Google drops Bluetooth, GTalkService APIs from Android 1.0

Google dropped Bluetooth and GTalkService instant messaging APIs

Google dropped Bluetooth and the GTalkService instant messaging APIs (application program interfaces) from the set of tools for the first version of the mobile phone OS, Android 1.0, according to the Android Developers Blog.

But the company made clear that handsets using the Android OS will work with other Bluetooth devices such as headsets, for example.

Dropping the Bluetooth API means software developers won't be able to create applications that utilize Bluetooth for the Android OS. Bluetooth is a short-range radio technology that allows devices to work and communicate together wirelessly. An API is a set of tools and protocols designed to help programmers build new software applications.

The company opted to drop the Bluetooth API because "we plain ran out of time," said Nick Pelly, one of the Android engineers responsible for the Bluetooth API, on the blog posting.

"The Android Bluetooth API was pretty far along, but needs some clean-up before we can commit to it for the SDK (software developer's kit)," he added.

Google promised to support a Bluetooth API in a future release of Android, "although we don't know exactly when that will be."

The API for GTalkService, an instant messaging system on mobile devices that connects people to friends with Android-based handsets or Google Talk on computers, was removed because of security flaws.

GTalkService in its original form might have revealed more details about a person than they might want to let out, such as their real name and e-mail address, according to Rich Canning, a security researcher working on Android.

The feature also posed the risk of giving control of a person's Android-based handset to a Google Talk friend, or could have allowed bad applications on one device to send a message to a good application on another device, hurting the good application.

"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.

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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