Android SDK

Week-old Android build demoed on TI uber-dev-device

Texas Instruments were demonstrating their Zoom OMAP34x-II Mobile Development Platform at Mobile World Congress this week, and among the software was a very recent build of Android.  In fact, according to the TI staff, the Android build they're running is only a week old.

The Zoom is intended for developers interested in coding for the OMAP3 chipset, and has a 4.1-inch capacitive touchscreen running at WVGA resolution, HDMI out, WiFi and optional 3G, together with 16GB of storage plus an SD card slot, a QWERTY keypad and an 8-megapixel camera.  TI will happily sell them to consumers, too, though you'll need deep pockets: the WiFi-only version is priced at $1,150 while the 3G-equipped Zoom comes in at $1,399. We asked TI whether they had forked from the standard Android build, and they were at pains to say no; they've been feeding back in their code developments to the Open Handset Alliance.  Check out the demo video, which shows just how well the TI Zoom runs the Google OS. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kgCaASk1yc[/youtube] [gallery]

Android Community Week in Review – Week 43 2008

Just before the launch of the T-Mobile G1 this week, Google decided to pull almost all of the applications in the Android Market. It turns out that they were pre-production applications that were only there for demo purposes only. It was not long before applications returned to the Android Market in completed form.  Myspace was the first social networking based application to hit the Android Market. With no sign of a Facebook app reports began to surface exposing the bad blood between Facebook and Google.

One San Francisco store was given the OK to sell the T-Mobile G1 a few hours early. The line grew rather long as people from all over the area lined up for a chance to get the G1 early. Many T-Mobile customers found a pleasant surprise on their doorsteps Monday morning as most of the pre-orders arrived 2 days early. Google finally released the source code for their Android operating system, however it appears it will only be for those who are running OSX or Linux. Kyocera also announced they are working on an Android-powered handset. No details about the device have been released at this time. T-Mobile's exclusive Hotspot Connect application was released into the Android Market this week allowing T-Mobile customers to connect to any T-Mobile Hotspot for free. The long awaited day came with the official launch of the T-Mobile G1, the first handset to run Google's Android platform. TmoNews reported that there was to be an over the air update (OTA) for the G1 on the 23rd, but after no update was made available, reports changed the release date to November 2nd. One concept of the Android interface surfaced in the Show Room for the Swedish software technology and design company Tat. Seen in the concept was a layout at the bottom that somewhat resembled that of the iPhone dock. Google announced that they will start allowing paid applications to enter the Android Market in early 2009. Another picture surfaced this week bringing hope to G1 owners who would like an on-screen keyboard, the picture showed an on-screen keyboard that very closely resembles that of Apple's iPhone. Instructions surfaced helping people activate their G1 at home without having an account, although to achieve this an activated T-Mobile SIM card is required. Hop-on is the latest company to announce that they are developing a phone to run the Android platform. Hop-on plans to unveil their Android in January at CES 2009. Stories are coming from all over the place stating that T-Mobile employees in non-3G areas know little or nothing about the G1 because they will not be selling the device. Two developers of award winning Android applications TuneWiki and Shopsavvy, held an AndroidDevCamp in Dallas on the 25th to help developers get started with Android. HTC CEO Peter Chou, told Mercury News that G1 sales for 2008 would be more than 600,000 units rather than the 1.5 million reported to be sold already in pre-orders. Security researchers have already found a security flaw in the G1 that can potentially allow attackers to record keystrokes made within the devise's browser application. Google is aware of this problem and states that it is not as bad as it appears and that they are already working on it. Our Golla G1 Case Giveaway came to an end this week, we would like to take the time again to thank our sponsor Smartphone Experts for making the giveaway posible. I am going to pick up a Golla case myself, the cases were actually really nice and fit very well. I would also like to say thank you to all of our members for making this week another record breaking week for us here at Android Community!

Android Source-Code released: Google keep Open-Source promise

Google have, as promised, released the Android source-code for their mobile platform.  Timed to coincide with the launch of the T-Mobile G1, the first commercially released Android device, the source-code will allow developers and OEMs to create software and new devices.  In addition, Google are hoping that the software community will feed back into the Android project, adding fresh functionality and driving platform innovation. Until now, access to the Android SDK was limited to certain developers and testers; from now, however, it will available to anybody who wishes to download it.  The move stands in complete contrast to Apple, whose iPhone OS is both a closed environment and a strongly guarded one.  Google, however, are actively encouraging coders to manipulate, change and improve the Android source-code; indeed, some functionality, including on on-screen QWERTY keyboard, will not be present in Android v.1 out of the box, and require a third-party to develop. You can access the Android source-code, together with documentation and support, at http://source.android.com/.  Don't forget, if it's help with coding, ideas for what new features would be popular, or talk about Android and the G1 that you're looking for, you'll find it in the Android Community forums. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y4thikv-OM[/youtube] Press Release:
Google and the Open Handset Alliance Announce Android Open Source Availability Today, Google and the Open Handset Alliance announced the availability of the Android platform source code to everyone, for free, under the new Android Open Source Project. This represents the first truly open and fully featured mobile platform which will enable people to create a mobile device without restrictions, build applications that run on Android powered devices, and contribute to the core platform. As an open source project, anyone can contribute to Android and influence its direction. It means that anyone can download, build, and run the code needed to create a complete mobile device. With an open source platform, developers, OEMs, carriers and code contributors are given the opportunity to build faster, cheaper and more innovative devices and services. Android is a complete, end-to-end software platform that can be adapted to work on any number of hardware configurations. Having an open source mobile platform will dramatically reduce the time and resources required to bring mobile devices to market. Handset manufactures can access a complete, full featured mobile stack without any barriers and get a head-start in creating as contemporary a device that they want to build. Developers for the first time can contribute code, with a full set APIs that allows the platform to host applications written by third-party developers and carriers can offer faster, cheaper and more innovative devices and services. "Open source allows everyone and anyone equal access to the ideas and innovation that can make good products great," said Andy Rubin, senior director of mobile platforms, Google. "An open sourced mobile platform, that's constantly being improved upon by the community and is available for everyone to use, speeds innovation, is an engine of economic opportunity and provides a better mobile experience for users. With the availability of Android to the open source community, consumers will start to see more applications like location-based travel tools, games and social networking offerings available to them directly; cheaper and faster phones at lower costs; and a better mobile web experience through 3G networks with richer screens. The code can be found under the Android Open Source Project, the open source initiative for Android now available at source.android.com.

T-Mobile USA Update On T-Mobile G1 Pre-Launch Availability

Here's the latest official response from T-Mobile pertaining to the T-Mobile G1 pre-launch availability.  If you didn't pre-order the T-Mobile G1, you are now OFFICIALLY SOL.

Given the great anticipation and the heavy pre-sale demand for the T-Mobile G1 with Google, we nearly tripled the number of phones initially available for delivery on our Oct. 22 launch date, and have sold through them all.  However, to accommodate additional T-Mobile customers who want to pre-order a device, they now have the opportunity to place a pre-order through Oct. 21, for delivery at a later date.

Also, people can still pre-register on the T-Mobile G1 Web site to be notified prior to launch where they can purchase the device beginning Oct. 22.  Details are available on the T-Mobile G1 Web site, www.T-MobileG1.com.

UPDATE: T-Mobile customers who want to pre-order a device, they now have the opportunity to place a pre-order through Oct. 21, for delivery sometime in early November 10th time frame. Thanks Kristen, T-Mobile Spokesperson

Android Community Week in Review – Week 38 2008

It has been a very busy week for Google's Android platform with the announcement of the G1. T-Mobile has started taking pre-orders for the G1 with price starting at $179,with a release date of October 22nd. A lot of people however were not happy to hear the data plan being capped at 1Gig. T-Mobile quickly removed the 1Gig soft cap after getting a lot of negative feedback about the decision.

Android comes full of much loved features such as Youtube, and the Android equivalent to iTunes "Amazon MP3". The clean interface on these applications give them the edge over competitors applications of the same nature. Google's new mobile version of Street View is a feature that all people will find useful. Visa has been at work creating an application that will offer account notifications, merchant offers and ATM locations. It appears that the white G1 was held back from pre-orders, rumor is the white paint used to coat the device was chipping. The white version was even scarcely seen at T-Mobile's G1 announcement. The G1 "Getting Started" guide got out a few weeks early revealing a lot more about the device including the box contents. Also released this week was the long awaited official Android SDK 1.0. Not much new to see in this polished version. Photo of the dressed up Android is courtesy of Android Community's member htc_dreamer. [gallery] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kngcp0ooDig[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3omdLHn6YM[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSCOGxh5LEk[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZoxIqZtYJ4[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POI1n0v-GDA[/youtube]

T-Mobile G1 pre-order has come to an end [Updated]

Update: Pre-order is back up.  Thanks A-Tron!  We heard from our friends at T-Mobile today and here's the official statement:

"The T-Mobile G1 microsite experienced a technical glitch this morning, and is now back up and running.  Since Tuesday's announcement, we've experienced heavy demand for the device.  A small quantity of T-Mobile G1s are still available at this time for T-Mobile customers. Please visit http://www.T-MobileG1.com for details." -thanks Kristen!

Note that there are only a small quantity of the T-Mobile G1s are available.  That means if you want a G1, you better hurry because T-Mobile is running out! With the overwhelming response to the announcement of the T-Mobile has run out of available devices for the G1 pre-order. Hundreds of people immediately jumped on T-Mobile's site to pre-order their device. So many in fact that the site was down for several hours.

Android SDK v1.0 released early

If you were following our Live Blog this morning then you'll know that Google promised to release the final Android SDK simultaneously with the launch of the T-Mobile G1 on October 22nd.  If you're a new developer, or are simply bored with v0.9 of the platform, that could seem like a long way off; thankfully, after some sneaky digging, links to v1.0 for Windows and Linux have turned up.

So far the main changes spotted are a new "maximize" button for the browser, but presumably the whole thing will be more stable, too.  Google have previous stated that they cannot guarantee anything coded with v0.9 will be fully compatible with v1.0. There's no telling how long the links will stay active - something tells me that Google will yank them as soon as they realise the mistake.  However if you're quick you might be able to get them: Windows: http://dl.google.com/android/android-sdk-windows-1.0_r1.zip Linux: http://dl.google.com/android/android-sdk-linux_x86-1.0_r1.zip [via AndroidGuys]

Android handset makes appearance at Google London Developer Day

Google brought along what was described as a working Android cellphone "for the first time in Europe" at the London Google Developer Day earlier this morning.  Although the handset's branding was covered, those present at the event described it as looking " very much like the HTC Dream" and being "far more polished" than engineering samples we've seen previously. It also saw Android's Mike Jennings reaffirm that the platform was not just for cellphones. When asked by a developer whether the open-source OS could be loaded on devices other than mobile handsets, he replied "why not?"   The software demonstration given included an OpenGL and Java app that could render, on the Android handset itself, a rotating and morphing cube at an impressive 40 frames per second. Google also confirmed that users would be able to update the OS on their device themselves, likely through a USB connection rather than over the air.  Gears for Mobile was also discussed, with the system now having a geolocation API that should tie into Android's location-specific functionality. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmniBnVB6wA[/youtube] [Thanks Alan!]

Big in Japan Exclusive Video Interview

Android Community had an invite to spend some time with developers Big in Japan, the team behind GoCart which was one of the ten apps to win $275,000 in Google's Android Developer Challenge.  Ewdison Then, our resident Linux expert, made the trip over to their Dallas offices to ask them about the motivation behind GoCart, why the team decided to focus on Android, and what most excites them about the platform and its future.
"Finally people are going to think of their phones as something more than a way to talk to their friends" Rylan Barnes, Big in Japan
GoCart is a mobile shopping comparison app, that uses the camera on an Android device to scan a product's barcode. Once recognized, the app checks pricing for the product in online stores; however, it also uses GPS to find local stores and query their inventory, offering alternative places to shop if you're not willing to wait for delivery. Alternatively, users can set a price band they'd be willing to pay, and choose to be alerted when the product drops to that price.
"The Android platform, being open, really creates a lot of opportunities for us, where you can decide what you want the phone to look like: is it a phone or an internet device? Really that line becomes blurred with the Android platform. With the iPhone platform, it's a really closed environment that's really neat - it's a phone, and it does really neat things - but you have to play by Apple's rules, and Apple's rules say "right now, you can't touch the camera", the SDK doesn't let you manipulate that. There're all sorts of things that you can't necessarily do with the iPhone platform" Alexander Muse, Big in Japan
In the interview, Ewdi and the Big in Japan team discuss Android versus Apple SDKs, how they see the platform benefiting from having Google behind it, and the problems an open-source, multi-device OS faces in trying to stand up to a more managed environment like the iPhone. They also touch on the possibility of carriers and device manufacturers creating their own custom Android builds, and what impact that could have on code development. Our thanks again to the Big in Japan team for the invite. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWngmkwXaAM[/youtube]
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