Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just a Few News Items That Caught My Eye

Proving that the world of mobile devices is indeed an extremely large and varied place, it turns out that it's evidently not possible to even give away an iPhone in Japan. (If you've ever used the iPhone's Japanese input, you might have an inkling as to why...)

(On a vaguely related note, Apple is pulling down all apps that enable "emoji" on the iPhone. If you want it, you'd better hurry on up and get it: Spell Number was a free application still available yesterday which enabled the Emoji keyboard....)

Also, Apple inexplicably trusts its iPhone developers more than Google trusts their Android developers: if you shelled out for an Android developer phone, you're not allowed to access the "paid applications" section of the Android store.

I'm going to be presenting on behalf of the LiMo Foundation at the eComm conference in Mountain View this coming week, and I plan to be attending (at least) Open Source in Mobile USA in San Francisco the week after that. If you're going to be around for either, drop a comment!

In other developments, I've come across an awesome organizer/notebook from the folks at X47, and a good resource for would-be learners of Japanese at KnowIt! Check 'em out. Fair warning: the X47 site's backend is slower than molasses and entirely in German, so if you decide to order something, you're going to need both linguistic skilz and patience...

I'm also becoming more interested in ELGG, an open source platform for Facebook-like social networking, as well as and The Open Planning Project....


halex said...

The bit about Android developers not being able to use applications from the Android Marketplace isn't actually quite correct - you can quite easily do it if you grab a different/newer firmware version:

To quote from a comment on Slashdot: "The ADP1 does not come with support, the original ADP1 firmware does not update automatically. As a developer and ADP1 owner one should be able to keep up with the news and figure this stuff out for oneself."

Lefty said...

Well, the discussion of the situation is still going on on the official Android mailing lists, last I checked. And Wired quotes an official statement from Google: "The developer version of the G1 is designed to give developers complete flexibility. These phones give developers full permissions to all aspects of the device, including the ability to install a modified version of the Android Open Source Project. We aren't distributing copy protected applications to these phones in order to minimize unauthorized copy of the applications."

The link you cite certainly isn't anything official; it's a statement on a fan site derived from reading check-in logs.

In short, Google's still ignoring and belaboring its own developers. That's fine, it'll be a (continuing) learning experience for them. I enjoy this stuff because it makes it so clear that Google had about zero notion of what it was actually getting into here...

Lefty said...

By the way, the following is quoted from an email on the Android developer list posted today:

"> > I was looking at the site for documentation, but I can't find a simple
> > description on how to update my phone to 1.1. any pointers would be
> > appreciated..
> The ADP1 is supposed to be updated by you, compiling the source on
> your own. There are many guides out there that can help you get there
> (or just to install a preconfigured build of 1.1).

Nobody knows how the upgrade process will actually be when Google
finally figure out how to perform it. But you may compile the source
and install it - but some of the functionality and programs you may be using will be missing! Google has not released code for (as far as I remember): WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, GMail, Calendar and other things! You may extract binary versions out of your Android but that may not be compatible with the firmware version you are installing!"

Again, excruciatingly poor communications with, and support of, its developers has been a hallmark of Android since Day One.

Lefty said...

Also, note the explanantion from Ash, "a Google employee", of the change:

"If you're using an unlocked, developer phone, you'll be unable to view any copy-protected application, including Shazam and Calorie Counter. This is a change that was made recently."

(Emphasis mine.) So, I'm not sure where you're getting your information from, but it's not the information that Google's handing out.

Which is, as I said, pretty typical of the whole thing.

vhamer said...

Hi Lefty -

Thanks for the shout-out to The Open Planning Project and Wanted to mention a couple of interesting ELGG like projects: BuddyPress, CrabGrass, Cloud27