opinion


Google pulls Bluetooth API support from Android

The development team behind Android has been forced to pull support for Bluetooth and Google Talk as it struggles to make the platform commercially available before year end.

With the release of Android platform 1.0 on the horizon, Google and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) have warned that some APIs will not make it into the forthcoming Software Development Kit (SDK).

The first of these is Bluetooth. While the 1.0 version of Android and the first devices to ship with the platform will include support for Bluetooth headsets and such, Google has removed an API that would expose Bluetooth to developers. This puts a damper on potential third party developments for Bluetooth-based peer to peer or gaming features for example.

Nick Pelly, one of the Android engineers responsible for Bluetooth, said: “The reason is that we plain ran out of time. The Android Bluetooth API was pretty far along, but needs some clean-up before we can commit to it for the SDK. Keep in mind that putting it in the 1.0 SDK would have locked us into that API for years to come.” Google said it intends to fully support Bluetooth in the future.

The other missing API was intended for the GTalkService, which would provide developers an interface to the Google Talk messaging application. Such uses might include online mobile games that support messaging. However, a number of security issues caused this API to be removed as well, “Instead of exposing users to risk and breaking compatibility with a future, more secure version of the feature.”

In fact this feature appears so broken, Google will have to come up with a new API anyway. “One of our top priorities after the first devices ship is to develop a device-to-device (and possibly device-to-server) RPC mechanism that is fast, reliable, and protective of developers and users alike,” developer Dan Morrill said.

“The GTalkService was always a Google “value-added” service anyway, it was never guaranteed that it would be present on every Android device.As a result this change actually allows us the potential to build a new system that is part of the core of a future version of Android,” said Morrill.




One comment

  1. CAT 06/09/2008 @ 4:43 pm

    Well, GTalk probably never will make it to Android phones at all, taking the resistance of operators like T-Mobile who also try to force that or VoIP out of iPhone.

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