Archive for November, 2007
PBS’ Spencer Michels led interviews discussing the future of smart phones with Steve Ballmer, Microsoft and Eric Schmidt / Andy Rubin of Google. One thing that struck me as odd was how differently these two companies view the role of mobile phone operating systems. While Rubin and Schmidt keep stressing the importance of an open platform and outline the possibilities that result from this, Ballmer seems to be focussed on the front-end stuff only.
The full interviews are available here:No comments
There’s a pretty thought-provoking article about Android and its design priciples on computerworld.co.nz. David L Margulius questions whether Google’s “all applications are created equal” approach will actually do the mobile phone market any good.
From a developer’s point of view being able to access core functions, integrate apps into the rest of the OS and the availability of a properly documented SDK sounds great, but the author does make good points about the user experience that may result from this. Obviously one of the deciding factors in Android’s success in the consumer market will be the availability and quality of its applications.
Considering Google is doing a lot to faciliate development for Android (the $10M programming challenge, YouTube tutorials, support groups etc.), it’s probably safe to assume that availability will not be an issue. Quality, however, could become a problem with everyone and their grandmother trying their hand at mobile phone applications (Dan Morrill’s development demo has over 110k views at present).
Handset manufacturers and especially carriers are notoriously conservative when it comes to the software on the phones they deliver. A lot of them even use branded firmware that locks out non-approved updates to avoid complications. Now, if carriers don’t even trust finished releases from major manufacturers like Nokia, it’s not hard to guess what their stance on 3rd party apps will be. Needless to say, they won’t be helping customers figure out why “Voice Dailer 1.3.5″ doesn’t play nice with “Contact Manager 2.4.2″.
So where does that leave the end-user? Ultimately it will depend on the signal-to-noise ratio of the applications to come whether Android will find acceptance with people that couldn’t care less about version conflicts or become the cell phone equivalent of Gentoo.No comments
If you’re trying to access a website in the Android browser and the emulator throws an “Error 32″, it’s having trouble accessing your network.
Here are two possible workarounds:
- Apparently the emulator is not very good at handling multiple network connections, so if you’re using let’s say a regular hard-wired NIC and a wireless connection simultaneously, try to deactivate whichever one you’re not using so the emulator only sees the right one.
- If you’re behind a proxy, you may have to edit Android’s provider settings. Luisa Magarian posted a little how-to explaining how to do that here.
On some systems (depending on what’s associated with the .jar file extension) the android.jar file in the SDK directory may come up as an “executable jar file”. If you’ve been trying to run it with little success, there’s a very good reason for that: You’re not supposed to run it!1 comment
If you have worked with similar emulators in Eclipse before (or worked your way through Google’s Android developer reference), you’re probably familiar with the concept already. However, since Android seems to be attracting a lot of new developers, we’ll explain how to get access to Android’s Linux shell / emulator console in detail:
Accessing the emulator console:
(This will let you execute a number of commands to set the network speed dynamically, set up port redirects etc.)
- First, modify your launch configuration. Bring up the “Run” menu in Eclipse and select “Run…”. In the window that opens choose the “Emulator” tab and add “-console” to the command line options. Like so:
- Run your application and wait for the emulator to load.
- Next, fire up your favorite telnet client and connect to the console. The emulator will be listening on port 5554. If you have multiple instances of the emulator running, the second one will listen on port 5556, the third one on port 5558 etc.
This is what the result will look like (kindly disregard my ghetto telnet client):
In case you’re wondering what this is good for, an overview of the console commands is available here.
Accessing Android’s (Linux) shell:
This will give you the ability to execute your favorite POSIX commands and see what’s beneath Android’s pretty surface.
- First, launch your emulator. You can do that by running your application from Eclipse or manually from the command line.
- When the emulator is running, open a console on the host system. In Windows that simply means bringing up the command prompt window.
- If you haven’t added the Android SDK directory to your PATH evironment variable, navigate to the “tools” directory within manually. Next, connect to the running emulator instance by executing “adb shell”, which will bring up the shell prompt. Like so:
We are about to start a board/forum for all the Android users and developers out there. Hopefully this board will grow to be a big resource for Android application developing in the future. Come back in a few days and we hope you will join our Android-Portal community. If you have other great ideas about what we can do to push the android thing on this site, just let us know.1 comment
I managed to add my application to the main menu on the emu as you can see here:
This was done with some simple code in the Manifest XML file of my Android project:
<category android:value=”android.intent.category.LAUNCHER” />1 comment