Yesterday we attended the Android Fireside Chat that included several members of the dev team. The audience was allowed to submit questions via Google moderator and we were able to sneak in the top 3 issues I hear readers talking about. The following is my summary of the questions and answers.
Will we ever see apps installed to the SD card officially supported?
There are no plans to support this feature in the next major release(codenamed Donut), but the team recognizes the demand for this. There are still several technical hurdles to overcome before this is a reality. It sounds like they are not sure which road they will take.
Currently, users have been partitioning their SD cards to create a seperate linux partition. They talked about the possibility of creating a seperate file system inside of a folder on the SD card. This would avoid the need to create a new partition, but they still expressed concern over what happens when the SD card is ejected.
Personally, I don’t think we will see this supported for a long time. Many new phones are going with an increased internal memory to avoid this problem. G1 owners are likely stuck with their limited spaced.
When is multi-touch coming to Android?
The Android team wants to support multi-touch, but no current hardware has the full functionality. There was no mention of any rumors that Apple blocked this feature so I think we can lay that to rest. It is simply a matter of having the displays available.
There is a hack released in some of the custom Android builds, but this is not true multi-touch. The only use of the hack is for pinch zoom. For a more detailed explanation of this, see Luke Hutchison’s blog post about the original hack. To summarize, the G1 will never have true multitouch because of the hardware limitations and this feature was not blocked by Apple.
What do you think about rooting/hacking the G1?
The dev team acknoledged that users will hack their phones no matter what. They would rather make the process easier in order to prevent people from bricking their phones. They have encouraged the handset OEMs to ship bootloaders that allow custom flashing and believe this will cut down on false defective returns. It was also mentioned that Google has made no effort to block the hacked phones so there should be no worry about ever losing root access to your G1.
One of our readers Dylan was with us and captured this video about the root question. If you listen closely you can hear one of the guys say they read the XDA forums.