Androids review: A fascinating history behind the OS you know and love


Androids Book Review HeroSupply: Andrew Myrick/ Android Central

Previous this month, Android engineer Chet Haase launched Androids: The Crew That Constructed the Android Running Device. It begins with the origins of the Android crew — earlier than and after Google bought it in 2005 — as much as and simply previous the release of Android 1.0 in 2008. It is a fascinating tale, and now not only for hardcore engineers or programmers. Haase explains extra about the e-book on this Medium put up.

Maximum of the e-book dives into the nitty-gritty main points of who made Android occur, as instructed via interviews with the engineers. From the launcher to the design to the most well liked Google apps, each and every characteristic you take without any consideration in an Android phone used to be generally treated by means of one or two folks, crunching seven days every week to complete in time.

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You’ll be able to most probably be shocked to be informed simply how remoted Android’s crew and start-up tradition used to be from Google — a minimum of till Android accomplished international luck. You additionally get an in-depth have a look at the plans and concepts behind telephones like the HTC G1, Motorola Droid, and Nexus One.

The AC crew is hyped to check this e-book and proportion our ideas as a result of all of us have other views on the e-book’s revelations and insights into early Android. So we extremely suggest you purchase Haase’s e-book and dig in for yourselves as a result of we do not wish to give all the juiciest tidbits away. Nonetheless, we could not assist however proportion a few of our collective ideas on Androids and why it is price the learn.

Behind the scenes


Androids Book Cover

Androids: The Crew That Constructed the Android Running Device

Learn the not likely trail to Android’s luck

Chet Haase’s self-published origins and history of early Android running techniques is a must-read for lovers of Android gadgets. Haase interviewed just about everybody at Android all through that length, sharing their ideas on what went proper and what used to be undeniable good fortune. He even controlled to invite Apple what it considered Android at the time, peppered with all the near-disasters Android navigated earlier than and after release.

Haase: the narrator for Android’s history

Jerry Hildenbrand, Senior Editor

Chet Haase

Supply: Chet HaaseWriter Chet Haase

Chet Haase is a huge large nerd. He is extraordinarily personable, very approachable, and can also be extremely humorous, which is why he is a very good presenter for Google. However he is additionally a large previous nerd who writes a few of the stuff that makes Android such a success.

He is additionally the best writer for this e-book. The similar qualities that make Haase a super presenter change into the similar issues that make him a very good writer. On no account is Androids some dry tome about phone instrument for nerds.

Haase’s approachable e-book has sufficient main points to fulfill Android superfans, however sufficient context to lead an off-the-cuff reader.

The Androids e-book, like Haase, is personable. It is approachable. Many AC writers and readers had been enthusiastic about Android and Google lengthy sufficient to have watched the e-book’s occasions play out in real-time. We know the issues Google has instructed us, the issues that experience leaked out, and the issues nonetheless on the roadmap 12 years later. Even for the ones readers, it’s going to have various new revelations.

Whilst that is nonetheless a super e-book if you’re that more or less superfan, additionally it is nice for a extra informal consumer. If you use Android and are enthusiastic about its previous, you’ll in finding this e-book stress-free as a result of it isn’t some techie magazine for nerds. Similar to its writer, Androids: The Crew That Constructed the Android Running Device is one thing virtually all people can relate to.

The Android tale (now not the Google tale)

Michael Hicks, Senior Editor

Google's Mountain View campus

Supply: Android Central

Haase’s fascinating historic background of Android presentations how a lot has modified in the smartphone business. At the time, phone specifications catered totally to carriers’ calls for, Blackberries dominated the Earth, and nobody had self assurance that Android can be the rest greater than “vaporware” in comparison to the new iPhone. It will be illuminating for the much less an expert (like me) and nostalgic for veterans like my colleague Jerry.

Such a lot has modified, however Google’s dating with Android additionally presentations how little has modified. Google had the foresight to grab Android up when the start-up used to be pitching its OS to quite a lot of corporations and gave the crew the assets to rent the folks it wanted. However in step with Haase, maximum Google crew participants did not appear to suppose Android would quantity to the rest. Android engineers most commonly needed to code apps like Gmail and Maps by means of themselves as a result of the groups behind the ones products and services did not wish to become involved.

What made Android a luck? I would possibly not “destroy” the finishing to this true tale, however suffice to mention that Android’s impressed coding may handiest move up to now. It used to be advertising and marketing from different corporations invested in Android’s open-sourced luck that gave it the clout essential to compete with iOS.

Nexus One phone

Supply: Phil Nickinson / Android Central

I additionally discovered it attention-grabbing to examine which telephones Android engineers invested the maximum effort into and the way it used to be a much less well-liked phone that ended up paving the technique to Android’s long term.

How most probably used to be it that Android may have been “killed by means of Google?” The percentages had been upper than you may suppose.

Haase did not make this connection, however his e-book made me call to mind the dying of Stadia Video games, along side all the different “Killed by means of Google” tasks. Whilst Google unleashed the Android team of workers to make a fantastic running device, it did not dedicate another corporate assets or assist to it till Android accomplished luck by itself. Simplest then did Android turn into extra integral to Google.

In different phrases, Android’s luck used to be some distance from inevitable. Haase’s e-book is filled with irritating anecdotes about burning servers and by accident bricked telephones, along side the more or less office crunch you generally see at a online game corporate. Studying about Android’s behind-the-scenes tales — and how maximum Android engineers suppose good fortune and timing needed to do with its luck — will make someone with a super Android phone thankful to have one.

An inspiring, not likely luck tale

Jeramy Johnson, Editor

Android statues

Supply: Alex Dobie / Android Central

One in all the issues that truly caught with me all over this e-book used to be how interconnected the (preliminary) crew used to be who constructed Android and introduced it to lifestyles. It used to be each fascinating and extraordinarily cool to be informed how such a lot of of the preliminary key avid gamers adopted every different round from activity to activity, employer to employer. They appeared surely desirous about proceeding to paintings in combination.

For context, maximum of Android’s crew used to be employed from out of doors Google (which used to be desirous about seek engine advertisements and internet content material at the time). Android remained a complete secret, so nobody enthusiastic about phone tech had explanation why to use for a role at Google then. Nonetheless, the small, but decided start-up crew reached out to colleagues who labored with them on previous failed phone-related tasks at Threat, BeOS, PalmSource, and even Microsoft. This time, they were given it proper.

Android evolved at warp velocity, with engineers flying by means of the seat in their pants. And it is wonderful to learn all about it.

On one stage, it is sensible. It is simply more straightforward to paintings with folks you’re already at ease and acquainted with, however additionally it is comprehensible as a result of those self same folks had been the ones who knew do the issues that had to get accomplished. For the maximum phase, it gave the impression of they typically were given along side every different, or a minimum of, they revered every different’s abilities and skills. Stepping again a bit of, I believe like that is how Android Central and our sister websites paintings and get alongside, so it used to be great to peer some parallel there between our crew and the unique Android crew.

Some other factor that fascinated me about Android’s beginning tale used to be simply how “by means of the seat in their pants” all of it felt. The platform used to be evolved at warp velocity and on the fly, and iterations had been consistent and ongoing. All of it sounded as though they had been construction the send whilst crusing (sorry, I am dangerous at metaphors), which is simply wild to me. All of it labored out in the finish, however nobody concerned had any promises.

I do not know that a lot about instrument or product construction, and I am positive that the phenomena I described don’t seem to be unusual in the ones fields. However studying about the way it all got here in combination truly gave me a greater figuring out of, and appreciation for, the running device that all of us know and love — Android.

The elephant in the room

Michael Hicks

The Essential Phone

Supply: Android CentralAndy Rubin’s Very important phone

I did not know who Andy Rubin used to be till my colleagues warned me earlier than beginning the e-book. A co-founder of Android, Andy (as he is referred to in the e-book), comes up ceaselessly as a decision-maker. When the crew could not choose from the usage of Java or C++, he made the name, and he would push for important, last-minute options for every new Android iteration. In a single small bankruptcy, he constructed a real robotic in the Android administrative center. Lovely benign stuff.

You would not know from the e-book that former Google CEO Larry Web page compelled Rubin to surrender in 2014 after Google discovered of credible sexual misconduct allegations that he coerced an Android crew member into giving him oral intercourse, adopted later by means of new allegations that he ran a intercourse ring. In spite of all that, he nonetheless won a $90 million golden parachute, which induced Google workers to stroll out when all of it got here to gentle.

Andy Rubin comes throughout much less as Android’s father and extra as its government figurehead, tough effects from an insanely gifted crew.

I am not pronouncing Haase did the rest improper by means of fending off this subject or focusing a lot of the e-book on the “father” of Android. The e-book’s timeline most commonly precedes his notorious, alleged movements, and they did not issue into Android 1.0’s luck or failure. In fact, the e-book makes him glance a bit of like a figurehead, tough effects however now not essentially contributing any particular characteristic to Android. A lot more credit score for the coding and luck of Android is attributed to different crew participants like Brian Swetland, Dianne Hackborn, Hiroshi Lockheimer, and Ficus Kirkpatrick.

However, smartly, I would possibly not deny that Rubin’s presence solid a shadow (for me) over a few of the previous chapters desirous about Android’s formation. Androids makes you root for the crew as a host of scrappy underdogs combating in opposition to the odds to prevail. It is simply exhausting to root for Rubin. Nonetheless, this is not sufficient to break an altogether superb e-book.

What did you call to mind Androids?

Androids Book Review Hero

Supply: Andrew Myrick/ Android Central

As soon as you get your fingers on Androids: The Crew That Constructed the Android Running Device, we might love to listen to what you considered it. What used to be your favourite tale behind its construction? Did you in finding it to be too technical or now not technical sufficient? And for the Android veterans available in the market, which of the previous Android telephones first satisfied you to offer the OS a take a look at?

Allow us to know your ideas in the feedback!

Behind the scenes


Androids Book Cover

Androids: The Crew That Constructed the Android Running Device

Learn the not likely trail to Android’s luck

Chet Haase’s self-published account on the origins and history of early Android running techniques is a must-read for lovers of Android gadgets. Haase interviewed just about everybody at Android all through that length, getting their ideas on what went proper and what used to be simply good fortune. He even were given an inside of viewpoint on what Apple considered Android at the time, plus all the near-disasters Android navigated earlier than and after release.

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