDK snapshots. NDA prohibits testers from leaking new features or screen shots of any sorts.
Google has sent out emails to the top 50 applications from the Android Developers Challenge explaining some of the details of Phase II of the ADC. It appears that Google is going to be using these top 50 teams as a testers for new SDK snapshots. The only catch is that the developers must agree to a 'NDA' type of agreement forbidding screenshots or descriptions of new features: As a Round 2 participant, we'll be providing you with the most up-to-date Android SDK so that you can take advantage of the latest tools & platform capabilities that will be shipping in devices later this year. These early access SDKs have many enhancements, additional features, and bug fixes. However, these SDKs have not had the same level of testing as public SDKs, so there are bugs; these releases are definitely "bleeding edge." As we continue to update the platform, you'll receive periodic drops of updated early access SDKs. We'll do our best to give you a rough timeline on when these early access SDKs will be available so that you can better plan your development schedule. Approximately 3 weeks before the submission deadline, we will provide a final early access SDK. You will need to submit your entry using this version of the SDK. Since these early access SDKs are not ready for the public, you need to execute a special SDK license. This is the same SDK license that governs the public SDK with the addition of a confidentiality clause. We've attached the SDK license document to this email.
Google's logic for not releasing the latest and greatest version of the Android SDK to the public is because of the instability and bugs.  Google pushed the deadline back to July 28th since the teams will be working with the new versions of SDKs.  General release of the new SDK will be made available some months down the road. [thanks for the tip Jason C.]
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