If it’s true that Google is set to take over the world, we should probably all get to know our online overlord a little better. After all, the Mountain View giant moves more than 65 percent of the world’s search traffic, and dominates the rest of the web with a broad swath of free services. Since it’s almost impossible to get through a day on the Internet without crossing Google’s path, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to all things G.
In the next few weeks both Verizon and Sprint are launching multiple Android-powered smart phones. In fact, Sprint just announced another Android device, the Samsung Moment, today. This will leave AT&T as the odd man out with no Android phones. However, if some new rumors are to be believed, Dell may be partnering with AT&T to change that as early as 2010.
The Dell Mini 3i was originally created for the Chinese market. It lacks both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. The version of Android it runs is also more heavily modified than would be acceptable for the US market. The camera on the Chinese version is also fairly lackluster.
This is an exciting time for Google’s Android OS. A recent report indicates that this open-source OS will command more of the market than the iPhone, Blackberry, or WinMo by 2012. AT&T can’t afford to hedge its bets on the iPhone.
There are still unanswered questions as to the features Dell might bring to the Mini 3i in the US. In the end, AT&T might only need a mid-range feature set. If they can maintain their iPhone exclusivity, they might not care if they have a high-end Android handset. Still, if the projections are accurate, AT&T will want experience with Android, no matter the handset quality.
Last week, Google rolled out a native development kit for Android developers. Developers can now create Android apps using native-code languages such as C and C++. Prior to the release of the Android Native Development Kit, applications for the platform could only be written in Java and run using Google’s Dalvik Java virtual machine.
"Developers are taking a look at the NDK to see if it provides the capabilities we need to bring Fennec to Android. If it's possible, I think our community would be interested in doing it, because Android will be appearing on more smartphones with the capabilities to provide a good browsing experience," Mozilla’s VP of mobile Jay Sullivan said.
Although running software natively can aid performance, there are other factors to offset that advantage. "Your application will be more complicated, have reduced compatibility, have no access to framework APIs, and be harder to debug,” Android engineer David Turner warned in a blog post announcing the release of the NDK.