Google Is Finally Bringing Their Platforms Together
Google chose to take a different path then their main competitor when they chose to separate the Android platform into a OS for phones Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Android 3.0 Honeycomb an OS for tablets. This was a very different approach then that of Apple which put the iPad and iPhone together in a single OS release. One gets criticized for just being a big iPhone and the other for once again fragmenting their mobile ecosystem.
That brings the question which is the better approach? Can you use the same OS for a 4" phone that you use on a 10" tablet and still maximize the potential of both? Where does Google and Apple TV fit into this equation? Read on for an in depth look at the future of mobile computing and internet connected TV.
Is Android Ice Cream The Magic Recipe?
Do platforms gain more from a dedicated OS, or does bringing them under the same umbrella do more to improve development and user experience? Eric Schmidt answered this question at MWC when he stated Ice Cream will merge Gingerbread & Honeycomb. In a report by GTV Source we also learned that Ice Cream will mark Google TVs addition to the AOSP ( Android Open Source Project).
Google TV is a major opportunity and it deserves the attention of the AOSP team. Currently Google has yet to release the Honeycomb source code to the dismay of many. The reason behind not releasing the code yet is to prevent further fragmentation and it seems as if either way there are going to be those that complain.
Phandroid has a report that the reason for the code not being released is that the integration with Google TV is coming with Ice Cream and to release the code now would lead to more fragmentation. If the code were to be released without TV integration when those features are added they would be left out from anyone who had already begun work on a product.
What Does Android Ice Cream Mean?
For starters it means that phones, tablets, Google TV users will all be running on the same code, and the same APIs. So compatibility between the three will be greatly enhanced because they will all be use the same underlying code across the board. A service used for the phone would be the same service used on the tablet and TV. This makes it easier for developers and for consumers who will see a more streamlined user experience.
The other major change this will bring about is a much quicker update process as Google only has to update one code. This will bring more time to develop new features and performance enhancements across the platform. While also allowing for app developers to make apps across all three platforms.
What do you guys think of Google combining phones, tablets, and TV under the Android Open Source Project? We should hear more next month at Google IO so stay tuned.