Is the Android OS morphing into a new form of embedded Linux?Android is a Linux OS derivative perched to make inroads beyond its growing user base in smartphones and tablets. Some auto makers are considering the potential for Android-connected communications systems in their vehicles. The Android OS is already available as an all-in-one desktop computer powered by System on a Chip circuitry.So how much potential is there for Android-powered gadgets to sprout in devices as the Internet of Things gathers steam? Some Android product developers have thrown down the gauntlet, at least philosophically, in a discussion of whether the Android OS can become the new embedded Linux.A panel of developers at last year's Android Builders Summit rejected that notion. Their reasoning: The litmus test is that Android must be used in classic embedded projects. Based on that qualification, Android fails, they concluded.That logic seems to agree with the premise that Google custom-built Android as a … [Read more...] about Can Android Challenge Embedded Linux?
Android certified application developer
The last thing you want your smartphone doing is sending your text messages, contacts, and location history to a server in China. But according to mobile security firm Kryptowire, a particularly nasty brand of Android software did just that, transmitting text, data, call, location, and app data to a Chinese server every 72 hours.Researchers began to raise red flags last fall, when it was discovered the the data mining tool in question — called Adups — had been living inside hundreds of millions of devices produced by more than 40 manufacturers. Florida-based Blu Products was one of the affected parties, and assured at the time that the problem had been identified and every trace of the spyware had been removed from its phones.Now, nearly 10 months since the initial report, Amazon has suspended the sale of several Blu devices from its Prime Exclusive lineup over re-emerging security concerns. Kryptowire appeared at July’s Black Hat security conference in Las … [Read more...] about How to keep yourself safe from Chinese spyware on budget Android phones
Google's Android mobile phone platform has started to see the light of day. A handful of handset makers have been showing prototype mobile phones running Android at the GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications) Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Spain, this week.Android is heavily backed by Google, though it's actually being developed and pushed by the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), which is made up of nearly three dozen industry players. Those include T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm, Sprint Nextel, Texas Instruments and Motorola.The goal behind Android is to develop open standards on mobile devices, which would in turn foster innovation and open up the ecosystem to deliver far richer mobile software experiences for consumers. It's intended to open up the platform to alliance members as well as to third-party developers.ARM has reportedly shown a prototype phone using one of its processors. Another prototype comes courtesy of Texas Instruments, as well as a rough prototype from … [Read more...] about Androids March on Barcelona
We already got a look at Android’s Honeycomb last week, but at a press event today Google officially revealed its tablet-optimized OS on the Motorola Xoom (which, unfortunately, wasn’t given much attention – guess we’ll have to wait). Google appears to be comfortable with big, noticeable changes to its operating system’s UI, but dedicated Android consumers will still feel at home with the layout and features developers have included. And according to Google, we all need to thoroughly acknowledge Android engineers: They were working on Honeycomb right up until presentation time this morning. Android 3.0 Honeycomb As expected, Honeycomb looks like it will be a performance powerhouse for Android tablet users. Google exec Barra Barra ran us through an overview of the OS and showed off a little of what we’d already gathered and offered additional insight. Multitasking is becoming a buzz word for tablets (RIM exhibitioners said the word more … [Read more...] about Google introduces Honeycomb, Android Market updates, in-app purchases
Based on initial sales reports and some tablet market flip flops, the few Android tablets that have hit the shelves so far seem to have crashed and burned. Early sales figures indicate that no Android tab is coming close to being the much-awaited Apple iPad alternative. But will time heal all? Does the Android tablet just need the same growing time that consumers gave the iPad?The Motorola Xoom was supposed to be Android's powerful opening salvo in its battle to kill the iPad. It was the first Honeycomb tablet to hit the scene running Google's reinvigorated Android 3.0 tablet OS.The Xoom debuted after the Galaxy Tab stumbled by arriving without a real tablet OS. And several other wanna-be Android tablets fizzled out with lackluster performance.Sure, the Android Market is catching up to the Apple App Store in terms of overall app selection. But Android devices still are struggling at the starting gate because Google is keeping the release of the Honeycomb code in limbo.After all, the … [Read more...] about Are Android Tablets Stumbling Out of the Gate?
Has Google been spreading FUD to discourage computer makers from using an Android OS retooled to run on legacy computers?The maintainer of the Android-x86 Project has suggested that the Justice Department should investigate whether Google has been interfering with adoption of the open source code his community is developing.The behind-the-scenes open source software development world is hardly free of rivalry and power plays. The release of the latest version of an open source Android OS to run as an alternative Linux distro may stall without the support of Android creator, Google.There is a waiting market for the KitKat version of Android-X86 for desktops and laptops. That market is ripe, especially for its use as a thin client or in a dual OS setup, according to Chih-Wei Huang, project maintainer for the Android-x86 Project. Yet expected product releases have not appeared."For example, Asus announced the dual OS laptop TD300LA in the CES and got very positive feedback. However, … [Read more...] about Is Google Thwarting Android-x86 Development?
Google reportedly took a moment to show off a prototype mobile phone based on its Android operating system at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco Wednesday.Android is Google's open source, Linux-based mobile phone OS, middleware stack and software development platform. Android has the backing of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of hardware, software and telecom companies. If the Open Handset Alliance is the car, Google is essentially the driver. And speaking of driving metaphors, one of the highlights of the demonstration was a motion- and compass-sensitive application that interfaced with Google Street View. When the prototype phone was pointed in a new direction, the street view on the phone shifted as well.Google, for its part, declined to identify the prototype phone, though the company did say the first Android-based phones are slated to start appearing in the second half of this year.The prototype utilized a touchscreen for most of its applications, but Android is … [Read more...] about Google Marches Android Onstage for Show and Tell
Google removed a slew of apps containing malware from the Android Market on Tuesday.At least 21 of the tainted apps appear to have come from publisher called "Myournet," which copied apps developed by others and modified them to include a Trojan horse before re-uploading them, according to an Android Police blog post by Aaron Gingrich.Before their removal, the apps garnered between 50,000 and 200,000 downloads. The apps caused the phone to perform functions without the owner's consent. The Trojan embedded in them used a root exploit to access all of the phone's data and download malicious code.The publisher has been removed from the Android Market completely, and its apps reportedly have been deleted from phones, but this won't remove code that has been back-doored into a phone's program. Google reportedly is working on that problem.Android Police learned of the apps from a Reddit user and then contacted Google, which removed the apps within five minutes, Gingrich said in his post. … [Read more...] about Google Kicks Rogue Apps Out of the Android Market
If you want a G1 Android phone but you can't bear the thought of using a carrier with pink logo, help is on the way. You can now get a version of the HTC handset that's both SIM-unlocked and hardware-unlocked.But in order to get one -- and, yes, they really are limiting quantities to one per customer -- you have to jump through some hoops.First hoop: Cough up 400 bucks. Second hoop: Become a certified Android developer. Don't worry, this does not require an advanced degree. It's sort of like becoming a priest online. Any weirdo with a modem can send someone US$25, fill out an online questionnaire, and magically acquire the spiritual authority to perform marriages -- or, in this case, to develop Android applications.Then you may have your unlocked G1. Seriously, though, Google is recommending that you buy this thing only if you really do plan to develop apps, or you've just got some very geeky hobbies. If that's the case, more power to you.Listen to the podcast (13:26 minutes).How'd … [Read more...] about WEEKLY RECAP Android Emancipation and the Sweet Smell of WiFi: The Week in Tech
To long-time promoters of mobile Linux, Google's announcement of Android marked a critical market inflection point. At long last, mobile Linux is emerging from a niche to quickly gaining broad acceptable in the mobile world alongside Symbian and Microsoft's Windows Mobile.While Android's entrance has generated a great deal of interests throughout the industry, there is also much misunderstanding about what Android is, and what it is not.The goal of this article is to dispel some of the confusion, mystery and "magic" surrounding Android.Let us be clear on this: Android is an open Linux application platform -- a good one at that -- which provides a framework for third-party developers to create applications based on a 'unified' application programming environment.Let us also be clear on this: Android is NOT a mobile Linux operating system (even though it has often been mistakenly labeled as such). It does NOT include all components required to operate a functioning mobile device.To put … [Read more...] about ANALYSIS Dispelling the Mystery of Android