[NTLK] Einstein, Android, new Hardware, old Hardware

Frank Gruendel newtontalk at pda-soft.de
Thu Dec 1 08:09:26 EST 2011

> Will we be able to run Einstein on any Android device? 
> I would think, due the many variations, the answer will
> be "no"...not as successfully, anyway, as the one you've
> primarily developed it for.

I'm using a Meteorit Netbook running Android 2.2. This, as Android versions
go, is a pretty old one. I doubt that anybody would really want to run it on
anything older. So the correct answer would be "Yes, on Android versions 2.2
or later. Probably on earlier versions, too."

The Einstein app is a skyscraper filled to the brim with C++ Code that
contains your Newton's OS. Next to it is a dog kennel that contains Android
java code. Between the two is a software called the Android NDK (Native
Developer Kit), which paves a road between the two, thus enabling them to
talk to each other. As long as the Android NDK works on earlier versions,
Einstein will most likely work on these versions, too.

Currently, the dog kennel's main job is taking care of preliminary issues
like setting the preferred screen size, telling Android how much memory it
may use for running Einstein, making sure that the Newton ROM file is where
the gremlins in the skyscraper expect it to be, and other stuff. After that,
all it does is shout "Go!" at the skyscraper.

The real challenge is making things run faster. The gremlins in the
skyscraper must not solve their problems using the slow emulated C++ code.
Instead, they must tell the dog kennel's personnel what they want. The guys
in the dog kennel must achieve the expected result running (much faster)
native code and throw the result back at the skyscraper.

Unless we succeed in this, the Einstein Android app will remain a proof of
concept. On my 1GHz netbook the Einstein emulation is so slow that I need to
click the mouse for more than a second to make the Netwon recognize it as a
tap. That's more than sufficient for getting some Oooohs and Aaaaahs from
Newton aficionados like us, but far from enough for doing any real work with
such an app.

There will not be "the" Android Einstein app. Android apps are always
compiled for a certain target Android version. But with today's
sophisticated developer tools, compiling for a different target version is
only two mouse clicks away. So in the end there will be a separate Einstein
app for each Android version.

Since few Android developers have a separate piece of hardware for every
Android version out there, there's always a chance that something won't work
with your particular hardware. But we'll probably be able to iron this out
if you send us your Android device along with a detailed description of the



-- Newton software and hardware at http://www.pda-soft.de

More information about the NewtonTalk mailing list