Google Android - Deal or No Deal

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android-wallpaper1_1024x768.pngGoogle announced over the weekend the availability of its long awaited developer kit for mobile devices, called "Android." They have also announced a $10 million developer contest to get the talented Linux programmers away from their day job to code new applications for the platform. Early speculation on a Google phone was premature as the end result has turned out to be a software developer kit (SDK). Google has a good developer site where you can download the kit along with tutorials, documentation and sample code to get you started. The kit is released under the Apache v2 license and comes in Windows, MAC OS and Linux versions - all based on Intel x86 architecture. You have to install an Eclipse plug in to aid in debugging. Some developers think Eclipse can be annoying and would prefer to see a custom IDE (integrated development environment) or Xcode for OS X. Too bad we won't see a Microsoft.Net version or plug in for Visual Studio. Although you can program in Java, you might be able to port from a J# .net source code compilation, but probably not. Google has also helped start a new industry group, The Open Handset Alliance, made of up 34 members including significant operators such as Sprint, Telefonica O2, T-Mobile, KDDI and DoCoMo along with manufacturers such as LG, Samsung and Motorola. So far the SDK is getting moderately positive reviews and Google will generate some creative excitement as it comes out of the gate with an open platform - unlike the iPhone. Now the team is trying to figure out if they can flash the iPhone with Android and make the ideal handset. This seems plausible since the iPhone is also based on Linux at the core. They have some "goodies" on the website including free wallpaper with their new logo. It seems like they should have had a contest to design the graphic art for Android too.

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