Feeds

Google spills Satan Phone dev kit

(Belated) coder love

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

As it tells the world that unnamed developers will fill the gaping holes in its inaugural Android phone, Google has released version 1.0 of the Android SDK.

Applications developed using this version of the kit, Google says, will be compatible with mobile devices running version 1.0 of Android platform. This includes the T-Mobile G1, due October 22.

That said, Google Oompah Loompahs will continue tweaking the kit. "The SDK won't remain static - we'll keep improving the tools by adding features and fixing bugs," says Android 'developer advocate' Dan Morrill. "But now developers can rely on the APIs in the SDK and can update their applications to run on Android 1.0-compatible devices."

But Google has yet to release the actual platform code. Its open mobile platform is still closed - though it says the source code will be set free as the first Googlephone goes on sale.

The company didn't respond to questions about the particulars, but it has long said the source code will be opened under a non-reciprocal Apache license - meaning anyone can borrow and tweak it without giving back to the community. Dan Morrill nemesis David "Lefty" Schlesinger - an open source guru with Access, the Japan-based mobile software outfit - has little doubt that countless developers will raid the code for their own selfish reasons. But he wonders how many will help shape the platform as a whole.

"There will be a certain amount of poking through things on the part of the mainstream open source world - say, people who want a Java machine but don't want to pay Sun will use Dalvik [Android's Java virtual machine]," Lefty tells The Reg. "But do I see a large platform community - as opposed to an application developer community - spring up around Android anytime soon? No. Not really.

"I see the same problem with Symbian when they go open source. There's just too much code for anyone to be able to digest in a reasonable amount of time...Plus, people are going to ask themselves 'Why would I volunteer my efforts to Google anyway?'"

He also wonders how many app developers will actually build tools that run atop the platform. "It depends on how fast they actually move the phones," he says. "At this point, the [Android developer] mailing list is obviously just a bunch of students and the like. When it comes to real professional developers, we'll have to wait and see."

At yesterday's G1 press conference in New York, when Google was asked why the phone lacked Exchange support and so many other standard tools, it kept saying that such missing pieces could always be added by third-party developers.

This comes after Google spent months playing hide and seek with earlier versions of the Android SDK. Between early March and late August, the kit was unavailable to all but a handful of developers. But if the phone sells, all will be forgotten.

The question is whether the phone will sell. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.