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Embedded software giant launches Android service

Sep 9, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Telecom software vendor Enea has launched an Enea Android Competence Center in Lund, Sweden to provide professional software development services for Android. Meanwhile, an eWEEK opinion piece argues that although Android is underestimated by many in the mobile industry, the open source mobile platform could emerge as the smartphone winner.

The Enea Android Competence Center will offer professional services, as well as training programs on developing with Android for mobile phones, netbooks, and mobile internet devices (MIDs), says the company.

The new Android service will "focus on the platform and framework level of Android," says Enea, offering help with "end-to-end handset software design from the baseband to application layer, including integration and testing." Other areas covered are said to include internals and integration, file systems, device drivers, operator needs, security and tool development, as well as integration with systems running Linux and its own OSE real-time operating system (RTOS).


HTC's Android-based
Tattoo

(Click for details)

The modular training curriculum offered by the Enea Android Competence Center will target handset, MID, and platform engineers who are migrating to Android, says the company. Some courses will focus first on embedded Linux basics, while others assume Linux knowledge and start with Android specifics. Courses are said to range from simple overviews to five-day Android seminars.

Enea's growing services business

Enea is known in the embedded Linux world for its telecom-oriented Enea Accelerator Platform, which is designed for IP-based services built on carrier-grade infrastructure. The soup-to-nuts Accelerator integrates a variety of telecom-oriented software, and is built on MontaVista or Wind River Linux kernel distributions.

The major component of Accelerator is Enea's high-availability Element middleware, designed for heterogeneous telecom environments that mix Linux with Enea's OSE and OSEck RTOSes. According to Enea, OSE and OSEck powered 400 million mobile phones last year.

The new Android service expands upon the Enea Linux Competence Center (ELCC), which was launched in late 2007 as an embedded Linux development group that also offers development and training services targeted primarily at the telecom industry. Since then, the company has expanded its professional service surrounding Linux, and in May of this year it launched its Enea Embedded Linux Project Framework (ELPF), which was said to offer "core components, tools, and services common to virtually all embedded Linux projects in a single, one-stop package."

Stated Gregory Singh, SVP Global Services at Enea, "Android is clearly a disruptive technology in the mobile industry, and in many cases the mobile value chain is struggling to assimilate, integrate and deliver Android platforms. Enea has a proven track record of successfully delivering both Android-based software development projects and education to jump-start successful deployments, so it is only natural that we formalize our efforts with a competence center."

Can Android really beat the iPhone?

Enea's new Android service is one more sign that the Google-sponsored platform is being taken seriously by major embedded Linux powers. MontaVista and Wind River, among others, have both vowed to support the platform.


HTC's Hero Android phone
(Click for details)

Yet, as Dan Reisinger points out in his eWEEK analysis, "Google Android Gaining as Mobile Phone Market Sleeper,"Android often doesn't get much respect in discussions of the smartphone wars in the mainstream mobile media and analyst communities. That could be a mistake, writes Reisinger, as the open source mobile operating system could very well prove to be troublesome competition for Apple, Research in Motion (RIM), Microsoft, Nokia, and other market leaders.

While Reisinger allows that Android phones aren't likely to outshine the iPhone anytime soon, and that it is even more unlikely that a single Android model would ever outsell the iPhone, all signs point upward for the Linux-based platform, he writes. A number of indicators for Android's future success are offered in the eWEEK story, though the one listed most often by mainstream analysts isn't mentioned: Android's backing by technology industry giant Google.

Signs of success listed by Reisinger include:

  • Business model — By partnering with several handset vendors, each of which can work with different carriers, Google offers a greater chance for any given smartphone to succeed. And Google doesn't have to struggle with selling devices into a highly competitive market.
  • Open source platform — Since Android is open source, vendors and carriers can tweak the operating system to make it unique to their vision, making it more desirable than a fixed OS.
  • Growing list of apps — While Reisinger counts 3,000 apps available in the Android Market, paling in comparison to Apple's App Store, with its 65,000 iPhone titles, it's more than RIM offers for its BlackBerry phones, he notes. In addition, most major categories are already covered with quality Android apps, he argues. Meanwhile, he adds that it's fairly easy to port apps over from the iPhone.
  • Quality — The early Android phones "have the looks, design and software to make them a compelling product for end users," writes Reisinger.

Availability

More information on the Enea Android Competence Center may be found here.

Don Reisinger's eWEEK Android analysis may be found here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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