Android Gets a Hand

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As I wrote last week, Android's USP is openness. Although that means open to everyone, there is arguably an advantage to open source coding on the Android platform. For a start, the methodology that Android employs will be totally familiar, as will the idea of building on pre-existing code.

Here's a case in point:

Funambol Inc., the leading provider of open source push email and mobile sync for the mass market, today announced the world's first open source mobile sync app for the Android G1 phone from T-Mobile USA. The Funambol Android Client syncs contacts from a Google gPhone with a Funambol Server.

Funambol Android Client provides an open source Mobile'We' capability for gPhones to make it easy for users to sync and share contacts from other mobile phones as well as from popular desktop apps such as MS Outlook and webmail such as Yahoo!, Gmail and AOL. The software was developed by the Funambol community, which demonstrates the speed at which an open source development model can support the latest mobile handsets versus proprietary approaches.

As the press release quoted above notes, this is a good example of how fast the community can move when its wants to. It will be interesting to see how the larger free software ecosystem develops around the underlying open source Android core.

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