Juan Gonzales, Darren Etheridge, and Niclas Anderberg, Texas Instruments
EETimes (9/29/2011 9:09 AM EDT)
Here are techniques for exploiting Android's strengths and managing its limitations, especially in hard real-time, mission-critical systems.
The details surrounding the meteroic rise of Android in the smartphone market are well documented. However, another revolution is taking place in other applications where Android provides distinct advantages over a "standard" Linux distribution. Android provides a tightly coupled environment for application development where the frameworks and middleware components are selected by Google. Traditional Linux distributions are typically "mix and match" (for example, some people prefer X11/KDE rather than Qt/embedded for graphics development), which burdens the software designer with the need to invest time in understanding the very complex options and make difficult choices that typically have an impact through the product's lifecycle.
For these and other reasons, many refer to Android as "Linux made easy." Today, even Windows Compact Embedded (WinCE) developers who once shied away from Linux due to its complexity are taking a second look at well-integrated Android solutions. Add into the mix a platform licensing approach free from "copy-left" burdens, also known as a method for making a program free, along with a cost you cannot beat (free), and you have Android's recipe for success.
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