I was quite surprised to discover that Android, the mobile device OS created by Google and now developed by the Open Handset Alliance, isn’t any of the things that I thought it was. Somehow, I had managed to convince myself that Android was a Linux based OS, which it isn’t, it utilizes the Linux kernel, but that’s it. In fact, it’s lack of support for the standard Linux libraries makes it pretty much impossible to recycle any existing Linux apps or libraries for use on it. I also thought that Android provided full support for Java, but it doesn’t, for some strange reason, Android doesn’t use established Java platforms like SE and ME, it just uses the Java syntax. Disheartened, I sought solace in the fact that Android was at least fully open source, so it would still have the full support of the open source community, even if life was more difficult without Linux and Java. I was wrong again, parts of the SDK are closed source. Maybe so, but at least Google can put their weight behind making sure that the end user can use their Android running device in whatever manner they choose (think tethering)… Oh this is just getting stupid, how can the Android license be so open that it allows third party providers to close it!?!
<sarcasm>Yep, I can really see the advantage of plumping for Google and Android over Apple and iPhone OS 3.0.</sarcasm>