I was a bit surprised by the reaction to my post and tweets about the Aava Intel/Moorestown/MeeGo phone this afternoon. Engadget and Wired picked it up and did a sensible job of reporting that it’s a prototype but there are a lot of people out there that might not understand what this hardware and software really is.
The issue is that the Aava phone is actually a reference design and development platform and it is unlikely to be a phone you’ll ever be able to buy. It’s likely to have had some financial and engineering input from Intel and will have already been distributed to some major customers in order for them to asses the platform.
As far as I understand it, the Aava phone was made to stimulate mobile phone hardware manufacturers and to help developers get on with the top-priority job of building class-leading mobile operating systems, applications and user interfaces, namely MeeGo, Android and the related user interface ‘experiences’ and overlays.
So on to the ‘experience’ I have in my hands here. At the most, i’ll be able to show you the look and feel of the user interface, give you an idea of how Fennec, the built-in browser, performs on the Moorestown platform, show you around the Aava hardware (good for those thinking of paying the probable $1K – $2K for the development kit) I don’t expect the software stack to include any closed-source video codecs and for that matter, no commercial software that’s not part of the core MeeGo build and there’s no-way i’ll be able to get a feel for battery life as we don’t know how well the current software couples with the dedicated power control chip.
The Aava phone represents a true moment in computing history and i’m honored to be able to report on it but let’s not forget, this isn’t anything like retail-quality hardware or software yet. MeeGo 1.1 is due for release in October so you can imagine the timescales for products and it’s already known that Intel expects tablets to be released with MeeGo before phones are.
Hardware and software build kindly loaned by Intel Germany and largely enabled through my participation in the ‘Intel Insider’ program.