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While the Android framework provides a solid generic foundation for developers to write portable and robust applications, it's still common for application developers to reach limits (regarding either features, performance, or compatibility across API levels and platforms) where a generic framework doesn’t fulfil specific requirements.
However, thanks to its very open nature (and the NDK), Android as a platform gives developers the ability to implement custom frameworks, the same way the Android framework is built as a wrapper around low-level native components (e.g. skia, OpenMAX).
This video with Eric Hassold covers everything from extending BitmapFactory for advanced image decoding and processing (face detection, dominant colour detection, seam carving) for Flickr, to implementing a purely native highly efficient event based HTTP/HTTPS/SPDY network stack.
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Eric Hassold is Architect for Mobile and Emerging Products at Yahoo! From his current position at Yahoo! to his former roles (at Facebook and Android team at Google), he has spent the last 4 years concentrating on all aspect of Android platform, from