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Android Froyo – Making it the Best It Can Be

Wed, 09/29/2010 - 8:01am
Chris Buerger, Wind River (www.windriver.com)

Chris BuergerBy many measurements, Android’s Froyo is an impressive release of a very impressive mobile operating system. Android is the poster child example for combining stability, performance and innovation in a mobile operating system that has been rapidly realized in an open source context. Its success is clearly reflected in therecent statistics and predictions regarding Android adoption (e.g. daily activations, share of shipping mobile SKUs) from research organizations such as Gartner and Informa.

So, Froyo is pretty good, but the Android team here at Wind River is working to make it the best it can be for your commercial project.

I bet you are thinking “That’s a pretty bold claim,” so let’s review about some proof-points:

1)  Let’s start with a rigorous IP review / analysis process and documentation. I know that is not what people expect to hear when you talk about a mobile operating system, but as a company that has been a leader in providing embedded Linux solutions for the better part of the last decade, we understand the importance of being able to address this point for any commercial Android project. Clearly, this is becoming a critical component for any commercial Android supply agreement today.

Do you have an IP review process as part of your Android project?

2)  Commercial quality testing. There are thousands of known issues in Android. Using the Wind River FAST for Android tool, we have automated the development test process with tens of thousands of mobile device specific stress and functional tests, from the Hardware Abstraction Layer to the UI.

How do you drive testing efficiency in your Android project?

3)  Functional improvements. No doubt, Android is a function-rich, smart phone operating system. There is also a large ecosystem of application providers.

What we have done is twofold. 1) Make included functional blocks like Flash 10.1 support work really well on our hardened reference platforms from TI, Intel and QCOM. 2) Add a number of functional improvements to the Froyo release that really take it to the next level. This includes full support for a multi-window environment, operator-centric SyncML, DLNA, Red Bend FOTA and miscellaneous utility apps such as FM Radio and Weather.

Here’s a video showing some of these capabilities:

Do you feel that you are getting the right ROI on your Android functional enhancements?  

Your engineering team can create good Android. Your team can even improve on Android and make it better. What is your plan to make your Android stack the best it can be?

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