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Android's missing Bluetooth: Limitations laid out

Parlez-vous GoogleTalk? Er, no

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Android developers have admitted that Google's mobile phone platform won't support GoogleTalk in its first version, and that Bluetooth support will be severely limited.

The revelations come as no great surprise - version 0.9 of the SDK was launched last week with the same omissions - but the Android Developers Blog has now confirmed that version 1.0 will be similarly bereft, and provided some explanation of why.

The GTalkService has been scrapped for security reasons. The idea was that incoming alerts would be routed through the same internal system as other notifications, which would make for a great user experience but lousy security, as there would be no way of checking the provenance of a notification.

There were other issues around temporary contacts having access to genuine identity information, the combination of which amounted to more than the development team could address in the time available.

The time problem has also nixed any comprehensive Bluetooth support - Android phones will be able to use a Bluetooth headset, but that's all. There'll be no file exchange or keyboard support, making it much like the iPhone in that respect.

These limitations aren't likely to stop anyone buying an Android-based handset, but they might frustrate users when they do. It seems likely that anyone buying a first-version Android phone will be able to download an update later, though eventually Google will be hoping to appeal to a demographic who won't want to be concerned with such complexity. ®

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