Monday, September 22, 2008

London Google Developer Day Android Wrapup

Tomorrow promises to be a big day for Android with most media outlets promising an announcement on the first Android handset.

Last Tuesday I was lucky enough to attend the Google Developer Day in London. As you might imagine, most of my interest this year was on the keynote and morning sessions on Android.

Mike Jennings, London's own Android Developer Advocate was on hand to give the first live European demo of the forthcoming Android-powered handset. From what we could see, the back handset looked pretty similar to the pictures posted around the internet and featured in earlier demos.

Mike's 'Blue Ball' demo indicates accellerometers will be included, and we were shown once again that GPS will be featured.

The user interface looks just like the one featured in the latest 0.9 Beta SDK, so no surprises there. As Mike ran through some of the demos the device seemed 'snappier' than the software emulators I've been using to test my sample applications, so that's a good sign.

Tech Talks

The Android tech talks on the day were introductory sessions targetted at people who new little or nothing about Android as a development platform. Both sessions were packed and through up some interesting questions -- not all of which had easy answers.

With the veil of secrecy still very much in place over all things Android a lot of questions went un-answered, but the following tidbits were covered

  • Application Installation. Users can install Android applications using any of the Micro SD card, USB cable, or Android Marketplace
  • Revenue Share. Google will pass on all revenue for applications directly to developers without taking a cut.
  • Carriers. When signing on, OHA member carriers agree to openness standards that prevent them artificially blocking the installation of any applications on user devices. The agreements let carriers modify the handset 'chrome' with their own branding, and select which applications to preinstall, but won't modify the software stack to restrict user choice after-market.
  • Push Email. Push email from a number of providers (not just GMail) will be supported.

More news tomorrow!

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