Google requires promises not to split Android

Original author: Juan Carlos Perez (IDG News Service)
  • Transfer
After Google announced on November 6 the first batch of information about the company’s plans to change the way mobile applications were created and distributed, industry analysts formed a long list of questions about the Android platform and the Open Handset Alliance .
The IDG News Service talked to Rich Miner, a key member of the Android engineering team and co-founder of Android, acquired by Google in 2005, and asked him some of these questions.
In a short telephone interview, he said that all members of the alliance agreed to protect Android from technical fragmentation and explained why Google decided to launch its own mobile Linux project with several existing ones.

IDGNS:The goals of other mobile Linux related projects are similar to those of Android. Will Android compete with them and impede their promotion?
Miner: When we looked at other Linux mobile projects, we realized that although they are often based on Linux, they are not completely open platforms. Or they are completely open, but lacking most of the capabilities that Android will have. They often do not contain video codecs, a Midi synthesizer, speech recognition system, that is, they are not a fully functional mobile kit. The aim of the Android project was to create all the components for the release of the phone: a basic set of modules for the production of a competitive smartphone or phone with wide functionality.
IDGNS:The description you gave the Android browser sounds impressive. Will working with a mobile browser really correspond to the feeling of working with a browser on a PC?
AndroidMiner: Yes. The browser will be based on open source Webkit technology . This is the same browser that Apple ships with the iPhone and the same that is used in Nokia Series 60 phones. So it’s a full-fledged PC browser based on the same Webkit core that Apple uses for Safari, but optimized for mobile use devices. Yes, it will be an excellent experience communicating with the Web using mobile devices.
IDGNS:Speaking of the iPhone, do you have any ideas on why Apple isn't among the Open Handset Alliance partners? Have there been any negotiations between Google and Apple about this?
Miner: About Apple, you have to ask Apple.
IDGNS: Some people are worried if the freedom of widespread modification of Android will not return if developers start creating proprietary extensions and remodeling the system or demanding it, so you, starting with the developers from the very beginning, will be forced to remake applications for everyone phone.
Miner:Good question, but each member of the alliance agreed to the terms of anti-fragmentation. In general, everyone agreed to neither divide the project into parts, nor do things that would lead to the emergence of various versions of the platform.
IDGNS: Is the Open Handset Alliance built with Google empowered to limit powers and abilities to impose something, or is the alliance structure more similar to each member’s trust and good faith system?
Miner:The most important thing is that everyone agrees with the general idea, as everyone understands that one of the big goals of this alliance is to build a vibrant community of third-party developers. And everyone agrees that if they do something that calls into question the integrity of the platform, this will primarily hit third-party applications. This explains why no one is going to harm.
IDGNS: When you talk about the operating system as a component of Android, is it about one or more OS?
Miner:We treat the project as a platform, because it is much more than just an operating system. At the same time, the basis of the platform is Linux. This is truly a complete set of components. We worked very hard all the way - from hardware through all levels of software: Linux OS, device drivers, the whole set of middleware, everything, including applications. This is an extremely highly organized set of mobile devices based on Linux.
IDGNS: Google said it will provide a wide range of flexibility in the use and adaptation of Android and its components for developers, phone manufacturers and mobile operators. Can a user change the operating system to another Linux-based?
Miner:Everything works on Linux, so the devices will be released with support for a specific modification of Linux, and as long as Linux is the basis with the drivers we developed for the devices, everything will be okay. This is not a set of applications running on top of Linux or Symbian or another operating system. The platform itself is based on Linux.
IDGNS: And will Linux be called Android in the distribution of Linux?
Miner: When selling devices, their filling will be called Android, it is a Linux-based system with a whole bunch of other components for, for example, tasks such as optimized graphics for mobile phones, optimized databases, speech recognition system, video codecs. A complete set of software that makes the device optimized in the Linux environment produced by us.

This text is a translation of the Google demands non-fragmentation pledge for Android interview. Published November 7, 2007 by Juan Carlos Perez (IDG News Service).
When reprinting a translation, please refer to the original and the present text, .
The author of the translation will be grateful for comments, comments, corrections of possible inaccuracies and participation in the adjustment of the translation of the interview.

Also popular now: