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  • Google Android as a FE Platform

    I can be the only one to think of this, but can the Google Android platform be used as a platform for a Front End?
    I know that it is possible to run Android on a non-ARM x86 processor.
    I do know that the software API is very well accepted for third-party apps.
    I know that the Archos 5 Internet Tablet is amazing.
    All the low level stuff is there, support for bluetooth and GPS.
    Now make a OS, interface, that is quick to boot, has great media playback capabilities, I think you are talking about an amazing piece of open-source software.

    Tell me if i am wrong, please. But I hope that I am not wrong, and such a thing could be done.
    - Project: Unified Car Control
    - Original OpenMobile Interface Designer

  • #2
    I don't think it's a good idea to use android as an OS for the car for several reasons.

    1) you are locked into using android specific APIs because android does not use many standard Linux APIs (ie, like using gstreamer for audio).

    2) you don't gain much by using android. A lot of the android apps will have design issues that make them incompatible with in-vehicle environments. That makes the apps all but useless. So if you can't take advantage of all the nice cell phone apps, why use it? If you just want something that boots fast, use Moblin or LinuxICE and build on that. At least you'll be using standard Linux stuff that won't be tied into a specific platform.

    3) Google will kill Android. I could be wrong but it seems like Chrome OS is their new baby. I wouldn't be surprised if Chrome OS replaces Android on the phone and everywhere else. In fact, the android "experiment" may have just been another poke at Microsoft to **** them off. To add, WebOS and Maemo are superior Linux-based platforms on the phone and Google knows this. It's easier and more profitable for google to be on Apple's, Palm's, Nokia's, Microsofts, etc phones by making deals with them than it is to make just-another-mobile-phone-os.

    just my two sense
    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
    Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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    • #3
      I would trust kev on his views of the current situation, he knows the ix like no one else here on the forum. Looking forward....

      I honestly think we are within 2 years from having phones replace CarPc's in the mainstream.

      Example, everyone hates win mobile 6.x but lots like Touchflo running on WinMo.

      How soon until someone makes a frontend like TouchFlo on WinMo, combined with a phone that supports vid out (Omnia II) with some horsepower to do what we need.

      Whats his face is already going down that route with the Iphone.

      Anyway u look at it, phones with a docking station will be taking over the CarPC in the very near future.

      Drunk *** rant done!
      TruckPC - gutted, being used for test setup
      BoatPC - All in 1 in cuddy, N7 using VNC on dash, RR
      BlazerPC - Nexus 7 with Timur's USBROM

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      • #4
        yeah,in fact i don't think it's a good idea.

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        • #5
          Google spent way too much money on buying Android to be in a hurry to kill it off. Not disputing the rest of your points, but I don't think they will be in a hurry to get Android off of the phone market, since that market is finally about to explode for them. There are 40+ Android phones slated to come out in the next few months, and Google spent a ton of money aquiring the software. Have to get some return on investment at least first. I know they want Chrome OS to become a serious contender to MS and Apple, but I would think there would be more a of a merging of the two than a killing off of one after this much time, money, and development sunk into the platform. If they went that far, they'd at minimum want to sell it, but even that wouldn't make much sense at this point.

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          • #6
            To the original question:
            Kev nailed it-the apps available just aren't designed for in vehicle use. The whole idea of a cell phone OS is that the user is focusing on it, so things like pop-ups and requiring user action aren't a big deal. Carpcs are the opposite.

            To the chrome os comment:
            Yea it will be about as successful as google video (before they gave up and bought youtube), google video player, Google web accelerator, google answers, google checkout,....i could keep going. Linux is still Linux no matter how pretty the interface. The idea of a webOS and cloud based computing is a cool one but good luck trying to explain to most users that now they get integrated gmail but cant run 90% of their programs. Not to mention Google's excellent privacy record and the possibility of now having adsense on your desktop
            openMobile - An open source C# Front End (why choose openMobile?)
            - Always Recruiting Developers -
            Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bemenaker View Post
              Google spent way too much money on buying Android to be in a hurry to kill it off. Not disputing the rest of your points, but I don't think they will be in a hurry to get Android off of the phone market, since that market is finally about to explode for them. There are 40+ Android phones slated to come out in the next few months, and Google spent a ton of money aquiring the software. Have to get some return on investment at least first. I know they want Chrome OS to become a serious contender to MS and Apple, but I would think there would be more a of a merging of the two than a killing off of one after this much time, money, and development sunk into the platform. If they went that far, they'd at minimum want to sell it, but even that wouldn't make much sense at this point.
              Google has so much money they don't know what to do with it. That's why they start 50 new beta projects a day it seems. Only a few of them ever become popular (ie, gmail, google earth, etc). I've seen some pretty bizzar google projects that Google's spent a lot of money on that disappear or stay in beta forever.

              Sure, I heard 40+ phones would be released with android this year. And so far I've seen maybe 2? Android has a lot of market hype behind it, but that's about it. Unlike the iPhone, the current stacks in Android don't have anything to back the hype up.

              I'm not sure anyone quite understands what Google is doing with Chrome OS. They can't possibly be targeting destkops -at least with the idea that they can compete with Microsoft. They may be trying to target netbooks, but the competition for netbooks is to saturated (BTW, i think android on the netbook is a stupid idea as well). netbooks are too much like laptops, and people who buy laptops expect the "microsoft experience". There is a lot of effort from Ubuntu, Xandros, Moblin, etc to be on the netbook, but I think they will all realize that people don't want Linux, they want windows -because that's what they've been fed, and they are generally okay with that.

              Linux is best on appliance devices like your car or your phone (and your dishwasher), Engineer's desktops, the uber geek's desktop, and your classic supercomputer.
              Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
              Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
              Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think android has a couple strong points that could make it work for CarPC's. It's designed for finger-touch from the outset, so you don't find tiny little boxes popping up. It does support most of the technologies we need in a carPC right out of the box (gps, wifi, bluetooth). I have seen some apps on android (I have a HTC Magic), that look very similar to some plugins for Centrafuse, so I don't think it's a huge stretch.

                However, as others said it does have some weaknesses too. I'm sure someone will try it eventually though. I don't think android is going away any time soon either.

                Edit: Kev, there are about 10 android phones for sale now worldwide. Another dozen or two are scheduled to be released within the next 3 months.

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                • #9
                  http://www.androphones.com/all-android-phones.php
                  Yea 8 available...7 more in the next 3 months

                  Most have a 3.2-3.5inch screen
                  openMobile - An open source C# Front End (why choose openMobile?)
                  - Always Recruiting Developers -
                  Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There is also a netbook out with it already:
                    http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/14/a...nd-photograph/

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                    • #11
                      The reviews I've seen of the android netbooks haven't been that glowing. This is the list of the phones coming out:

                      http://wiseandroid.com/NewsItem.aspx...ober&itemid=14

                      51 phones on the list, some are out already.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am using the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with 500 GB and 5 inch touchscreen now for two weeks in my car. It does come with Android 1.5 plus some custom media center app from Archos.

                        It is very usable in a Car environment believe me!

                        However there are two things that are not ideal and therefore a Car OS app would be great:

                        a) Using Copilot 8 as GPS navigation does not allow to run in background. As soon as it is not the frontmost app, it wont announce next turn or next speedcam (very bad) instructions anymore. The app itself is way better than anything seen on Windows basis

                        b) The Archos media player app is good for music, video, radio etc. but it needs the integration of other things. A fronted allowing to embedd others (i.e. Copilot) such as Road Runner would be great.

                        Regarding the size and easyness of the install, packaged with 500 GB, bluetooth, GPS, Wifi, fm and dvb-t in one device and a battery to allow it to run if engine not on and not sucking your car's battery IT IS A BIG THING!

                        Software comes always after you got the right hardware. Now it is upon us to code the right app for Android

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                        • #13
                          Open Mobile should run on android in another few months...theres 2-3 required namespaces they need to finish implementing.
                          openMobile - An open source C# Front End (why choose openMobile?)
                          - Always Recruiting Developers -
                          Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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                          • #14
                            How does this work if Open Mobile is C# and needs Media Player libraries. Android is Java and Linux?

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                            • #15
                              Where did you get the "needs media player libraries" part?

                              Yes android is java and linux but c# is a cross platform language which means it can run anywhere mono can run. Mono is available for all versions of linux and macos including the flavors used on the iPhone and Android.

                              Initial benchmarks say c#/mono performs better then dalvik byte code on android.
                              openMobile - An open source C# Front End (why choose openMobile?)
                              - Always Recruiting Developers -
                              Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

                              Comment

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