Posts tagged android OS

Sharp Unveils Android Phones with 3D Capabilities

As Android phones continue to gain market share over popular smartphones like Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s Blackberry, several new additions to the Android family have been announced. Sharp’s newest Android offering, which carries the model name “Galapagos,” is slated to be released in Japan later this year. The Galapagos comes with a host of different features that have become nearly standard amongst Android phones, including an impressive camera shooting both video and still images. The most impressive aspect of this new
handset is the 3D screen, which Sharp hopes will bring such films and 3D content to smartphone users around the globe.

Though the idea of a 3D phone might conjure up images of consumers texting incessantly on their deviceswhilst wearing a pair of 3D glasses, these new products from Sharp don’t require any glasses. The phone is initially going to be released in two different versions, one of which will incorporate a touchscreen. The other device will sport a full QWERTY keyboard. Both phones are tailored to a design conscious consumer, and come in thirteen different color combinations.

While the arrival of a 3D phone is certain to grab the attention of diehard fans of such technology, analysts are divided on whether more phones will be developed with 3D capabilities. Though 3D content is becoming more widespread than it once was the majority of the film and gaming content developed by independent companies does not utilize 3D technology. This lack of content could prove to be detrimental for such a phone, although the device sports the capability to view such material; not very much of it is easily available at
present.

On the other hand, some feel that the phone could encourage the furthered development of 3D content, in addition to encouraging other manufacturers to begin developing similar phones. In addition to the great camera and 3D-capable screen, the Sharp phones include hard-working processors, GPS, and the latest release of the Android operating system. As Android phones have become more and more advanced, they’ve already begun claiming former users of other popular smartphone devices. With the introduction of 3D Android phones, some feel that phones running the wildly popular OS will finally overtake their competitors.

Sharp has also addressed some of the concerns regarding the lack of available 3D content by signing several partnerships with gaming companies. These developers, which include Namco Bandai and Capcom, will create 3D games that will be available for the device. In fact, Capcom is expected to bundle games with the smartphone when it is released later this year.

As a Japanese company, it makes sense that the initial release of the new Galapagos phone is taking place in Japan. The company has yet to release plans to introduce the state-of-the-art phones in the United States, though many consumers are hoping that such a decision takes place in the months to come. Much of that decision will likely be based on how well these new phones do in the Japanese marketplace.

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Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt: Andy Rubin Smacks Down Critics

If you’ve been keeping up with all the Android happenings as of late, I’m sure you’ve come across your fair share of editorials regarding the impending doom of Google’s once open Android OS. I can tell you, from my experience alone, I was beginning to have my doubts. After reading numerous articles on Google holding Honeycomb captive, to Google ending custom UI’s, I wasn’t sure exactly where Android was headed.

Calm your restless hearts, Android faithful. Andy Rubin has heard your cries and is here to “set the record straight.”

Trust us. This is one speech you’re going to want to read all the way through. And if you’re name is Steve, last name Jobs, you might want to sit down before reading this:

Droids-550x110

[This post is by Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering –Tim Bray]

Recently, there’s been a lot of misinformation in the press about Android and Google’s role in supporting the ecosystem. I’m writing in the spirit of transparency and in an attempt to set the record straight. The Android community has grown tremendously since the launch of the first Android device in October 2008, but throughout we’ve remained committed to fostering the development of an open platform for the mobile industry and beyond.

We don’t believe in a "one size fits all" solution. The Android platform has already spurred the development of hundreds of different types of devices – many of which were not originally contemplated when the platform was first created. What amazes me is that the even though the quantity and breadth of Android products being built has grown tremendously, it’s clear that quality and consistency continue to be top priorities. Miraculously, we are seeing the platform take on new use cases, features and form factors as it’s being introduced in new categories and regions while still remaining consistent and compatible for third party applications.

As always, device makers are free to modify Android to customize any range of features for Android devices. This enables device makers to support the unique and differentiating functionality of their products. If someone wishes to market a device as Android-compatible or include Google applications on the device, we do require the device to conform with some basic compatibility requirements. (After all, it would not be realistic to expect Google applications – or any applications for that matter – to operate flawlessly across incompatible devices). Our "anti-fragmentation" program has been in place since Android 1.0 and remains a priority for us to provide a great user experience for consumers and a consistent platform for developers. In fact, all of the founding members of the Open Handset Alliance agreed not to fragment Android when we first announced it in 2007. Our approach remains unchanged: there are no lock-downs or restrictions against customizing UIs. There are not, and never have been, any efforts to standardize the platform on any single chipset architecture.

Finally, we continue to be an open source platform and will continue releasing source code when it is ready. As I write this the Android team is still hard at work to bring all the new Honeycomb features to phones. As soon as this work is completed, we’ll publish the code. This temporary delay does not represent a change in strategy. We remain firmly committed to providing Android as an open source platform across many device types.

The volume and variety of Android devices in the market continues to exceed even our most optimistic expectations. We will continue to work toward an open and healthy ecosystem because we truly believe this is best for the industry and best for consumers.

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Google Nexus Tablet in the Works at LG; Will it Come With Android Ice Cream?

Google is probably the latest entity to join the arena of tablet makers. The company is reportedly mulling over the launch of a new a Nexus tablet alongside their smartphone – Google Nexus S.

LG-Nexus

Speculations have it that the upcoming tablet will be built by LG. This new choice of the manufacturer triggers many a question. As we know, the Nexus S was built by Samsung and Google preferred HTC for making the first Google Nexus phone.

Well, does this mean that Samsung and HTC have fallen out of favor with Google these days?  The general feeling is what we just voiced, but then we will have to go deeper into that.

The upcoming Nexus Tablet, going by what we get to understand, might release  sometime during summer. However, there are Google trackers who have started speculating on an autumn date.

This tablet from the house of Google could be the first device that runs the Google Ice Cream OS, the next Android OS version after Honeycomb. Now, doesn’t that make you sit up and take note of what we are saying?

We guess an exquisite package in the form of a tablet from the Google-LG workshops is definitely in the pipeline. We are just waiting for a confirmation from  Google on that.

 

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Android Honeycomb statue arrives on Google’s front lawn

Google has followed through by continuing to place huge statues on their front lawn. Android 3.0 is named Honeycomb and it now joins Gingerbread, Cupcake, Donut, Éclair and Froyo. Google stated on Twitter that “The Android team continues to be committed to placing large dessert statues on lawns. Honeycomb is no exception.” Looks nice… unfortunately for us Canadians there has yet to be a carriers to officially confirm a device with this tablet-friendly OS will be released.

google-front-lawn

The Android team at Google celebrates each new version of the operating system by placing a giant statue in front of their building at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Since Android Honeycomb was announced we haven’t heard much about its statue. Google had the following comment on the matter:
The Android team continues to be committed to placing large dessert statues on lawns. Honeycomb is no exception.”
Apparently they covertly brought it in and installed it while we weren’t looking. So if you were wondering what the latest statue was going to look like, look no further!

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Android 3.0 SDK Officially Released

honeycomb-texture-238x158Google has released a full SDK for Android 3.0, aka Honeycomb, Mountain View’s mobile operating system targeted squarely at fondleslabs.

"The APIs are final, and you can now develop apps targeting this new platform and publish them to Android Market," SDK Tech Lead Xavier Ducrohet announced in a post on the Android Developer blog.

The release of the full SDK comes just under a month after Google released a preview of the SDK in late January.

Along with the new platform, Ducrohet also announced updates to the SDK Tool (r10) and the ADT Plugin for Eclipse (10.0.0). Goodies promised in these updates include UI Builder improvements such as an updated layout editor palette, more-accurate layout rendering, zoom improvements, and more.

Google began showing off Honeycomb late last year, with the first demos appearing early last month and an official unveiling on February 2.

As detailed on Google’s Android 3.0 Platform Highlights page, Honeycomb is "designed from the ground up for tablets" – a sentiment reiterated by Google director of products for mobile Hugo Barra at the February 2 unveiling.

"Android today is available for large-screen tablet-sized devices," Barra said at the time. He did, however, allow for some wiggle room when it comes to moving Honeycomb down into the smartphone zone. When asked about that eventuality, he said: "We don’t know. That’s a conversation we’re having right now."

Honeycomb hasn’t made its way onto tablets quite yet. The honor of its arrival on store shelves is destined for the Motorola Xoom, which is set for release this Thursday.

Don’t get discouraged though because the release of the SDK is normally the prelude to the release of the much more useful sources (AOSP), which are likely going to hit sometime soon due to the first devices with Honeycomb being shipped right now (Motorola Xoom, which goes for sale tomorrow 2/24/2011).

If you are unaware of what the OS looks like, or its capabilities, we strongly suggest that you visit the Android Developers official page, which will give you everything from download to installation instructions, to tips and tricks to start developing for this new OS.

Happy Porting!!!

 

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Gingerbread + Honeycomb = Ice Cream

The Mobile World Congress saw keynotes by some of the industry’s big players. Take for example, Eric Schmidt of Google. Schmidt talked about the next steps the Google Android OS will take in the future, and how the company would venture into the future of smartphones. Most important news that could be taken from the keynote perhaps is something that’s related to the much awaited next generation Google Android OS – the Ice Cream. According to Schmidt, the Google Android Ice Cream will combine features of Gingerbread and Honeycomb.

Gingerbread (Android 2.3) is the current newest Android OS for smartphones (although some believe it to be a Nexus S-only version, with Android 2.4 still likely to be called Gingerbread and expected soon on next-gen smartphones), while Honeycomb is the company’s unofficial OS for tablets. Additionally, Android OS updates will now officially come every 6 months, whereas Google previously promised only yearly updates. Even so, this isn’t anything big, as we’ve seen OS updates every 6 months for the past year anyhow.

android_icecream1

At the keynote, Schmidt showcased the Honeycomb, mentioning that Google is working on getting people “something really fast” to support current always on-the-go lifestyles. One feature that’s sure to catch the interest of many is the “Movie Studio,” an application that lets users edit videos right on their Android devices. Another very interesting feature to look forward to is the Google Translate for phones. According to Schmidt, a phone with the app installed can digitize your voice, and through cloud computing, be able to do very fast translations. Considering how faulty Google Translation’s results are for me, I’m a bit skeptical regarding this development. However, if done right, this could be considered a milestone in not only in smartphone history, but in the history of inter-language communications.

Aside from these aforementioned features Google is currently working on, Schmidt says the company is exploring the limits of what smartphones can do. “Why is my phone not talking to my friends’ phone and figuring out which route is faster? Wouldn’t it be interesting if you thought of your phone as first a communications device, second as computational, and third, what about a serendipity platform? That is the future of the platform we’re all building together,” he said. As for the upcoming LTE technology, Schmidt believes it “will create the opportunity for another set of applications we can only imagine.” If Google holds true to Schmidt’s words, we can expect great things from the company in time.

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