November 5, 2010

Android bytes

As we eagerly wait for the "imminent" next major Android release here are a few things I wish to share.

(1) At the recent MAX session, Adobe has announced Flex SDK "Hero" and Flex Builder "Burrito". Now, developers can build mobile applications for Android and run them using the Adobe AIR runtime supported by FroYo. The FAQs on these Adobe tools can be found here. The getting started page is here. The good part is that Adobe has tried to maintain similar development paradigms across desktop, web and mobile platforms. So, it should be easy for experienced flash developers to build compelling Android applications.

(2) This one is about a month old, but many people had asked me in the SG-GTUG Android session about Augmented Reality. Qualcomm has released a QCAR SDK to develop wonderful AR applications. More details on the SDK here.

(3) Lot has been said about Android and fragmentation. While there is some truth in those statements, the fragmentation issue has been blown out of proportion. Dan Morrill - Android's compatibility and test lead - has in this old blog post very articulately explained how Android tackles fragmentation problems at the user level and the developer level. He gives an in-depth explanation of the Android Compatibility Program and how Android's Market application plays an important role in enforcing compatibility requirements. However, he skirts the issue of application performance across platforms with differing hardware, drivers etc.

(4) With several Android tablets announced by many vendors, reddit community is maintaining a full list here for easy tracking. Though very few Android tabs have made it to the market so far, Q1 2011 might see a real surge in these numbers. The real concern among buyers is that most of these tablets are still running Android 2.1 and below and there is no guarantee of upgrades. Probably many of them are waiting for the new Android 2.3 or 3.0 to be made available before hitting the market.

Until next time, cheers!