New vid of Android software pops up

The Android browser
The Android browser

While most of you Android-lovers might think the imminent release of the first phone using the UI would mean it's almost complete, you are unfortunately wrong.

The fellows over at Gizmodo have given the world a sneak-preview of Android via a video of the emulator, and while it hints at possible great things, the Android 0.9 SDk is worryingly under-stocked.

The good things: well, the home screen looks great. You can have (what looks like) up to three home pages, with the wallpaper divided into thirds to accommodate all three positions.

You can drag and drop widgets onto each including things like a clock or Google search-bar, or you can click a tab to bring up a menu of everything.

The wallpaper choice is easy, and most options and applications can be customised to appear in a drop down menu at the top of the screen, so multi-tasking is on.

The web-browser looks a bit spiffy too, with full web page support, easy zooming and a small magnifying pane for scrolling over lots of text.

And Google Maps looks great, with a nicer and more simplistic interface, and great StreetView integration – you can see a man drinking his coffee on your MOBILE! Wow!


But the negative side is worrying: the absence of all the beautiful Google Apps like Mail and Documents, for instance, something the developer community could really get its teeth into.

Everything from the media players to the picture viewer, seems to be divided into panes for access. Whether this will be intuitive or complex, we'll have to wait and see, but the emulator didn't really show enough to convince us either way.

Overall, the big worry is that the SDK leaves a LOT of questions unanswered. But, on the other hand, if Google gets them right (and it seems pretty simple) then this could be the interface everyone has been waiting for.

Add in some open source applications that raise the bar even further, and this could be THE UI for years to come.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.