Android, the next generation

I have not written this week as work has had its toll on me. The week has however ended on a great note, first snow of the winter here in Rotterdam. I will upload some photos to my public picasa album ( accessable from the right ). Although most of my current development has been iPhone/iPod touch ( and i will highly publicise the games i have worked on when they arrive in the appstore ), the Android platform interests me a lot. Since Google have opened the Android Market for developers, there is clearly a lot to be done! From a professional level, i can't say much, but on a personal level i do have something in the works for Android... just waiting for the G1 to reach Netherlands!

On that subject, the G1 really is a bad show of Android. So, is it really worth the wait. Being an open source supporter, i want an Android based phone. As much as the iPhone is amazing ( and the performance you can squeeze out of it in a 3D game is ridiculous!!! ), it's about as commercial as it gets: NDA's, closed source engines, talks i can't talk about, , etc, etc. So if the G1 sucks, and i want Android, what is there to look forward too?

After doing a little research, this is what i've found:

  • Samsung: Q3 2009 Been in the Android party for a while now, with not much to show. My guess would be that the QWERTY laid out keyboard in the android emulator is something close to the Samsung concept for an Android phone, but i'm very sad to see no "leaked" images.
  • LG: Q3 2009 They have said by early 2009, but my expectation is that they'll release about the same time as Samsung. Again, late to the party considering they were first up with Samsung and HTC.
  • Asus: Q2/3 2009 This is a shocker ( for me at least ). Yes, they have announced a phone based on Android. And, they will probably beat the two manufacturers above to the chase. As i type this from my trusty EEE, i can say i'd get one!
  • Motorla: Q4 2009 ( yes that means Christmas ) Seems that they have just thrown 300+ people onto their Android project. No one has a clue what it looks like, and although they are speculating that it will be ready for Christmas, at this rate it might be early, maybe trying to compete with the LG/Samsung crowd.

So will any of these dethrone the iPhone? I doubt it. Why? Because currently ( sadly? ) an iPhone is the cool thing to have, and good marketing and design is what sells phones, not open source. From a developer perspective, the iPhone is a monster. All i can say is that we've pushed the openGL so far in our games, it's pretty incredible. Again, when some screenshots are legally publishable, this may be the first place you can see them. My biggest gripe about Android is that the apps have to be written in Java, and that makes it inherently slow. The video on the Android developers blog showing off a bouncing ball at 40 fps is kind of pathetic when you get a feel for what the iPhone can do. But that's just part of what makes the G1 a disappointment. Of course there is the proprietary headphone port and the useless 1GB memory card. This really isn't 2004 guys!

No comments:

Post a Comment