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Google shows off Android goodies

May 29, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Search giant Google yesterday demonstrated gesture- and touchscreen-based password entry on a prototype Linux Android phone, according to reports. Part of a Google developer conference, the demonstration also reportedly showed off a “compass” feature that adjusts Google Maps' Street View according… to the user's orientation.

The demonstrations were given by Steve Horowitz, Google's engineering director for Android, at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, according to an eWEEK report by Darryl Taft. In the demo of the phone's touchscreen, which is an optional feature on Android, Horowitz was reported to have made a swiping gesture to light up dots on the screen in the form of a “G,” thereby unlocking the phone. According to Taft, Horowitz said that users could set up whatever password-unlocking gesture they wanted.

In a separate demo, Horowitz showed off Android's integration with the Google Street View feature of Google Maps and Google Earth. With the new compass feature, the 360-degree panoramic street-level view reportedly shifted to follow the direction of the user as the phone was turned left or right.

Other demonstrated features included text zooming, a desktop-like application launcher, and a notification system for calendar events, missed calls, or the arrival of email. Google even showed off an Android version of Pac-Man.

In the story, Taft interviews Google execs including Andy Rubin, Android tech lead at Google, who says that the OHA (Open Handset Alliance) sponsored technology is still on schedule to ship in new phones in the second half of this year. At that time, Android source code is expected to become available under an open source license, Rubin said, in response to a question about recent criticism of Android's licensing model. The criticism may have arisen from U.S. phone giant Verizon's adoption of LiMO, arguably a more open competitor to Android in the fast-evolving Linux mobile phone platform space.

The complete eWeek story is available, here.

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