Google Android Team Comes Clean on Omitted Google Talk, Bluetooth APIs

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-08-26 Print this article Print

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Intents are designed to send GTalkService messages within an Android device. When Intents come from other devices, the Intent subsystem cannot determine what application sent the Intent.

Cannings also said an Android application using GTalkService would be reachable from all of the user's Google Talk friends, and a flaw in that application could pose an inviting target to a malicious "friend" or automated malware.

In the end, the Android team vowed to scrap GTalkService to avoid the risk and compatibility issues with a more secure version of the feature in the future. Google plans to build a new system that more closely hews to Android.

Android Engineer Nick Pelly meanwhile had a different story for why the Bluetooth API was shelved.

In short, Pelly said the Android team removed the API from the 1.0 release because it ran out of time:

"The Android Bluetooth API was pretty far along but needs some cleanup 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."
Read some examples of the Bluetooth issues in this blog post here.

The other option was for the Android team to ship a broken API that the team knew was going to change a lot. You didn't think that was going to happen did you?

Bluetooth is a big deal. I had one reader tell me in a comment here that "they shouldn't even bother to release it [Android 1.0] if it does not have a useable Bluetooth API."

Pelly seems to agree:

"I would love nothing more than to start seeing some neat third-party applications and games over Bluetooth. In my opinion, Bluetooth is completely underutilized on most mobile platforms and I'm excited to someday see what the developer community can do with Android."

I agree. A next-generation mobile operating system with no Bluetooth support? Unthinkable. Accordingly, Google said Android 1.0 and the first devices will support Bluetooth headsets, although Pelly admitted "we don't know exactly when that will be."



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