Android: There's Some Real Software Here
Yesterday, Google made a development version of its Android mobile-phone software available for programmers to play with. Along with downloadable code, documentation and discussion groups, you can also watch a few videos in which various Google types demonstrate how Android's programs work on some test hardware.
It's highly dangerous to judge new software from canned demos, but Android seems to keep things simple: The screens you can see are free of extraneous chrome, more than a little reminiscent of the iPhone, and don't seem to rely on complicated sequences of key presses. To the extent that this limited evidence indicates that Google has spent time upfront to craft a concise, consistent grammar for Android's interface, that's good news; it's harder to clean up a messy set of controls farther along in development.
This, I promise, will be my last post on Android for a while -- it will be months before I will have any production hardware on which I could try out this software. (If you use an iPhone, however, you might see some of Android's code sooner: Android developers have already submitted their improvements to WebKit, the open-source code underneath the iPhone and Mac OS X's Safari browser.)
In the meantime, I'd like to ask any programmers reading this who have downloaded the Android software what they think of it. Would you enjoy writing for this platform?
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