Is Android recommended for Atom processor platform?

You are going to develop a handheld device which has an Atom processor. You are thinking of using Android embedded OS for running telecom applications on this device.  Android is good for wireless applications. But your device do not need any wireless application. You will need only data (ping, traceroute…), IPTV and VoIP applications to run on this device. So is it advisable to use Android for your device?

In my opinion the biggest benefit you get from running a OS like Android as opposed to a tailored Linux distribution are:

  • An application ecosystem, that integrates well
  • A UI environment suitable for small screens
  • An Application SDK that makes developing new apps pretty straightforward

Drawbacks of using Android IMHO:

  • No standard libc. That means you will have to do some porting, to get mplayer or something similar to play your media content
  • Way less libraries than you have, when you use a “regular” Linux distribution
  • You can only create apps with UIs using Java (well there are other possibilities but you probably wouldn’t do it)

It comes down to choosing what hurts less. My estimate if you have powerful hardware and a big screen (the combination of Atom and IPTV sounds like that) than using a LFS (Linux From Scratch), Ubuntu or something similar and create a flashy UI on top of that (using QT, OpenGL, GTK, Swing, …) is less pain than porting your libs & apps to Android.

Of course you loose the sexy Android label which decreases probability of making it to Engadget .


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