With the partnership of the OEM manufacturers and network operators, Google's Android phones will be widely available in the worldwide. Android is claimed to be an open source smart phone platform, many organizations and individuals can port Android to any candidate platforms, including smart phones, MIDs, Netbooks, WebPads and PNDs. Yes, theoretically, Android can be ported to any embedded devices, since Android is a combination of Linux and Java (or similar components). According to the report, Android has been ported to many devices already.
However, Google didn't release the source code for the application software from the very beginning. It is only available for OHA members. As a result, porting Android still requires a lot of work. For example, Android is only available for ARMv5 core (i.e. ARM926EJ or later silicon). Some people tried to port Android to Samsung S3C24XX platform (FIC's OpenMoko). But it could not work out, because its ARM920T processor is ARMv4 core. Now Google release the source code to any interested party. So, more and more groups report the success news of porting android to other platforms like Asus Netbook EeePC 1000 (Atom N270). More and more Windows Mobile smart phones are reported to be reprogrammed to run Android. Anyway, Android can and will consolidate its position in the embedded market because of Google's strong support. (Android was not invented by Google, but was acquired by Google.)
I spent some days on Android tutorial and try out its emulator, now I want to share my experience with anyone who might be interested in Android. Compares to Windows CE/Mobile and Symbian OS, Android is a friendly OS for the developers. Since Android phones are still not widely available, (but we are sure they are coming like storm) so far the developers can use its QEMU based emulator, which is called Goldfish. It can be invoked in command line. The emulator supports horizontal and vertical LCD with two resolutions.
After installation the essential Eclipse IDE and Android plug-in, you can follow the instruction of Android online tutorial step by step to write your first HelloWorld application and run it on the emulator.
Although Linux has been very popular in mobile computing, but the source for the final products are closed (like Motorola's A1200). Because the mobile market is dominated by the operators, who have setup a lot of barriers for the small organizations to ensure their revenue and profit. Let us check out how Android changes the ecological of mobile world.
Google is preparing its Android Market, which is similar to the iPhone Store to the value added software market. If you have any good idea, you can make money by selling your software on this site. Of course, you have to pay registration fee and potential other fees to Google.
Alternatively, you can register to the Android community, download the source and port it to your favorite platforms and applications.