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Android lock in

Google is moving quickly to further lock down the Android ecosystem (as already reported in part 1 and part 2). 

Yesterday, cyanogenmod was forced by Google to remove the CyanogenMod Installer from the Google Play Store, citing that it ‘encourages users to void their warranty’.  However, if you know that cyanogenmod is working with hardware manufacturers to preinstall CyanogenMod to create alternate Android devices then Googles demand appears in a very different light.

I expect the next step for Google is to start locking down side-loading as well (installing apps through alternate channels) to further tighten control.

The air for embedded Android is getting thinner.

Cheers,

– Terrence

 

Android lock in

A few weeks ago I blogged about an ars technica article which looked at Google’s increasing control over the Android ecosystem (“Android “open for embedded”? Must-read Ars Technica article”).

Yesterday, Vision Mobile published a related post “The Naked Android” which keenly describes the role of Google Play Services and how Google is driving towards its Android endgame of “flatten, expand, mine”. 

More food for thought if you’re considering Android for embedded.

Cheers,

– Terrence

Android lock in

Update (Nov 20): See also part 2 of this post.

A few days ago ars technica published an article “Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary”.

If you are considering Android for embedded this article is a must-read to understand the severe ramifications of Google’s tight (and tightening) control on the Android technology and ecosystem.

Some quotes from the ars technica article:

  • “Android is open – except for all the good parts
  • “Android actually falls into two categories: the open parts from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) … and the closed source parts, which are all the Google-branded apps”
  • “Android open source apps … turn into abandonware by moving all continuing development to a closed source model.”
  • “Joining the OHA requires a company to sign its life away and promise to not build a device that runs a competing Android fork.”
  • “Google Play Services is a closed source app owned by Google … to turn the “Android App Ecosystem” into the “Google Play Ecosystem”
  • “You’re allowed to contribute to Android and allowed to use it for little hobbies, but in nearly every area, the deck is stacked against anyone trying to use Android without Google’s blessing

Compare this with a recent Wired article “Oracle Makes Java More Relevant Than Ever”:

“Oracle has actually opened up Java even more — getting rid of some of the closed-door machinations that used to be part of the Java standards-making process. Java has been raked over the coals for security problems over the past few years, but Oracle has kept regular updates coming. And it’s working on a major upgrade to Java, due early next year.”

Cheers,

– Terrence

Henrik stahl

Is Android a good choice for building an embedded product? Be sure to consider all the facts … In this PartnerCast video, Henrik Stahl answers an attendee question and shares some very valuable insight (skip to the 7:55 time mark in the video).

Summary:

Android is a smartphone operating system with a non-standard Linux base and Android APIs on top, designed for specialized devices with a 2- to 3-year life cycle. Android is not standards-based, has no public roadmap, no predictable lifecycle, and no 3rd party support.

Building and maintaining an embedded product that is in the market for 5 to 20 years based on Android is a very risky proposition.

Java, by comparison, is a standards-based platform with an open roadmap, a transparent community process, and a large ecosystem of 3rd party providers, partners, and developers. Oracle’s Java products cover a wide range of platforms, from very small and resource constrained to large and powerful systems, and come with long-term support.

Cheers,

– Terrence

mobile-statistics.jpg Ernandes Mourao Junior is cranking out good stuff. A while ago I blogged about his excellent Twitter API ME project – I’ve used it myself and it works very well.

Among other things he is working on, Ernandes now has released the Google Analytics ME API.

Quote:

Google Analytics ME is a compelling and well defined API for Java ME and Android developers who wish to integrate their apps into Google Analytics. With this API, developers will be able to prepare their apps to send out useful data, about how users are interacting with them. Those data will be valuable to identify, e.g., audience and improvement points.

The project page has a few introductory code snippets, the code itself, as well as links to further documentation on Google Analytics. Looks pretty straightforward – I hope to be able to give this a spin soon.

Thanks, Ernandes – and keep up the good work!

Cheers,

– Terrence

Screen shot 2011-04-26 at 13.02.03.png

There is little surprise that Google, too, is tracking your location – after all, that’s key for a company which derives the vast majority of its revenue from targeted advertising.

At least Google is mostly upfront about it while Apple seemingly has decided to go incommunicado on the topic (see my blog: “Stranger than fiction: Apple’s iOS4 is tracking your moves”).

Now, with all that location data and other personal (email, friends, pictures, etc) information being constantly tracked, stored, and analyzed – why would you care?

As far as I am concerned, it boils down to overreaching lawmakers and overzealous law enforcement as well as criminal activity (Wired Magazine has a good article on the topic). Historically, for a number of different groups of people, this personalized data about you and your life has just been too tempting to leave alone.

Think it can’t happen to you? Check out these recent incidents.

Cheers,

– Terrence

Screen shot 2011-04-11 at 17.10.45.png A little while ago Computerworld published an interview with Adam Messinger, VP of Development for Fusion Middleware at Oracle, that I wanted to make sure you’re aware of.

In the interview, Adam talks about Java ME in the mobile space, upcoming JSRs and enhancements, Java on embedded devices, Java EE 7 coming this summer, and more.

Cheers,

– Terrence

The latest release of Java SE Embedded 6 u21 contains some pretty significant performance enhancements, resulting in up to 3.2x performance over the latest Android 2.2 release on the same hardware.

Check out the detailed benchmarking done by Bob Vandette.

Note that the benchmarks used aren’t even exercising parallel scalability yet. With the multi-core support featured in Java SE Embedded we expect to pull away from Android even further.

Cheers,

– Terrence

Just saw this via @andreascon:

Google issues “stop ship” order to Motorola: insights into how Google controls the Android game http://scr.bi/bHxh0c via SkyHook lawsuit.

The filing makes some fascinating reading about the inner workings of the Android ecosystem.

Summaries and further analysis of the complaint:

Cheers,

– Terrence

android_opera.png Check this out: phoneME contributor and Java Mobile & Embedded Community Star Davy Preuveneers has ported the phoneME Advanced MIDP stack to Android. The picture shows Opera Mini running in the Android emulator. Awesome, Davy!

Cheers,

– Terrence

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