Beyond the iPhone, never before has there been a single gadget, service, application or anything that has been as anticipated and hyped within mobile industry than Google Android. For months the chatter has been building, and eagerly we all have been waiting. Many say Android will change the world -- has the Google revolution truly begun?
Recently, Google officially released Android 1.0 to the open source development community and T-Mobile officially released the HTC G1, the first Android enabled device. Customers can now purchase the HTC G1 (if they can find one) while developers can freely create amazing applications with no boundaries, something never before seen in the mobile industry. The possibilities are endless, and the whispers say this is only the beginning.
Android Goes Open Source
Android was released into the wild yesterday under the Apache License, Version 2.0. This license allows developers to fully access, modify and distribute the code as long as attribution is given. Interestingly, Read Write Web brought up the scenario of a developer creating an entirely new proprietary platform -- which could likely happen. Perhaps the cell phone manufacturers will find ways to modify the platform to their own likings. The thing is, anything is possible.
The platform will enable software developers to create applications utilizing the Java programming language. Access to all the components required to create an Android application is provided within the Android SDK, and developers are encouraged to use the Eclipse IDE to develop and test their applications. Android changes everything!
Speaking of applications, there are already several dozen applications available on the Android Marketplace, with plenty more on the way. A blog post by the Android development team goes into detail about the Android Marketplace:
"There are already over 50 apps available in Android Market today. You can view a showcase of some of these apps—which include multimedia, location-based tools, barcode scanners, travel guides and games—at http://www.android.com/market/. Now that Android Market is live and ready for contributions, we hope to see developers adding their own compelling apps starting next week."
Open Source is the Future of the Mobile Industry
With all the information about Android finally out in the open, several conclusions can be made:
* Open source is the future of the mobile industry
* The mobile industry can and will change to the demand for open platforms
* Google exceeded expectations and will financially benefit from Android
* Apple might have significantly wounded its bottom line with exclusivity to AT&T in the States
* Additional phone manufacturers will support the Android platform * Verizon and AT&T have had their heads turned towards the possibility of Android
* The consumers will ultimately benefit from this change
Those interested in purchasing the HTC G1 by T-Mobile will likely be waiting awhile before they come in stock. No worries though, several other phone manufacturers are constructing Android devices that will hopefully surpass the G1's functionality and design. For now though, T-Mobile has put together a very slick Web site (Flash intensive) that shows off many of the features of the G1.
We here at CMSWire can't wait to see what new applications will be developed for Android. It will also be interesting to see how the Web CMS, document management, records management and related industries react to the Android platform -- perhaps a brave company will step forward and change everything. As we've said before, these are really exciting times.
More detailed information about the Android SDK can be found on Google Code's Android site. Also, developers can download the source code here.