Smartphones, Smartbooks different by necessity?
By Doug Schaefer
Boy I'm having fun with Android. Maybe because it's the first time I'm getting the chance (albeit in my spare time) to do some real embedded development. And even in the playing I'm doing, I am experiencing the challenges that regular embedded developers face. Yes, believe or not, even with the latest and greatest hardware, you are limited by the amount of memory and storage your device has, and by the speed and capabilities of the processor. Not to mention power (feel like running your graphics loop at full speed, see how long your battery lasts doing that). You really have to think about these things and write your code carefully to be successful. (And I won't get started on Java again).
One thing you still see in the rumoursphere with Android is the spreading of it's wings into the "smartbook" world. I love that term, Smartbook. Mobile Internet Device is too vague and I think there is a clear delineation between the tree contenders: smartphone, startbook, netbook. Smartphones are the small handheld things we know and love today. Netbooks are the small notebooks which likely have a hard drive in them. But Smartbooks are an exciting middle ground between the two. They have usable screens, 5-9 inches, but everything else is like a smartphone, particularly in mobility and power consumption. A good smartbook should last the day without charging making it handy for carrying around conferences like EclipseCon, for example :).