谷歌宣布 Android版本整合计划,新版支持USB

上网时间: 2011年05月13日? 作者:Rick Merritt? 我来评论 【字号: ? ?小】

关键字:Google? Android? Honeycomb?

Android gets more unity USB support

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – At its annual developers conference, Google outlined its plans to pull together separate versions of its Android environment and extend the software to support USB. Support for tablet, smartphone and television versions of Android will come together in a so-called Ice Cream Sandwich version of the software to be released as open source code in the fourth quarter.

The current Honeycomb version 3.0 for tablets and a 3.1 upgrade due within weeks will not be made available as open source. GoogleTV client software will continue to be a separate variant of Android, but starting this summer apps developed for it will become available in the public Android apps market online.

"We want one OS that runs everywhere, and we want to insulate developers from differences in devices," said Mike Cherod, a Google developer working on Ice Cream Sandwich, alluding to additional tools to be announced tomorrow at the Google I/O event here.

Google has released eight versions of Android in two and a half years. It is currently being used on 310 different devices and was activated on 100 million phones in 2011 with activations tracking at 400,000 a day, said Hugo Barra, director of Android product management in a Google I/O keynote.

Google angered OEMs by refusing to release as open source its Honeycomb software for tablets. In addition, earlier this year, it re-tooled plans for GoogleTV software announced at this event a year ago.

Separately, Google announced an alliance of more than a dozen partners that will define a standard plan for upgrading devices in the field to bring greater unity to the Android market. The group includes AT&T, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Verizon and Vodaphone. They have initially pledged to make any Android upgrades available on devices in the field for the first 18 months after their purchase.

In addition, Google announced new streaming video and music services for Android devices, based on Google cloud services.

USB support for Android

Google will support USB for the first time on the next version of its software for tablets, Honeycomb 3.1, and the smartphone version, Gingerbread 2.3.4. The support includes a new Open Accessory API which includes USB support libraries from Google.

Android is unusual in that it is defined as a device, not a host environment under Linux. Thus Android USB accessories will technically be USB hosts. The Google libraries aim to smooth over that distinction for developers.

The device/host situation means Android USB accessories will not be able to get power over USB from Android handsets or tablets. Google is not developing support for USB 3.0.

Google, Microchip and RT Corp. of Japan announced hardware developers kits for building Android USB accessories. In a video, a Microchip engineer demonstrated his company's kit which uses a MIPS-based processor.

Google said it will also release support for Android accessories using Bluetooth in the future. A Google manager contrasted the new Android peripheral market to the tightly controlled one maintained by Apple for its iPhone and iPad.

"There will be no NDAs or fees and no approval process to build accessories, so go get started," said Hugo Barra, director of product management for Android at Google.

Separately Google announced Android @ Home, an initiative to link Android devices to a broad range of home appliances and home automation devices over Wi-Fi or an unspecified wireless home control network. Lighting Science, an LED light and switch maker, said it will release LED light bulbs and switches by end of year that can be controlled wirelessly by Android devices.

The @ Home initiative includes a hardware reference design for controlling home media systems, called Project Tungsten. Google demoed a Tungsten box linked to the Web, controlling a stereo and capable of buying or starting an Internet audio stream based on waving a device with a near field communications link.

"This combination of new cloud services, software and devices enables a whole universe of applications," said a Google developer giving the demo.

The Android @ Home software and details of its wireless network support will be released late this year.

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