Just in time for its first dedicated development conference, the Android smartphone platform took the top spot from BlackBerry in January. According to comScore, a consumer data-collecting company, Android now accounts for over 31% of all U.S. smartphones, beating out RIM’s 30% and iPhone’s 24%. The news arrived while many developers and Android companies were discussing the platform at AnDevCon in San Mateo, Calif.
Of primary importance at the conference was the fact that Android is not just about phones anymore. Device manufacturers were on hand to discuss their plans for Android, and the future will reveal not only tablets, but also in-car devices and entertainment systems.
With all these new ideas for the platform floating around, many companies are now focusing on easing the movement into the platform for enterprises. Black Duck was on hand to announce its new Android Fast Start program. Designed to help companies get their arms around the constantly evolving Android platform, the Fast Start program offers a window into the Android code and its changes.
Peter Vescuso, executive vice president of marketing and business development at Black Duck, said that Google is moving very quickly with the Android platform. “There are so many changes. We have customers who download the daily changes from Google to keep track of what’s going on,” he said.
“You want to see everything that’s happening along the way, and many customers are tracking it on a daily basis. You have a major release about every three months, and that’s a pretty rapid pace of change. It used to be that putting out two new computers a year would have been a big deal. If you’re a device manufacturer trying to stay on that timetable, it can be difficult.”
In other news from AnDevCon…
CAST, a provider of software analysis and measurement solutions, announced plans for a mobile application program that uses cloud technology to check a developer’s ability to create structurally sound applications for Android devices.
“From issues with Android OSes to third-party mobile applications, we’ve seen it all too frequently in practice: poorly constructed business and consumer applications wind up leading to significant issues with mobile devices and the business networks to which they’re connected,” said Lev Lesokhin, CAST’s vice president of worldwide marketing.
“Because so much of business today is conducted on mobile devices that access enterprise networks, an independent third-party assessment program is needed to ensure that applications being accessed via mobile are safe, structurally sound and efficient. The same holds true for consumer apps, such as games and ads.”
The program will be offered as a portal to software developers, through which thousands of lines of code will be examined without having to upload the source code to the cloud. The portal will automatically analyze and measure the code, and provide feedback on software size and health, based on industry norms, standards and best practices, the company said in a statement.
The portal is powered by technology acquired last month by CAST from a service provider to the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), the parent company of Airbus. This provided the lightweight, cloud-based software-analysis engine that enables the analysis of code for Android mobile applications.
Immersion Corp. released its new MOTIV SDK 1.0. This new SDK allows Android application developers to include both tactile feedback and haptics in their applications. This library of feedback functions also smoothes out the rough lines between disparate hardware platforms by offering a unified interface for triggering tactile feedback, regardless of the Android phone used.
OpenLogic was at AnDevCon to discuss the results of its recent analysis of Android and iPhone open-source projects. The company found that just over 50 applications (out of more than 700) available on the Android and iPhone platforms used open-source software. Of that, just over 70% did not comply with the licenses they used. In particular, those open-source applications found on the iPhone app store that used the GPL or LGPL were considered to be not in compliance, as Apple has already removed other applications from its store for using the GPL/LGPL.
Sencha used AnDevCon to announce its new Event Recorder for Android. This tool allows developers to record all interactions with a Web application. These events, such as keyboard inputs and link clicks, can then be played back later during testing, allowing application tests to work with real-world event data. Event Recorder is free and available under the MIT license.