Feeds

Google's Android - big name, big question on payment

Inside the mobile matrix, part 2

Seven Steps to Software Security

If you're a Trekkie it may have already occurred to you that Google is a little like the Borg. The company, it seems, is determined to assimilate all information-, advertising- and search-based services in its path. And now, mobile has fallen under the company’s rapacious gaze.

In the second part of my three-part overview assessing the technical and business considerations developers should weigh before endorsing today’s new and emerging mobile platforms, I shall tackle the latest addition to the Borg cube: the appropriately named Android.

Google announced the Android platform late last year and it is already clear the company means business. A quick look here should tell you everything you need to know about this platform and how seriously Google is approaching the project.

From my perspective, this level of information and resourcing bodes well for a developer considering Android. As part of the new Open Mobile Alliance that appears to be gaining some serious momentum among manufacturers of handsets, Android should have no shortage of devices for the possible deployment of new software.

The marketing might of Google along with its aforementioned Borg-like, unstoppable momentum are two additional check marks over in the positive column. It is highly unlikely given all the factors above that you'll find the number of potential users for Android applications lacking.

Another area in which Android purports to offer advantages to skilled developers is in its ability to let you access virtually any part of the physical interface of a device that you wish, unlike certain systems. According to the documentation, you can even alter the appearance of the dialer if that's what spins your propeller.

Standard APIs have been developed that allow you to call on the core functions of the device making this platform functionally about as open as a mobile development platform can get. In addition, the SDK (which can be downloaded from the site listed above) is designed to get you up and developing as quickly as possible. It features both advanced debugging tools and a device emulator so you can test out your new code on the fly, even if you don't have the exact handset for which you are developing.

As if the benefits I've already detailed aren't sufficient to get you excited Google has added a small bribe to get your attention. Cold, hard cash in the form of a $10m developer challenge that will reward the most talented and creative developers with prizes of up to $275,000 for creating applications that, in Google's words, "surprise and delight, rethink interface, take advantage of mash-ups or offer unique humanitarian benefits". You can learn more about this here.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.