Android is a rising mobile operating system running on the Linux kernel. It was initially developed by Android Inc., a firm later purchased by Google. Google opened the entire source code (including network and telephony stacks) under an Apache License. Android has been available as open source since 21 October 2008. Android allows developers to write managed code applications in the Java language. The device features are controlled via Google-developed Java libraries. Nice if you want to develop applications using Java language, not so nice if you would prefer native Linux applications. In Android the Linux is the motor pretty well hidden from the applications perspective.
There seems to be hype that about Tuesday’s expected launch of the first Google Phone. That news actually made to start writing this article. Nexus One review will give you all the details to know about this phone. According to this unauthorised review on Engadget, it’s nice, but only really a sleeker version of the Droid. It is powered by the latest version of Android (2.1 “Flan”). Read those reviews and you can see what to expect. Let’s see if Google succeeds for the benefit of creating a real competition for iPhone. Is Google trying to push Android just forward or is Google wanting to take control over the way you buy mobile phones?
Some people expect that Google wants to flip the USA mobile carrier and distribution market upside-down, becoming the place you go to search for and buy a mobile phone. You select the phone before you even pick a carrier, number, voice and data plans, or extras.
That could be new in USA, but not new to mobile markets in Europe. For example in Finland you normally used to go to buy the phone from shop, and then picked up the carrier operator you wanted to use. And you can do it freely nowadays also. Other option (became available few years ago as it became allowed to combine phone and service) is that you buy a package from operator where you get the phone and call plans at monthly fee. After paying the fee for 12-24 months (depending on plan), the phone is yours and you are free to use any operator you want with the phone.
Besides phones there seems to be interests in running Android operating system on other devices also. The expected application list goes like phones, GPS and computers. According to Gizdomo article Do You Really Need a Microwave or a Washer-Dryer Running Android? there are some developers whowant to give Android the power to control our washer-dryers and ovens and printers. Touch Revolution NIM1000 module (demonstrated at CES) is an Android-based module that is designed to control all kinds of appliances. Do you need your microwave to be a kitchen command center? This reminds me a bit of the old dot.com era where almost everyone tried push Java everywhere and Microsoft pushed Windows CE to every device out there.