Google Android and the Open Handset Alliance

November 7, 2007

Google has announced Android and the Open Handset Alliance. The Android platform will be based on Linux and offer a custom Java “virtual machine that has been designed to optimize memory and hardware resources in a mobile environment.”

The SDK for Android will be made available Monday Nov 12. I’m curious to see if they are going with plain jane J2ME or will they be creating their own User Interface abstraction like the Blackberry. Will there be a C/C++ API in addition to Java? What CPU architectures will they support (Arm vs. x86)? Will they have pre-defined form factors for screen resolution, device orientation, UI navigation (directional keys vs. roller vs. touch screen), and text input (T9, thumb QWERTY, screen keyboard). Will they expose voice/media codecs for 3rd party apps (i.e. can a 3rd party VoIP application take advantage of the DSP codecs rather than including their own running on a general CPU).

The possibilities are endless and that may be the problem with this effort. It is unbounded.