Apps Are Created Equal

By Jeff Cogswell  |  Posted 2008-10-03 Print this article Print


Apps are created equal: Applica??ítions can be extended, and even have parts replaced by other apps and features replaced by new apps. This is a godsend for me, noting my earlier comment about not liking the Phone app on my phone.

Apps can easily embed the Web: This is an important feature in that new applications can embed Web features right into them. In other words, the designers of Android are recognizing the importance of connectivity in today's apps. We're talking about applications that can manipulate HTML and DOMs. But I want to be clear about something here: This feature is likely to be overlooked in early articles about Android. The reason is a lot of people probably don't recognize the full potential here. As such, I'll be covering this in more detail in my next article.

Incidentally, I should probably clarify something here: I said "Kudos to Google," but in fact, Google isn't the only company involved in the development of Android. Android is being developed under the Open Handset Alliance, which is made up of about 30 separate companies.

Next I'll explore some of the built-in features. But remember: The features you're going to see are the default applications that accompany Android. Android is an operating system, and as such, developers can write new applications that enhance and even replace existing applica??ítions. This gets to the very heart of the whole development mindset with Android, which Google co-founder Sergey Brin put so well: "The best applications aren't here yet. That's because they're going to be written by you."

As such, giving an overview of Android is kind of like giving an overview of Windows. You could demonstrate WordPad as an "exam??íple" of Windows, but doing so would be ignoring the great other applications you can use that aren't actually part of Windows itself, such as Microsoft Word.

Senior Editor Jeff Cogswell can be reached at




Jeff Cogswell is the author of Designing Highly Useable Software ( among other books and is the owner/operator of CogsMedia Training and Consulting.Currently Jeff is a senior editor with Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to joining Ziff, he spent about 15 years as a software engineer, working on Windows and Unix systems, mastering C++, PHP, and ASP.NET development. He has written over a dozen books.

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