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Details of Android 3.0, SIP, Video Chat 188

dkd903 was one of several folks to note that a bunch of details about Google's Android 3.0 are beginning to leak out. The platform is codenamed Gingerbread; it includes video chat to compete with the iPhone, and a graphical overhaul to try to make it look a bit better compared to its rivals.
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Details of Android 3.0, SIP, Video Chat

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  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @04:53PM (#33952828) Homepage

    I gotta say, after messing around with Sense, I can't freakin' STAND the stock Android OS look. I'm currently running xtrSense on my Eris, which is a freakin' GREAT rom...but yeah, stock Android is just fugly.

    Looking forward to a system-wide visual update.

    • by catbutt ( 469582 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:00PM (#33952960)
      Aside from the end user experience, as an Android developer (in the process of porting iphone apps) I can tell you that android sure makes it difficult to do the slick effects that on iPhone are practically free. For instance, the transitional animations that make the iPhone seem so slick are a nightmare to accomplish on Android. I hope they do a lot of work in this area.
      • i always hear about how awesome sense is. as a developer, can one support sense? I would imagine if you could, you would need to download additional sdks from htc, then your stuff wouldn't run on anything other than an htc sense phone.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by markkezner ( 1209776 )

          You don't normally have to do anything to write an arbitrary app for an Andriod phone that happens to have Sense. You just write your app using the regular Android SDK and don't worry about it. Sense and other skins are just not relevant factors for almost any app you would want to write.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AuMatar ( 183847 )

        As someone who uses his phone and complains about the battery life constantly- I'd rather that any dev who thinks these are a good idea gets his hands smashed with a hammer so he can never code again.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          bitblit operations and other 2D graphical effects are nearly free in terms of CPU and battery life.

          or should be, at any rate.

        • by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:57PM (#33953808) Homepage

          People don't get it. UI animations -- done correctly -- aren't just bling. They tell people what happened, where things went, and where they're at in the application. The classic example is minimizing a window to an icon in the dock. The zooming rects reinforce what happened, where the window went, and where to find it again.

          On the iPhone such things are implemented as GPU effects, with a totally insignificant impact on battery life. If you're on Android, firing up the 3G radios for a single background check on Twitter posts burns through more power than all the daily UI animations on your phone combined.

          And if your battery life is really that bad, then buy a better phone next time...

        • Those operations are actually very cheap on the iPhone. They are implemented with CoreAnimation, which uses a layer model. Each view that has a layer renders to a texture. The GPU then composites them together. Sliding one layer over another typically uses less power than redrawing a single moderately complex view. It uses more RAM, because it does extra buffering, but it saves CPU cycles.
        • It's an option (Score:5, Informative)

          by Namarrgon ( 105036 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @08:15PM (#33955304) Homepage

          Android has an All/Some/None setting [] to turn off UI animations, in Settings/Display/Animation, so once again it gives people the choice.

          It's been there since 1.6 at least.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by poetmatt ( 793785 )

        really? ever seen touchwiz? ADW? What slick effects magically exist on iphone that aren't on android?

        I really hope you have actual examples in your next post, not just "wah iphone is better than android"

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by imgod2u ( 812837 )

          I believe, as a developer of apps, he means the API's he has available to use those effects in *his app*. Not just the UI overlay that Samsung or HTC provides.

          But go on knee-jerking.

          • I don't suppose it'd hurt for an actual example, not just saying that magically API's aren't capable? It's not like these people are programmers who can create their own functions or anything.


    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by phil4 ( 666912 )
      Sense is slick - but I switched to CM6 ( Cyanogen Mod 6.00, an Android Open Source Project based rom ) and was surprised that I didn't really miss anything that Sense had given me. I had already switched away from the very nice weather/clock widget because its weather was not very current and everything else is nearly equivalent. ( Sprint HTC Hero, not the newest/fastest phone but very snappy with CM6 and only slight overclocking )
    • Oddly enough, after using both stock Android and Sense, I can't stand Sense and would much, much rather have the standard Android UI. I think Sense is clunky and ugly and full of pointless changes (such as replacing a lot of the standard Android tabbed activities with strange ones with the tabs at the bottom and icons instead of textual labels).

      You may be interested to know that a colleague of mine recently reflashed his HTC Desire with a standard Froyo setup using the HTC drivers. He's now getting almost

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      I feel the exact opposite way. Sense is annoying and just clutters things up. CM6 for the win.

      • The obvious answer is to smash Steve Jobs with a hammer, then we can have a choice whether to use Sense or not.

        Actually, the person who needs smashing is the scumbag responsible for locking up my Desire, so I have to root it to remove Sense if I want to. (I like Sense, but I hate the phone being locked down - we are not forced to have the bonnet of our cars welded shut).

        However, Steve Jobs should probably still be hammered for suggesting consumer choice is bad, while not actually going to live in a commun

  • by TheKidWho ( 705796 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @04:55PM (#33952854)

    How about video chat that works with the iPhone as well?

    Would be nice to use my Epic to video chat with a friends iPhone.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by froggymana ( 1896008 )

      I would like to know if the video chat for android will actually work over 3G (or 4G) then in comparison to the iPhone only working over wifi.

      • probably not on AT&T
      • I would like to know if the video chat for android will actually work over 3G (or 4G) then in comparison to the iPhone only working over wifi.

        It would surprise me if it didn't. 3G was launched with video calling, it was advertised back in the day. The technology to put the feature in shouldn't be a problem.

        Having said that, someone would still need to figure out why video calling didn't take off last time and how to stop that happening again.

        • by Nadaka ( 224565 )

          My friends EVO can do video calls over 3g if you have a relatively strong signal with a little frame dropping. Where I live, the signal is pretty low (max out around 300kbps) so I have not had a chance to test my new Epic that well, and we both don't live in 4g areas. You will notice an improvement in video quality and stability if you use wifi though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jugalator ( 259273 )

      How about video chat that works with the iPhone as well?

      I hope so too, but I fear that there's a penis size contest about to begin here. :-(

      I'm afraid Google would feel that following the FaceTime standard would risk giving away users to Apple.

      • > I'm afraid Google would feel that following the FaceTime standard would risk giving away users to Apple.

        I think you're right that they would feel like that. I see it as an opportunity to take users from Apple.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:25PM (#33953356)

        How about video chat that works with the iPhone as well?

        I hope so too, but I fear that there's a penis size contest about to begin here. :-(

        I'm afraid Google would feel that following the FaceTime standard would risk giving away users to Apple.

        How the fuck is FaceTime a standard? It was first mentioned on June 7, 2010. I've been using Skype to video chat on my N900 for about a year. And people in Europe have been video chatting using some other Nokia thingamajig for a year or two before that. May have been using Gizmo or something.

        Really. Apple didn't do anything impressive with FaceTime. Just use the Google Voice or Skype apps to video chat. They've been around long enough to be mentioned as a standard without people laughing in your face.

      • by cynyr ( 703126 )

        Not only that, is there facetime for linux, windows, or mac? Google does more than just phones, and the linux support is usually pretty good, even when it is only "works with wine"

    • by Xtravar ( 725372 )

      Well, Apple's specification is open, so... hopefully?

      • What specification? All I see are a bunch of phones and iPods being sold that can video call each other. I see no specification that anyone else could follow even if they wanted to, even Google.

        • by Anaerin ( 905998 )
          I was under the impression that "FaceTime" was just an implementation of Video over SIP, which has been around for a long time now.
        • by Gerald ( 9696 )

          The calls themselves are STUN and SIP []. FaceTime server registration is another matter apparently.

        • by Xtravar ( 725372 )

          Apple announced it would be an open spec; I have no idea if they released it yet or not. Just going off of what Steve Jobs said during his key note address at WWDC.

          • Since Steve said that FaceTime specification will be open, and we have access to Android source, can't others just take the source, add FaceTime support, and make the modified binary/source available? (sometime if not today)

            If Google wants to add support for something else fine... why not keep support for both?

            I'm assuming that people can actually do useful things like this with the Android source.
            Did I miss something? Have any here modified/built/installed the Android you're running?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mr100percent ( 57156 )

          Apple showed the list of protocols [] in FaceTime during the keynote.

          • H.264 and AAC, its ISO/MPEG video and audio codecs (just like iChat).
          • SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), the open IETF signaling protocol for VoIP used by iChat AV.
          • STUN (Session Traversal Utilities for NAT), an IETF standard for dealing with lots of different kinds of NAT.
          • TURN (Traversal Using Relay NAT), an IETF standard for allowing a client behind NAT to receive incoming requests like a server.
          • ICE (Interactive Connectivity Establishment) an
    • by EXrider ( 756168 )
      Already exists. Check out Tango [].
  • Now, how soon can I get this on an Archos 4.3 []?
  • Awesome, who is going to download and install the upgrade?

    • Re:Open System (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:00PM (#33952958)

      Everyone who was smart enough to get a Nexus One rather than locked down Motorola garbage.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mark72005 ( 1233572 )
        Shouldn't be flamebait - taking an accurate shot at a company like Motorola for being evil is not flameworthy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Drathos ( 1092 )

        My Motorola Droid isn't locked down. I probably would have gotten a Nexus One if it had made it to Verizon, but it didn't. And switching to AT&T or T-Mobile wasn't an option, since Verizon is the only network with halfway decent coverage where I spend most of my time.

        Unless things change drastically, however, my next phone will not be a Motorola.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Everyone who was smart enough to get a Nexus One

        The key word being "was", past tense. As of now, you have to be a registered Android application developer to get one.

  • ...for AT&T/Motorola to delay upgrading my Backflip to 2.1 again.

    Worst purchase ever.

    • My Cliq XT's been no picnic, let me tell you. The update to 2.1 was promised back in the second quarter, and we're still waiting. It would be swell to receive a surprise around Christmas... and there's a very slim chance that might happen, since there was a freak unexpected update pushed out last week. Any sign of life is, at this point, welcome.
    • I bet that soon you get to hear it will stay on 1.5 "for best hardware and software experience" (aka, we can't be bothered to waste labor on figuring out how to get it to work with our POS phone)

      I feel your pain... I got one of those initially, but eventually (as many have done) paid full price for a no one just to not have to use an AT&T/motorola android phone anymore
    • Thank you Google for the fragmentation.

      I've see some posts of users claiming *they* upgraded to 2.2 without waiting for their MFR to lockdown their own.

      Can you brick the Phone if you try to upgrade to 2.2?

      • > Can you brick the Phone if you try to upgrade to 2.2?

        Can you? Sure. Will you? Probably not.

  • by Superken7 ( 893292 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:01PM (#33952980) Journal

    but google wants to compete with google talk video chat with the rest of video providers.

    They better have API support for front cameras and all that new stuff, because thats something that is clearly missing in todays API, while there are already several phones with front-facing cameras in the market.
    Its possible to interact with them by setting the appropiate parameters in the API, but those parameters are not consistent across devices.

    Overall, I think the biggest 3.0 change should be look&feel.

    And I hope they don't just overhaul the UI and write beautiful google apps. I hope they do a complete UI tools overhaul so develpers can effortlessly create beautiful apps. Im not buying any of that fragmentation nonsense crap. The real issue is a lack of a "Interface builer" so we can build beautiful apps with no extra effort.
    Combine a really good "interface builder", "default layout settings" or whatever it might be with Android's customization and we got a clear winner in the UI and UX space.

    Thats my 2c

  • Maemo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bcmm ( 768152 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:03PM (#33953026)
    Maemo already does SIP calls and video chat.
  • Encryption please! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:04PM (#33953048)

    Waiting for manageable full disk encryption, plus capability to encrypt the SD card. Android will never be fully accepted into the enterprise if this doesn't happen. Touchdown is ok, but doesn't really scale well across a huge client base.

  • SIP would be great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jonescb ( 1888008 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:08PM (#33953108)
    Unfortunately, I think SIP support in Google Voice is going to be gutted in the US like how the Skype app works. I'm sure everybody in Europe will be free to make calls over SIP, but all us Americans will be stuck with Wifi only. Even if we could make calls over 3G, it's fairly difficult to find a carrier that will sell you only a data plan at a reasonable rate. For example, Sprint will sell you a 3G plan, but it's $50 a month, which is only $10 a month less than the data+voice bundle.
    • I'd like to know if other users of Google Voice will get SIP access, or only mobile users.

    • There are already full SIP apps in the market, you're saying Google is going to cripple their own Voice app to make carriers happy?

    • It would be interesting to see how good they implement it.

      I've been using SIP since 2007 on my Nokia E61, E51 and now E63 and it has always been that bit finnicky. Very finnicky compared to a proper decent Cisco IP phone anyway
    • by priegog ( 1291820 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @06:08PM (#33953948)

      What I'm really looking forward about this is that the current (to my knowledge) most battery efficient app on the market today (Sipdroid) absolutely DEVOURS my battery, making it impossible for me to leave it running in the background. I'd really love a completely "virtual" phone in the sense that I could use it as a full time SIP phone, but so far, it's either take a charger everywhere I go or just use it for outgoing calls. Hopefully (probably?) Google will make an awesome app that doesn't use a lot of battery, making it usable.

      Google providing a SIP account would be great too. One less thing to configure.

      And yes, I'm in Europe, and yes I pay less than 15 Euro/month for my calls + internet. It's even a prepaid "plan", so I didn't sign anything. /bragging (I DID however have to pay 150 Euro for my free {as in freedom} HTC Magic {yay eBay!}.)

      • by ic3p1ck ( 597610 )

        Get and support CSipSimple! It's much better even in alpha.

        I'm still waiting for a SIP client that does G729, I'm hoping they provide that in CSipSimple soon (even if it costs $$)

    • by Sark666 ( 756464 )

      I agree but from what I've read, isn't 3g bad with latency?

  • OpenVPN without root (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:10PM (#33953146)

    The only thing that I need is to be able to connect to my office OpenVPN without having to root the freakin' phone.

    My N900 does it, but I'm stuck with IPSec on the Desire which fails completely because of damnable NAT from the telco (Vodafone and O2 in my case!)

    Our sales droids would love to have an Android!

  • Catch up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DeionXxX ( 261398 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:16PM (#33953232)

    It's disappointing that they are now playing catchup again. How about some features that the iPhone doesn't have that it would want to copy? Android may have some great devs behind it but they surely don't seem to have anyone that is trying to come up with new and interesting things to put on the Android (like some sort of "idea man"). Everything they seem to do is to make it more and more commoditized and more generic. I'm not saying they shouldn't work on things like Video Chat, but I think they should also try to come up with that one "great new shiny thing" at least once a release. Flash was a complete bomb since it took months and months for it to roll out to everyone and then it was super buggy and slow. Pretty soon, phone manufacturers aren't even going to advertise "This phone is using Android"... because there's no buzz about it anymore. Consumers could hardly care less about building in "me too" features 6-12 months after a competitor's phone has it.

    This is from a long time Android user.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tknd ( 979052 )

      I don't think they're playing catchup. They've already described some of the upcoming features like C2MD (cloud to mobile device) and there are a lot of things in iOS land that don't exist in Android land. For example bluetooth file transfers are enabled in 2.x androids while iOS doesn't have it. Similarly Android still has a lot of design that hasn't been copied by iOS (yet) like fully replaceable components such as keyboards and clients (SMS, email, etc). Multitasking still makes more sense in Android fro

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:25PM (#33953364) Homepage

    includes video chat to compete with the iPhone

    Great! So Google intends to release a completely proprietary chat application that only supports WiFi and only works with people who have the same exact model phone as you? Oh wait, this is Google... Hmmmm.... somehow, I don't think that's what they will do...


    Goddamn it.

    +/- keys are not appropriate in a touch/drag interface. Dials are better.
    • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @03:57AM (#33958058)
      +/- keys are a lot better then pull down menus and dials will get ridiculously annoying with 30 days in a month, 24 hours a day and 60 minutes in an hour.

      +/- is very scalable, if I want the count to go faster I just hold the button down, moving your thumb around in a circle is a very unnatural motion even for someone who's been playing video-games for 25 years. The wheel interface needs to die.

      Further more, if the +/- arent up to the task, I'll just type in the fucking date/time.

      If Google want to improve it, I'd suggest adding a few buttons for common usages or perhaps even a dial-pad (12 key interchangeable between 0-9 and months). On 800x400 screens, this should be easily doable.
  • This irks me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stimpleton ( 732392 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @06:14PM (#33954030)
    I have a Samsung Galaxy S (Epic, Fascinate in some markets) which it a top of the range phone. It has broken GPS (like most every other Galaxy S owner) and no official Samsung Android Froyo 2.2 update is forthcoming, and 3.0 is leaking?

    I feel aggrieved to be honest. I suspect this isnt a software problem and it may be hardware now.

    I was visiting another town the other day, and collegues from another org, were giving me gip as they all had IPhones and merrily pointed out locations, as mine couldnt get a lock at all. "Well, you have your Live Wallpaper. I guess thats something."

    If you like a bit of corporate show boating I would advise against a Samsung Galaxy S.
  • A lot of details about _Gingerbread_ are beginning to leak. One of the things that is not confirmed, about which there has not even been a substantive leak, is that it will be version 3.0. A lot of people are assuming that, but it hasn't been confirmed and some people think that Gingerbread will actually be 2.5 and Honeycomb will be 3.0.
  • I hope they're including a defragmenter in 3.0... ;)

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard