updated 01:40 pm EDT, Tue September 16, 2008
Android Demo Sept 16
Google used its London Developer Day on Tuesday to show a late build of its Android mobile operating system in an event that suggests continuing resistance to the platform. Using what's now largely accepted as a prototype of the T-Mobile G1, Android chief Michael Jennings demonstrated the phone's full HTML browser as well as its version of Google Maps and the accelerometer, which can affect both the operating system as well as specific programs.
The atmosphere at the event was nonetheless apprehensive, according to anecdotal reports from the British event. Although every developer at the presentation was aware of Android, only a handful of "two or three" were actively creating programs for the software, with most described as hesitant to write code for the device versus the iPhone. So far, only T-Mobile has elected to carry an Android phone in the US while Verizon and others have so far expressed just initial interest.
Jennings stressed that the quality of the software should be what drives Android. Most applications will be free, he said, adding that the open-source nature of the platform is something Windows Mobile can't claim. Installations are also considered easy and include updates that are independent of the provider; customers won't need to wait for carrier-specific firmware or to take the device in.
Worries over security from carriers and potential end users is also thought to be overstated by the project lead, as any third-party software that accesses a crucial feature such as the camera or dialer will have to ask for permission before they can run.