Google trims Android’s wings

Google has admitted that it has dropped Bluetooth and Google instant messaging application programming interfaces (API) from the first version of the Android mobile phone operating system (OS) toolset for developers.

The software firm "ran out of time" to finalise the Bluetooth API and has pushed back its inclusion in the upcoming Android v1.0 software development kit (SDK) launch, along with an API for its GTalk service, according to Google's Android Developers Blog.

The lack of a Bluetooth API will prevent software developers creating applications that use the wireless connection method with the Android OS. But Google said that handsets running the OS would still work with other Bluetooth devices, like hands free headsets for example.

Nick Pelly, an Android Bluetooth API engineer, wrote in the blog: "The Android Bluetooth API was pretty far along, but needs [a] clean-up before we can commit to it for the SDK."

The GTalk service has been designed to allow users to send instant messages between friends using the PC-based Google Talk application or Android-based handsets.

But Google said GTalk needed further development to prevent security loopholes allowing access to users' personal details or potentially enabling another Google Talk user to take control of a friend's handset.

"Although we would have loved to ship this service, in the end, the Android team decided to pull the API instead of exposing users to risk and breaking compatibility with a future, more secure version of the feature," said Dan Morrill, developer advocate on the Android OS project.

Morrill added that support for Bluetooth and GTalk APIs would be added in future release of Android, but that he didn't know "exactly when that will be."

This is the latest blow in the release schedule of the mobile OS, as Google's partners reported in June that they were struggling to meet the fourth-quarter deadline for bringing Android OS-based handsets to market.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.