Last week, Darren Water from the BBC interviewed Google (and Android’s) Andy Rubin about the new mobile platform and we got an awesome video overview of some of the capabilities. A quick look at QUAKE on this Android enabled phone shows how the platform could take mobile gaming to the next level…
Find the transcripted version of the interview below the video.
Darren Water: Andy Rubin, you’re director of mobile platforms here at Google and the creator of Android and you’re going to give me a demonstration of Android powering a handset…
Andy Rubin: Sure. So what we’re demonstrating here is our software stack Android running on top of a reference design that one of our partners built for us. This particular device is a 3G device running on a 3G network so it can do things like simultaneous voice and data. It’s running at about, a little over 300 megahurtz to give you a idea of the performance and we also have a touch screen interface.
So I’ll go ahead and pull up kind of our all applications doc. We have things like web browsers, contacts, calenders, phone dialers, music players, google maps, youtube and applications like that here.
Lets start out with the web browser. We go and it defaults to google’s homepage. I’ll bring up my bookmarks menu here and why don’t we go visit your website there. So we click on that and over the 3G network we are loading the BBC news site. And there we are.
And even while it’s still loading we can interact with it, we can pan around… if there is an area that we are interested in we can long press here and pull up the zoom and zoom in on the area. So you see its pretty responsive, this particular browser is the web kit browser with a lot of modifications that we enabled for easy web browsing on small, constrained user interfaces.
Darren Water: Now this phone is touchscreen, but that’s not to say that all Android powered phones will be touch screen…
Andy Rubin: Correct. In fact, this particular phone we also have, since this is a reference design we’ve also included a track ball here, so as you can see I can still move around the webpage without touching the screen. I get selection rectangles and the software is intelligently highlighting the links on the page.
So again, the Android platform is generic enough where it doesn’t require a touch screen.
Darren Water: And 300 megahurtz that isn’t the top end, by any means is it, for a mobile phone?
Andy Rubin: No, I don’t know the exact stats, I think the iPhone is somewhere near 600 megahurtz. Your average feature phone today is about 200 megahurtz so this is kind of right in the middle. And again, I’m very pleased with the performance of the software stack on this processor.
So some other things that are kind of interesting. This particular phone also has a 3D graphics chip in it. This phone is based on the Qualcomm MSN-7200 processor so it has a pretty cool 3D graphics core.
What we’re loading up now is the game of Quake. Which is, we’re operating this it’s telling me at about 30 frames a second in real time 3D. So we get kind of desktop style performance on this particular platform.
So lets go back to the home screen here. Let’s do another, lets look at our first google application – let’s look at street view. So street view is kind of a companion product for google maps. It gives us imagery, panaramic imagery for any location on the map that is covered. And I can just kind of pan around here, I can find an interesting thing, like here we are in San Francisco. And you’ll see that picture crisp up after it cached in from the network. So I can zoom in here and I can get an idea of what this guy is doing with his truck there.
Darren Water: Now street view, you can get that on your desktop, but you can’t really get it on your mobile phone can you? You can just get satellites and maps, a little…
Andy Rubin: Correct this is the first time that street view has been made available on a mobile platform.
Darren Water: Now what is Android doing to allow us to do that which other platforms perhaps can’t?
Andy Rubin: Well I think there’s a couple things. I think that there are some user interface considerations. Certainly Street View was first envisioned as an internet application and theres a lot of technology in Android that brings that Internet style capability onto the mobile platform.