Thursday, August 28, 2008

Heart broken Android will not have GTalk & Bluetooth, for now

If you've listened to PA Official Podcast #127 by Tyler Faux, or read the news that Android won't be having Bluetooth feature in its first official SDK v1.0; then here are some more heart-breaker news coming right at you.

The Android Dev Team has posted the decision not to include Google Talk into Android platform, for now. At first they were about to put GTalk into Android, but then they realized the GTalkService has some fundamental security problems. Rich Cannings, one of Android security researchers explain the security issues in
Android Dev Blog as:

"Although we would have loved to ship this service, in the end, the Android team decided to pull the API instead of exposing users to risk and breaking compatibility with a future, more secure version of the feature. ... As a final note, I want to point out that since the GTalkService was always a Google "value-added" service anyway, it was never guaranteed that it would be present on every Android device. That is, GTalkService was never part of core Android. As a result this change actually allows us the potential to build a new system that is part of the core of a future version of Android."

Personally, I think the reason is more than security issue but because there's a good probability that GTalk could jeopardize the quick adoption of Android platform by wireless carriers around the globe. Why? Cuz if we can use GTalk to talk with our friends, then we won't be using the wireless carrier's voice plan anymore, no? The same reason why Nokia has
pulled off its VoIP feature in N96 & N78.
And the Android Dev Team also explains on why there's no Bluetooth feature in current release of Android: The reason is that we plain ran out of time. The Android Bluetooth API was pretty far along, but needs some clean-up before we can commit to it for the SDK. Keep in mind that putting it in the 1.0 SDK would have locked us into that API for years to come.

On a personal note, Nick adds, "I would love nothing more than to start seeing some neat third-party applications and games over Bluetooth. In my opinion, Bluetooth is completely under-utilized on most mobile platforms and I'm excited to someday see what the developer community can do with Android."

I'm definitely bummed about these API removals. I was particularly looking forward to the P2P capabilities offered by GTalkService, but, as always, user security and privacy must come first.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

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