Friday, April 4, 2008

Industry Reviews | Google's Android work far from finished

As a wise man once noted, the waiting is the hardest part.

It's been nearly six months since Google sent ripples through the mobile phone industry with the announcement of its plans to develop Android, a Linux-based operating system. But after an initial splash, Google has been pretty quiet. So much so, in fact, that several representatives of companies within Google's Open Handset Alliance professed frustration at the ambiguity of some important details at the CTIA 2008 conference this week in Las Vegas.

Much is still up in the air, just a few months before the first phones are expected to arrive. Google has yet to make crucial decisions about the code base that will accompany Android; such as, which applications are required to make it an Android phone? How will that base be maintained into the future? And how much freedom will Android developers and partners really have to tweak the software?

Google is aiming high with Android. "Android has two goals: First, to be an excellent mobile platform on its merits, and second, to be open and open source," wrote Dan Morill, a Google engineer, on the Android Internals discussion board last week. But in this new world of advanced mobile computing, those goals can conflict.

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