Rory Cellan-Jones

Hands on with Arm's Android

  • Rory Cellan-Jones
  • 12 Feb 08, 11:37 GMT

There are a number of prototype handsets showing off the Google Android platform at the Barcelona show. I found one on the stand of the British chip firm ARM.

Interestingly, the firm - which has relationships with all of the big phone makers - was very keen to talk about the Open Handset Alliance rather than mention Google. It shows there is already sensitivity about how much of a disruptive role Google could play in this industry.


I quite like the look of Android and think when I upgrade from my new Nokia N95, that Android could be an option, once it's more developed, of course.

I think it's safe to say that it's going to make quite an impact in the mobile market, seeing as Google are really keen to develop a mobile future.

As a developer I'm quite keen to have a look under the hood and see just what I can do with Android. If it's a linux varient I think we could quite quickly see some "hacked" versions.

Interesting to say the least.

  • 2.
  • At 05:56 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Olivier wrote:

Thanks for the video but youmay want to invest in something a little better than your cell-phone to film stuff. This is definitely not "broadcast" quality.

In response to what Rory said.

From everything I've seen, it will be a linux variant. Which will indeed provide an interesting platform for "modifications".

I agree it will make an impact on the global mobile market, I will be curious to see how Microsoft responds to this "invasion of their turf".

  • 4.
  • At 06:00 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Joseph wrote:

Give this guy a steady cam! It's like the camera's strapped to his head.

  • 5.
  • At 06:21 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • radley wrote:

Looks good

  • 6.
  • At 06:35 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Kristen wrote:

I think it is important for people to remember that Android is a software platform, not actual hardware, like the I-Phone. Google itself will not be producing mobiles but selling their software to hardware companies like Motorola and/or providers like Verizon. Some are a bit misinformed about how involved Google is going to be in the mobile market.

In response to what Rory said.

From everything I've seen, it will be a linux variant. Which will indeed provide an interesting platform for "modifications".

I agree it will make an impact on the global mobile market, I will be curious to see how Microsoft responds to this "invasion of their turf".

  • 8.
  • At 06:42 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • PatG wrote:

Rory, you can download the Android SDK from . It comes bundled with an emulator for trying out and debugging your applications.

There are lots of tutorials on the Google site, and an active group pf developers.

  • 9.
  • At 07:14 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Jimmer wrote:

The Home 3G antenna seems a bit pointless to me. Woohoo 7Mbps - Surely Wifi is far more preferable and affordable.

  • 10.
  • At 07:54 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Draco Malfoy wrote:

its ugly!!!!! and the phone needs a magnifying glass attached to it to see the screen. and did i mention it was ugly!!!

  • 11.
  • At 08:01 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Sion Jones wrote:

Yes! Yes! Yes!
I agree with Joseph. What is the matter with cameramen these days? I am a retired news cameraman, I was obliged to use the tripod 90% of the time. There is too much of hand held cameramen these days. Even the "Bill" is hand held with plenty of shakes and out of frame heads. Disgusting!

  • 12.
  • At 08:25 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

It's good to see that ARM from the trusty old days of Acorn and the Risc PC is still going and coming up with good ideas. Pity that the Risc PC isn't so strong - it was a great computer.

  • 13.
  • At 09:01 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Ian Kemmish wrote:

You don't show breadboards at trade shows unless there is no alternative. ( ESPECIALLY if you know that half the world's press and all the world's bloggers are waiting for your announcement.

The tepid nature of the announcements from the handset manufacturers suggests that they are keeping an eye on Android, but not embracing it. There's a slowdown in consumer spending coming, which in turn means a consolidation in the handset market. In such a climate, a company needs to be able to adopt new technology rapidly - but ONLY if it confers an obvious advantage. One suspects Google doesn't have sufficient experience in the handset market to be able to market Android attractively to manufacturers in such a climate.

Stop complaining about the quality people, it's a mobile showcase tehy're at so, so I think it's appropriate.

I wish people would post about the Blog and not about technical issues, we want discussion!

  • 15.
  • At 09:37 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

With regard to the camera references, anoraks, please give it a rest. Every other person thinks they are the best photographer, best cameraman etc. It would appear that the correspondent is filming this on a camera phone, or a basic camcorder due to budgetary constraints. I am grateful of the video, be it grainy or shaky, bearing in mind the budget conscious alternative - i.e. none. After all, does it not convey enough information? What next? - " Why isn't this video in HD???!!! Oh, and how much is the licence fee, isn't it disgusting how much they charge us now?"

As the first commentor mentioned, as the Google OS is an open source linux variant the phone could potentially be a hackers dream with the ablity to install third party applications and exploit every peice of hardware under the hood.
Ofcouse if this phone comes to market i'd expect it to come with security measures, but at the moment we'll have to wait and see until it reaches the UK shores.

  • 17.
  • At 11:07 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Wesley Langley wrote:

Are you guys crazy? Its a peice about mobile phones! - so its prob actually shot on a mobile phone, common sense guys.

As for the retired camera man moaning about the standard these days its actually a style of shooting that started in the States (think 24 etc) - not bad or poor shooting.

  • 18.
  • At 11:18 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Mev wrote:

There is a big difference between filming for TV and filming for the internet. Webcams allow you to capture stories opportunistically without having to wait for a tv crew. As fat as I can see, its all part of the modern world we live in. And what better way to capture a story about google's new fone with built in webcam, than via this method!

  • 19.
  • At 11:39 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Will wrote:

In response to the camera work, In an earlier blog the writer explained he was going to use a camera phone to record some interviews as part of an experiment.

So im guessing thats why it's a bit sub par.

  • 20.
  • At 11:47 PM on 12 Feb 2008,
  • Rob W wrote:

Who cares? A phone's a phone. Frankly carrying round mobile everything else is not something I want to do.

Eventually people will grow up and realise that the vast majority of this stuff is completely superfluous.

Aside from the geeks what normal person is going to want to program their handset or mess with the O/S?

Google *MAY* have it right if they effectively produce serach data that is useful on the move. But frankly that's way down my list of priorities. I'm still using a Nokia 6310i and when this one eventually gives up the ghost, I've got a spare in the drawer.

  • 21.
  • At 12:38 AM on 13 Feb 2008,
  • Tone wrote:

In Rory's defence; I believe these interviews are filmed on his mobile phone - cheaper than a cameraman!

  • 22.
  • At 01:02 AM on 13 Feb 2008,
  • Darren wrote:

Re: Joe's comment:

I will be curious to see how Microsoft responds to this "invasion of their turf"

Microsoft has a miniscule percentage of the mobile phone market. The big players are Symbian & Linux.

  • 23.
  • At 11:32 AM on 13 Feb 2008,
  • John wrote:

If Android runs faster than Symbian then it is to be welcomed. The worst thing about moving to a "smart" phone was finding it slow to boot and slow to launch applications.

Re: John, Post 23:

I hope so too, the only thing I find annoying about my Nokia N95 is the fact that some of the apps are slow at starting.

Re: Rob W, post 20:
I think you vastly under-estimate the demand for phones of this manner. They are extremely good for increasing productivity, I mean come on: I can write emails to clients when sitting in Starbucks.

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