ACCESS set to go Android
The Japanese embedded specialist ACCESS has joined the Open Handset Alliance, the organisation founded by Google to develop and market the Android open source smartphone operating system. ACCESS is known for producing the LiMo-compliant ACCESS-Linux platform for mobile devices and, since February 2008, has been a core member of the LiMo Foundation. ACCESS has, to date, concentrated its development activities on the LiMo platform and is a major supplier of middle-ware and front-end components to members of the foundation.
ACCESS has, as its début application for Android, published Graffiti and made it available for free. Graffiti allows for text input by simple drawn gestures on the touch screen of a smartphone, in the same fashion as the text input on the original Palm PDAs. The company is also looking at its patent portfolio with an eye to making other input methods available on the Android platform in the future. It already has plans to release a set of Android modules for accessing hardware for standards such as 1seg (terrestrial TV broadcast) and IrDA (Infra-red communications) which will be available from the Android SDK.
Andy Rubin, Google's vice president of mobile platforms, called ACCESS a "pioneer of mobile software in Japan" and said he was confident that ACCESS "can help the OHA make Android the best open platform for Japan".