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N900 vs. Android

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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 08.Feb.2011 00:45    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

You already stated that the Maemo and the N900 is perfect for you.

Well, it is, but it doesn't mean that I will blindly stick to it if something better comes out. I am not a slave of Maemo, it just seems to be the best choice for me at the moment. But if I ever find something better, I really won't have problems with switching to it, and even launching a site for it.

I asked you the question because I may be not aware of some features that make you like Android so much, as you apparently do. I only have the Xperia X10 and I didn't even have time to play with it too much, so I am surely NOT an expert when it comes to Android. Hence my question. It wasn't a joke, it was a serious question about OS features that may exist (and be better than on Maemo) and that I am not aware of.

Quote:

The problem is NOKIA. For a year now I say that NOKIA should get there act together. But it is still the same mess.

Well, that's right. With this statement I can fully agree. And I wrote about it many times, too. How they announced switching to MeeGo (and dumping Maemo) way too early, keeping people waiting for months, was the best example. Why instead of that they didn't release one or two more Maemo 5 based phones and only announced MeeGo a month or two before they really have it ready is completely beyond my imagination.

Or how as huge company as Nokia wasn't able to hire a couple of Linux developers to port the fully functional Ovi Maps to Maemo 5, or port their voice control/dialling function from Symbian to Maemo. Such trivial and cheap things that would have saved them the opinion of releasing an UNFINISHED product and - as always - not being able to properly support their phones.
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 08.Feb.2011 15:43    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

New application "Alien Dalvik" allows Android apps to run on Meego / N900:

http://www.myriadgroup.com/Media-Centre/News/Myriad-Announces-Alien%20 Dalvik-Enables-Android-Apps-to-Run-on-Non-Android-Phones.aspx

Quote:

Myriad Group AG (SIX: MYRN), a global leader in mobile technology having shipped over 3.7 billion software applications on more than 2.2 billion phones, today announced the launch of Myriad Alien Dalvik, enabling Android apps to run on non-Android platforms.
...
From a user perspective, Alien Dalvik is completely transparent. Alien Dalvik applications appear as native and can be seamlessly installed on device without user disruption.
...
Myriad Alien Dalvik will be commercially available later this year on the MeeGo platform. Other platform support will be announced in the coming months. Alien Dalvik will be demonstrated for the first time on the Nokia N900 at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 14th-17th


Here's a video showing it running on the N900:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXWEyKjwk2g

I'd say this levels the playing field a bit.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 08.Feb.2011 16:42    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Now, THAT'S the kind of news I was waiting for!

Fantastic Maemo OS + the huge choice of Android apps = perfect solution.

And the video really shows that performance is just fantastic, and that's on the 1,5 year old N900. The apps really work like fully native software. Wow! And I can only imagine how even better the performance gets if one overclocks the N900 a little bit, e.g. to 800-900 MHz.

I must say that I just can't wait for it!

And also for MeeGo it'll be a great help as users will not have to wait for MeeGo software to start coming out. Right from the start they'll be able to choose existing Android apps!

Simple question: WHO of us needs Android or WP7 now, and what for?
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 08.Feb.2011 17:06    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Now this sounds great!
Could make the N900 even better!


Let's just hope it will also be AVAILABLE on the N900 and not only DEMONSTRATED on it.
We've seen Flash 10 demonstrated on N900, too...
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 09.Feb.2011 00:44    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I am wondering how the Myriad Alien Dalvik announcement relates to the N9 allegedly being Intel based. Myriad says that with Alien Dalvik Android applications will run directly and "natively" on MeeGo and the only required thing is to repackage the Android APK packages with no other changes needed, but if the N9 is Intel based then it is no longer true as all Android apps would have to be recompiled for the Intel processor first (Android phones are ARM based).

I guess that as serious company as Myriad must know what processor will be inside the upcoming Nokia MeeGo phone, so if they say that apps will run unchanged then it somehow challenges the information about the N9 being Intel CPU based...

Or am I missing something here?
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 09.Feb.2011 04:10    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

if the N9 is Intel based then it is no longer true as all Android apps would have to be recompiled for the Intel processor first (Android phones are ARM based)


Yes and no...

Remember that Android really runs on Dalvik which is a VM so Alien Dalvik is most likely a port of Dalvik - also a VM.

Similar to Java, there would only need to be an Intel compilation of the Alien Dalvik software. The Android apps themselves should run within the confines of the VM regardless of the instruction set the VM itself is written for.

That being said, I really hope we see this software for the N900. I just hope we don't see a similar fiasco that we did with the Instinctive music player where the devs actively worked with the Maemo community to produce the product for the N900 only to be told outright by Nokia to abandon the platform.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 09.Feb.2011 04:36    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

You are absolutely right, Dan. What I was thinking about! It obviously is simply a port of Dalvik VM. So yes, everything will work...

I too hope that the N900 version will come out. It would give the N900 a new life... Let's hope that Nokia will not disturb.
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 09.Feb.2011 19:57    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Michal Jerz wrote:
but if the N9 is Intel based then it is no longer true as all Android apps would have to be recompiled for the Intel processor first (Android phones are ARM based).



Or am I missing something here?


The fact that the final compile happens on the machine itself, optimized for actual CPU build in. This is why it is called "Just in time compile (JIT)". However there is still two problems:

1) The darvic virtual machine is optimized for a CPU with 16 registers. Intel CPUs usually have less that. Code will still work but might not be as performant or the JIT will have more work creating the best possible code.

2) Some Apps are not pure Java but use C/C++ as well. they will not work at all.


Last edited by krischik on Thursday, 10.Feb.2011 09:48; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 09.Feb.2011 22:08    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

The other issue I have not noticed anyone address concerns navigation as Google specifies that all Android devices have 'Home/Menu', 'Back' and 'Search' keys which neither Maemo/MeeGo nor current Symbian ^3 devices support.....
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PostPosted: Thursday, 10.Feb.2011 01:02    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Some Apps are not pure Java but use C/C++ as well. they will not work at all.

That's probably why they say that "most" apps will work.

Quote:

The other issue I have not noticed anyone address concerns navigation as Google specifies that all Android devices have 'Home/Menu', 'Back' and 'Search' keys which neither Maemo/MeeGo nor current Symbian ^3 devices support.....

Well, NITdroid remaps the Camera button and Lock slider for that, so I guess it'll look somehow similar on the Alien Dalvik. Or maybe it'll use some unique touch screen gestures for it, like e.g. swipe over the left edge of the screen for Home, the right for Back, etc. There are many possibilities...
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PostPosted: Thursday, 10.Feb.2011 14:15    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Michal Jerz wrote:
I asked you the question because I may be not aware of some features that make you like Android so much, as you apparently do.


The features I like about my Nexus-One have to do as much with Hardware, Software and Infrastructure.

For example Multi-Touch is very nice. Especially pinch-to-zoom is something I use often. Your X10 is only getting that with the next update.

Having a full featured Browser is also very nice. But I understand that MeGoo has that as well. But I got used to the larger screen which I now consider just a little small. So the next phone will be 10…12 cm across. The N900 is only 9cm.

Merging Addresses from various sources into one is a nice feature for the Address-book. I first saw that on WebOS I immediately thought: “Want that”. So I am pretty happy that the Google address book can do that as well.

Which brings us to the Google Cloud Services. Setting the question if you want to trust Google with your address book asid and while not a nice as Mobile Me it does have it's merits.

Push Mail is nicer then I tough. I also like the News Widget. Address book we already had. Pedestrian GPS navigation is very helpful as well. And then there is the MarketPlace which sells more apps a day then the Symbian shops sell in a month.

Is NOKIA still asking $50 from there developers?

And software development is of course the real bonus. Development experience is so inedible smooth on Android. For me as a developer this is the one killer feature.

And from a user perspective it is very nice that I am informed about the application updates. No need for time consuming checks if any of the installed apps had an update.
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PostPosted: Thursday, 10.Feb.2011 18:15    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

krischik wrote:
Is NOKIA still asking $50 from there developers?


SDKs are free. IDEs are free.

Ovi Publisher registration for an individual costs $1.

Having Nokia publish your app on Ovi Store doesn't cost you anything.
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PostPosted: Thursday, 10.Feb.2011 18:37    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

N/A wrote:
Ovi Publisher registration for an individual costs $1.


Yes, that is the one which has cost $50 last I looked. if it is now one dollar I have a look again.

Martin
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PostPosted: Thursday, 10.Feb.2011 22:56    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

For example Multi-Touch is very nice. Especially pinch-to-zoom is something I use often. Your X10 is only getting that with the next update.

Well, Sony Ericsson has always been terribly slow with support and updates, also on the UIQ platform, so no surprise here with the X10. But wasn't it about Android vs. the N900, and not about Android vs. Android? Cool

The N900 obviously does not have multitouch as it has a resistive screen. It's been nearly 2 years since its announcement, so it actually isn't surprising. However, on the N900 lack of pinch-to-zoom actually isn't a serious problem as swirl-to-zoom substitutes for it quite nicely.

Quote:

Having a full featured Browser is also very nice. But I understand that MeGoo has that as well.

"As well" actually isn't the right word. N900's web browser is considerably better and faster than the one on the X10, so I guess MeeGo's browser isn't any worse.

Quote:

But I got used to the larger screen which I now consider just a little small. So the next phone will be 10…12 cm across. The N900 is only 9cm.

Indeed, X10's 4" wide (16:9) FWVGA screen is definitely much better than N900's 3.5" WVGA one. No question about it. Fortunately, rumour has it that the upcoming (?) MeeGo phone is going to have a 4" or larger capacitive multitouch display, i.e. either the same or larger as on the Nokia E7.

Quote:

then there is the MarketPlace which sells more apps a day then the Symbian shops sell in a month.

I don't think it is true anymore considering Ovi Store's recent popularity boom.

Quote:

Is NOKIA still asking $50 from there developers?

As N/A explained, it's not.

Quote:

And software development is of course the real bonus. Development experience is so inedible smooth on Android. For me as a developer this is the one killer feature.

With the Dalvik VM port soon to be available on MeeGo and possibly Maemo (it will be demoed on the N900, so it exists, it's just not clear if they'll make it commercially available for Maemo) this problem is actually no longer relevant.

Quote:

And from a user perspective it is very nice that I am informed about the application updates.

And so am I on the N900. And it does not take launching the store app for it. On the N900 you're notified about updates with an icon in the status bar.

Everything else, maybe except for the Google services, is more or less available on Maemo (and so it'll also be on MeeGo), too.
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PostPosted: Friday, 11.Feb.2011 11:09    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

This all becomes somewhat academic - next stop Windows Phone. Won't see it on the N900 though.
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