updated 02:40 pm EST, Mon February 11, 2008
Google Android on Show
Confirming earlier expectations, Texas Instruments and a handful of other chipset makers were the first to demonstrate working examples of Google's Android mobile operating system on functional hardware. Now confirmed to just be a test mule, the prototype device is said to prove the speed of the Linux-based software on even obsolete hardware. Despite its visual effects, Android is capable of running quickly on Texas Instruments ARM processors from two generations ago, according to tests by Pocket-lint.
The version of the software on display also confirms several interface elements that bear a resemblance to Apple software. While the entire OS is considered open and modifiable down to key interface features, the default Android appearance includes a Mac OS X Dock-like application launcher as well as bubble pop-up notices that recall the iPhone. Google's media player software, rarely seen outside of the company, also borrows design cues from the sixth-generation iPod. Camera functions and Google Maps are also functional on the demonstrator model.
Texas Instruments itself is not poised to release an Android device of its own; instead, devices are scheduled to appear from HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung starting from the second half of 2008. Samsung at the show has said its own Android-based devices were most likely to appear in early 2009.