Connecting Your Life to the Web with Android (Dan Morrill) – ETech08

Overview of Android mobile platform:

Open mobile OS platform for dev, users, industry. Open, easy dev, easy distrib, ubiquity.

More than 3 billion phones and 1000 new customers/minute. Soon, more phones than people.

How open is it? Cites example of the US gold rush. Imagine if you had to register before you could pan, or had to sign up to buy/ sell tools & supplies through approved channels? This is how the mobile platform is today.

Open to industry (carriers, manufacturers, enthusiasts). Open to developers (no permission to deploy, all apps can integrate deeply with the system, devs can replace the entire look & feel). Easy dev model (easy to build apps, freedom to integrate with any tech). Not just AJAX on phone. Optimized and simplified. JSON, XML, GData, SOAP, XML-RPC, Java, .NEt, Rails, and more. Easy Distribution (no certification for apps & dev – not interested in controlling what dev can do; multiple routes onto the device).

Beyond ubiquity: Android marries the web with rich mobile experience; cloud is always on, always with you.

Ex: Google spreadsheet with list of wines & prices. Android emulator fetches wine data from personal spreadsheet. Displays on mobile so you can parse the shelf of wines at the liquor store. User can edit ratings on the device which will be updated in the spreadsheet.

Notes: Short demo, not extremely compelling. Shows a lot of data fetching and entry on the mobile but doesn’t address the hard interface of mobile devices. Ie no indication of multitouch means interface might remain painfully encumbered by current device profiles. Also no indication of which devices/carriers might bundle cell phones with the OS.

[Ed note: I love my iPhone but gawd I wish Jobs wasn’t so tight. It sux that Apple has locked it down and will continue to lock it down. And they’re shooting themselves in the foot by not supporting FlashLite. The Android platform is very compelling, assuming the devices are equally compelling. I won’t give up multitouch. Spankulation: Adobe AIR on Android?]

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