Google Android: we want developers but…

So, I’m watching the Android video and talking with my friends who are developers. Man, I thought my videos were boring, this one takes the cake.

Steve Jobs does NOT have to worry about losing his job to the folks from Google.

I didn’t see ONE feature that will get normal people to switch from the iPhone. This comes across like something developers developed for other developers without thought of how they were going to build a movement.

How do we know this developer API is uninspired? They are bribing developers with $10 million in prize money.

Compare to the iPhone. Steve Jobs treats developers like crap. Doesn’t give them an SDK. Makes them hack the phones simply to load apps. And they create hundreds of apps anyway. Now, Apple is getting is act together. Early next year an SDK is coming. So now developers will have both sexy hardware, a sexy OS (under iPhone is OSX, an OS that’s been in wide use for years now), AND a well-thought-out SDK.

But, here’s why Android is getting received with a yawn from me:

1. It was released without a personal approach. When Steve Jobs brings out new stuff he does it in front of people. Not in a cold video (as much as I love video it doesn’t inspire the way sitting in an audience does and getting to put my own hands on it).
2. This stuff is still vaporware. No phones are available with it. At Microsoft I learned DO NOT TRUST THINGS THAT THEY WON’T SHOW ME WORKING. Remember Longhorn? Er, Vista? The first time I saw it was largely in a format like this — it looked cool but it wasn’t running anywhere and they wouldn’t let me play with the cool demos. I’ll never make that mistake again. If you want my support for your platform I need to be able to use it and show it to my friends.
3. The UI looks confused. Too many metaphors. One reason the iPhone does so well is because the UI is fairly consistent. Fun, even. How do I know this? My ex-wife hates technology and she bought one and loves it. I try to imagine her getting a Google Android phone and getting very frustrated with a mixture of drop-down menus, clicking metaphors, and touch metaphors. At some point she’ll give it back and go back to the iPhone, which only presents a touch metaphor.
4. No real “love” for developers. Heck, I don’t know of a single developer who has had his/her hands on Android. And all we get is this cold video that just doesn’t inspire me to believe in the future of the platform. I know Dave Winer didn’t feel the love from the Open Social “campfire” event, but at least there we heard from quite a few third-party developers. That made me believe in the platform because I knew that they had already gotten at least SOME third-party developers on board. Heck, remember Facebook? Go back and see when I got excited by Facebook. It was two weeks after the F8 platform announcement. Why then? Because I saw that iLike got six million users in two weeks and was staying up. So, that communicated two things to me: 1. that the platform attracted interesting developers. 2. that Facebook was well enough architected to stay up, even under pretty dramatic load. Android is a LONG way from demonstrating either of these things to the market.
5. Google needs to get atomic videos. On an announcement like this there shouldn’t have been one long video, but rather 50 small ones, each demonstrating a separate API. Developers today are busy. Fully employed. They want easy to understand instructions for how to integrate platform stuff into their stuff. It’s amazing that Google itself doesn’t understand how its own search engine works. If it did, they would see the advantage of creating lots of video, not just one (because then they would be more likely to get found for a variety of search terms, not just a few — it’s one reason I create at least a video every day and it’s paid off very well for me). I’m giving Vic Gundotra the same advice — his long Open Social “campfire video” should have been cut up into the atoms that made up that video. Sure, put the long complete video up too (the molecule) but cut it up. Yes, yes, I know, I don’t take my own advice but then I have an excuse: it costs money, er time, to edit video and I don’t have a lot of it. Google doesn’t have that excuse.
6. Google’s PR comes across as “only caring about big bangs.” Last week I was in the Open Social press conference. Everyone else in the room worked for a big-name media outlet. Business Week. Wall Street Journal. Los Angeles Times. CNET. Barrons. etc. etc. Even TechCrunch was relegated to a phone-based seat and wasn’t in the room. That tells me that Google’s PR doesn’t get the value of small people. In fact, if you were tracking the mentions of that press call you’d have seen my use of Twitter during it got mentioned many times on blogs. Google’s PR didn’t seem to even understand why Twitter was important. They also kept me from using my video camera during the press call (the only reason I got video is cause I carried a cell phone with me — they asked me to leave my professional camera out in the car). Compare that to presidential candidate John Edwards who let me film, even on his plane during “off times.” And he has a Twitter account too.
7. It looks too much like a poor copy of the iPhone. They didn’t talk about ONE thing that the iPhone doesn’t do. Where’s the car integration? Why didn’t they focus a LOT on GPS, or video creation, or something else the iPhone doesn’t do. Do we really want to spin a Google earth map? Really? That doesn’t turn me on. Showing me Kyte.tv working on this thing would turn me on — that’s something the iPhone doesn’t do. Showing me killer podcasting-creation features would turn me on. That’s something the iPhone doesn’t do well. Instead we get some video game that we all played 10 years ago. Yawn. OK, OK, I know Android plays Quake and the iPhone doesn’t. But, come on, we all know a game API is coming for the iPhone and is that really going to get a lot of people to buy Android?

Anyway, so far I’m disappointed in Android. Maybe they’ll get it together, but until then I’ll remember the Russian Government official’s cell phone. He’s running Windows Mobile. Why? Cause developers in his community are building stuff for it. I’ll keep checking in with him to see if Android has gotten any traction.

Are you sensing that Google is just not very good at technology evangelism? After all, look at how successful Google has been outside of search. It hasn’t really had a good home run that we can point to outside of that. I think that’s because Google is coming across as too arrogant, too interested in only “important developers and people,” and doesn’t understand how to pitch end users and developers at the same time (developers only really come after end users do anyway, look again at the iPhone).

But what do I know, I’m just a blogger, right?

UPDATE: Patrick, on TwitterGram, says “it looks like a ripoff of the iPhone.”

UPDATE2: other responses are rolling in from around the Internet. Engadget. GigaOm.

226 thoughts on “Google Android: we want developers but…

  1. I like your videos and opinions, but you are too negative now. Maybe you’ve traveled too much with the bus lately? “Ok that was just mean, but it had to be said.”
    Just tell me, who is giving developers (free) platform to make applications for phones (not some sexy reservoir iPhone land), I mean phones for normal people? Ok, this video is boring, but video on OHA with childrens is not boring. Maybe you didn’t get it – it’s freedom. I’ve asked my children and my wife what would be their magic phone like and they gave me some crazy use cases. I’ve looked at android apis and you know what – it’s possible to do it. You are just too negative…

  2. I like your videos and opinions, but you are too negative now. Maybe you’ve traveled too much with the bus lately? “Ok that was just mean, but it had to be said.”
    Just tell me, who is giving developers (free) platform to make applications for phones (not some sexy reservoir iPhone land), I mean phones for normal people? Ok, this video is boring, but video on OHA with childrens is not boring. Maybe you didn’t get it – it’s freedom. I’ve asked my children and my wife what would be their magic phone like and they gave me some crazy use cases. I’ve looked at android apis and you know what – it’s possible to do it. You are just too negative…

  3. Just wait and see how the Android is going to be a killer app for Mobiles.
    Open Handset Alliance is not a kitty party !

    Quoting Sergey Brin.. “The best applications are yet to be made”.

  4. Just wait and see how the Android is going to be a killer app for Mobiles.
    Open Handset Alliance is not a kitty party !

    Quoting Sergey Brin.. “The best applications are yet to be made”.

  5. I have been playing with it and have applied for a job with a company that is planning on using the platform. It’s real and it’s out there.

  6. I have been playing with it and have applied for a job with a company that is planning on using the platform. It’s real and it’s out there.

  7. Has anyone thought about Google’s larger plan, and its big brother effect? I see 2 key strategies they’re probably considering:

    1. Get google’s javascript on as many web sites and web interactions as possible. cookie everything. Know what the world is doing. Know what you are doing. Think about the whole point of adsense, gmail, google reader, and web analytics (look for urchin mention in view source of many websites). “Just paste this tiny bit of javascript into your site..” Doubleclick would bring way to much power to extend what they’ve already done.

    2. Get folks to use the google phone and use speech recognition to know what folks are talking about. insert relevant advertisements at the end of the call. Notice how well their 411Goog works? Remember that old search speech recognition tool they once had up?

    The possibilities are getting a bit scary, no?

  8. Has anyone thought about Google’s larger plan, and its big brother effect? I see 2 key strategies they’re probably considering:

    1. Get google’s javascript on as many web sites and web interactions as possible. cookie everything. Know what the world is doing. Know what you are doing. Think about the whole point of adsense, gmail, google reader, and web analytics (look for urchin mention in view source of many websites). “Just paste this tiny bit of javascript into your site..” Doubleclick would bring way to much power to extend what they’ve already done.

    2. Get folks to use the google phone and use speech recognition to know what folks are talking about. insert relevant advertisements at the end of the call. Notice how well their 411Goog works? Remember that old search speech recognition tool they once had up?

    The possibilities are getting a bit scary, no?

  9. I agree with Robert, but from a more technical analysis. If I put together a bunch of engineers and asked them to put spec a new OS (of sorts) utilizing mostly open source components, this is what I would expect. Choosing a variant of embedded Linux is straightforward, since it is open source and the alternative is a commercial RTOS. The VM/core library approach is also nice, as it delivers somewhat of a Hardware Abstraction Layer for developers to “write once, run on any Android” handset. But the numerous managers, layers, not to mention the general approach to handling GUI API which looks like the original (if not current) OS X and Windows graphics system shows little vision towards a “next gen” embedded device. The eventual iPhone SDK may allow some innovation in an app’s GUI, but it goes without saying that the user interaction/ interface will be limited in some ways to Apple’s “Look and Feel.” This is a good thing, and why Apple products are generally easy to use. The Android approach seems to invite all forms of GUI which will drive cell phone users crazy. It also ignores the value of ‘branding’ by cell phone manufacturers and service providers. By placing a simple abstraction layer in the architecture, any app could fit in with, say, a Nokia phone using T-Mobile versus a Sony phone from Verizon, and it could all be done dynamically under the covers without requirements on writing apps themselves.
    But the main point is that this looks like a desktop OS – out of the chute it is already too large and multi-layered. We are talking about embedded devices, even allowing for some level of scaling up to ultra portable computing devices. Since we are talking Google, they will get some manufacturers to dip their toes in the water, and probably some of the cell carriers. But even if Google can get this OS to perform adequately on a mobile device, I would conjecture that by the time the manufacturers and carriers are done paring it down, it will not be as much of a ‘platform’ as Google would like to think.

  10. I agree with Robert, but from a more technical analysis. If I put together a bunch of engineers and asked them to put spec a new OS (of sorts) utilizing mostly open source components, this is what I would expect. Choosing a variant of embedded Linux is straightforward, since it is open source and the alternative is a commercial RTOS. The VM/core library approach is also nice, as it delivers somewhat of a Hardware Abstraction Layer for developers to “write once, run on any Android” handset. But the numerous managers, layers, not to mention the general approach to handling GUI API which looks like the original (if not current) OS X and Windows graphics system shows little vision towards a “next gen” embedded device. The eventual iPhone SDK may allow some innovation in an app’s GUI, but it goes without saying that the user interaction/ interface will be limited in some ways to Apple’s “Look and Feel.” This is a good thing, and why Apple products are generally easy to use. The Android approach seems to invite all forms of GUI which will drive cell phone users crazy. It also ignores the value of ‘branding’ by cell phone manufacturers and service providers. By placing a simple abstraction layer in the architecture, any app could fit in with, say, a Nokia phone using T-Mobile versus a Sony phone from Verizon, and it could all be done dynamically under the covers without requirements on writing apps themselves.
    But the main point is that this looks like a desktop OS – out of the chute it is already too large and multi-layered. We are talking about embedded devices, even allowing for some level of scaling up to ultra portable computing devices. Since we are talking Google, they will get some manufacturers to dip their toes in the water, and probably some of the cell carriers. But even if Google can get this OS to perform adequately on a mobile device, I would conjecture that by the time the manufacturers and carriers are done paring it down, it will not be as much of a ‘platform’ as Google would like to think.

  11. It may be too early to call Google a dud in this area.

    In 18 years in the IT industry, mostly on the SMB business development side, the one thing I’ve learned: Never bet against the 800-pound gorilla.

    Of course over time, 800-pound gorillas in an industry can turn into 800mg mouses (remember when IBM dominated the PC World, when HP basically owned the laser printer market, when Lotus 123 ruled the finance World, etc.).

    But I still wouldn’t count Google “out” at this point.

    They have a VERY large installed user “base”.

  12. It may be too early to call Google a dud in this area.

    In 18 years in the IT industry, mostly on the SMB business development side, the one thing I’ve learned: Never bet against the 800-pound gorilla.

    Of course over time, 800-pound gorillas in an industry can turn into 800mg mouses (remember when IBM dominated the PC World, when HP basically owned the laser printer market, when Lotus 123 ruled the finance World, etc.).

    But I still wouldn’t count Google “out” at this point.

    They have a VERY large installed user “base”.

  13. Author is so not getting it; this will bring all the OTHER phones up to par with the iPhone… consumer wins

  14. Author is so not getting it; this will bring all the OTHER phones up to par with the iPhone… consumer wins

  15. I’m fascinated. How can you ciriticize something, that has JUST been released? And what’s more, released only for developers?

    You know what? Let’s talk about this in spring 2008…

  16. I’m fascinated. How can you ciriticize something, that has JUST been released? And what’s more, released only for developers?

    You know what? Let’s talk about this in spring 2008…

  17. “They didn’t talk about ONE thing that the iPhone doesn’t do.”

    Well google.com didn’t do anything that yahoo.com didn’t do…it didn’t even do a fraction of what it did. I don’t think anyone would of predicted the success of Google if they had seen an early version of it (they would of just compared features).

    In general, it is actually very difficult to predict the success of disruptive technologies. Your way of comparing feature-for-feature is the non-disruptive way. Apple may be happy having 5% of a market (due to wanting to control everything), but someobody has to do something about the other 95%.

  18. “They didn’t talk about ONE thing that the iPhone doesn’t do.”

    Well google.com didn’t do anything that yahoo.com didn’t do…it didn’t even do a fraction of what it did. I don’t think anyone would of predicted the success of Google if they had seen an early version of it (they would of just compared features).

    In general, it is actually very difficult to predict the success of disruptive technologies. Your way of comparing feature-for-feature is the non-disruptive way. Apple may be happy having 5% of a market (due to wanting to control everything), but someobody has to do something about the other 95%.

  19. You are all a bunch of stupids that just blog first before understand what is going on.

    Andriod SDK is mean for Developers not for end users.

    The demos and videos are just for demostration for DEVELOPERS of what kind of things the platform can do. As we have a compass, GPS, USB, 3D hardware graphics acceleration, Touching, keyboard and much more.

    The real phones and marketing, that will depend of Operators and device manufacturers as Motorola, AT&t so on.

    Google just gives the Software stack for get one and only one universal platform for mobile devices.

    Google what gets from this?, this platform runs webkit and is very integrated with internet features so Google will continue doing what they do best ADS as we can find now in a desktop PC. Google win money with ADS and advertsiments in the internet.

    Google doesnt win money with Andriod directly, the device manfucaturers and operators are the winners of what they will build with this Software Stack called Andriod.

  20. You are all a bunch of stupids that just blog first before understand what is going on.

    Andriod SDK is mean for Developers not for end users.

    The demos and videos are just for demostration for DEVELOPERS of what kind of things the platform can do. As we have a compass, GPS, USB, 3D hardware graphics acceleration, Touching, keyboard and much more.

    The real phones and marketing, that will depend of Operators and device manufacturers as Motorola, AT&t so on.

    Google just gives the Software stack for get one and only one universal platform for mobile devices.

    Google what gets from this?, this platform runs webkit and is very integrated with internet features so Google will continue doing what they do best ADS as we can find now in a desktop PC. Google win money with ADS and advertsiments in the internet.

    Google doesnt win money with Andriod directly, the device manfucaturers and operators are the winners of what they will build with this Software Stack called Andriod.

  21. You could be very wrong this time Robert.
    What Google has presented so far is a very impressive mobile platform. Yes betamax won out against VHS, but the innovation that has gone in to Android from what I’ve seen makes me think this thing could have legs.
    I’m a developer, I enjoyed the videos, I wanted longer videos and more information.

  22. You could be very wrong this time Robert.
    What Google has presented so far is a very impressive mobile platform. Yes betamax won out against VHS, but the innovation that has gone in to Android from what I’ve seen makes me think this thing could have legs.
    I’m a developer, I enjoyed the videos, I wanted longer videos and more information.

  23. >It was released without a personal approach.

    Did you want Sergei to give you a handjob?

    >If you want my support for your platform I need to be >able to use it and show it to my friends.

    Of course. Because that’s what tech is all about, making some geek look cool with his other geek friends.

    >The UI looks confused.

    You means all phones on the Android platform will look like this?

    >Heck, I don’t know of a single developer who
    >has had his/her hands on Android.

    Wait, Android is not a platform? Its the name of a phone?
    Developers on the other hand have their hands on the SDK.
    What’s that you say?

    >Google needs to get atomic videos.
    You dont like the editing of the video?

    >Google’s PR comes across as “only caring about big >bangs.
    Yes, Apple and Microsoft’s PR is understated.

    >They also kept me from using my video camera during >the press call
    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!
    Waaaaaaaaaaah!! I need my mommy….
    When Apple does one of these they have no rules whatsoever. None.

    >It looks too much like a poor copy of the iPhone.
    The main reason they should never have used a demo.
    Some lame brained writers might think THIS is the phone instead of a platform on which different companies will be able to build different models of phone.

    >But what do I know

    From the look of it, very little.

    More like the judgement and reasoning of my 12 year old nieces who like things that look cool.

    #20 is right on the money:
    >Saying your not going to switch from the iPhone to >Android is like saying your not trading in your BMW >for a Z Platform. Product != platform.

    T-r-y t-o c-o-m-p-r-e-h-e-n-d t-h-i-s.

    RK

  24. >It was released without a personal approach.

    Did you want Sergei to give you a handjob?

    >If you want my support for your platform I need to be >able to use it and show it to my friends.

    Of course. Because that’s what tech is all about, making some geek look cool with his other geek friends.

    >The UI looks confused.

    You means all phones on the Android platform will look like this?

    >Heck, I don’t know of a single developer who
    >has had his/her hands on Android.

    Wait, Android is not a platform? Its the name of a phone?
    Developers on the other hand have their hands on the SDK.
    What’s that you say?

    >Google needs to get atomic videos.
    You dont like the editing of the video?

    >Google’s PR comes across as “only caring about big >bangs.
    Yes, Apple and Microsoft’s PR is understated.

    >They also kept me from using my video camera during >the press call
    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!
    Waaaaaaaaaaah!! I need my mommy….
    When Apple does one of these they have no rules whatsoever. None.

    >It looks too much like a poor copy of the iPhone.
    The main reason they should never have used a demo.
    Some lame brained writers might think THIS is the phone instead of a platform on which different companies will be able to build different models of phone.

    >But what do I know

    From the look of it, very little.

    More like the judgement and reasoning of my 12 year old nieces who like things that look cool.

    #20 is right on the money:
    >Saying your not going to switch from the iPhone to >Android is like saying your not trading in your BMW >for a Z Platform. Product != platform.

    T-r-y t-o c-o-m-p-r-e-h-e-n-d t-h-i-s.

    RK

  25. God I love the myopic Apple fanatic world view. Anything anyone does that is not exactly the same as what Apple does automatically sucks, and anything that might remotely resemble something that Apple does is a blatant copy. You folks really need to get some perspective.

  26. God I love the myopic Apple fanatic world view. Anything anyone does that is not exactly the same as what Apple does automatically sucks, and anything that might remotely resemble something that Apple does is a blatant copy. You folks really need to get some perspective.

  27. Have you noticed how google android looks like iPhone operational system?
    Compare the functions shown in the videos below:
    weshow.com/us/p/23362/google_android_demo
    weshow.com/us/p/18795/iphone_home_made_review
    What do you think? Will google bring iPhone power to everyone who can’t afford apple products? That would be great :D

  28. Have you noticed how google android looks like iPhone operational system?
    Compare the functions shown in the videos below:
    weshow.com/us/p/23362/google_android_demo
    weshow.com/us/p/18795/iphone_home_made_review
    What do you think? Will google bring iPhone power to everyone who can’t afford apple products? That would be great :D

  29. “Rhuggle is a bunch of boy scouts with no den-master! They are just
    a bunch of spoiled rich kids on a perpetual holiday, no order or
    discipline. They only exist in that I allow it, I find them amusing, it’s
    like watching a house on fire or some other tragedy, you know it’s
    repulsive but you just can’t look away!”
    The reporters were taking in my words like Saki, they just couldn’t
    get enough! So I decided to throw them one more bone!
    “I have to go now, but since I’m on Rhuggle, let me say this about
    this ‘Android” thing they announced: It is just like the rest of Google
    ..ahem, I mean Rhuggle, IT ONLY EXIST ON PAPER! Don’t fall for this
    vaporware, rumors, fake-half-baked hype that they peddle!”

  30. “Rhuggle is a bunch of boy scouts with no den-master! They are just
    a bunch of spoiled rich kids on a perpetual holiday, no order or
    discipline. They only exist in that I allow it, I find them amusing, it’s
    like watching a house on fire or some other tragedy, you know it’s
    repulsive but you just can’t look away!”
    The reporters were taking in my words like Saki, they just couldn’t
    get enough! So I decided to throw them one more bone!
    “I have to go now, but since I’m on Rhuggle, let me say this about
    this ‘Android” thing they announced: It is just like the rest of Google
    ..ahem, I mean Rhuggle, IT ONLY EXIST ON PAPER! Don’t fall for this
    vaporware, rumors, fake-half-baked hype that they peddle!”

  31. #1 To be a success, Android does not have to kill the iPhone.
    #2 I doubt much of anything is going to get people who already have an iPhone to give up their iPhone – Two Year Contracts tend to have that affect on people.
    #3 If I just spent $300 – $600 on a phone, I’m not even going to bother looking at other phones for a while, regardless of contracts or not.
    #4 You are comparing something that is software only (Android) to a software/hardware package (iPhone). I’m sure there will be a good number of phones that run Android that will be utter crap. And, then there will be some phones that run Android that will kick the iPhone’s butt. It’s like comparing a Mac and Windows. You don’t compare the operating system to the computer. (Mac comes with iLife and a built-in camera and bluetooth – Windows comes with a DVD.) No, you compare a given Mac (MacBook Pro 15″) with a given laptop running Windows (Dell XPS with Windows Vista Ultimate, or whatever). Trying to compare what is, in practical terms, vaporware (not that it doesn’t exist, but the final product does not yet exist) to the hold-it-in-your-hands iPhone – is not only unfair – it’s pointless.

  32. #1 To be a success, Android does not have to kill the iPhone.
    #2 I doubt much of anything is going to get people who already have an iPhone to give up their iPhone – Two Year Contracts tend to have that affect on people.
    #3 If I just spent $300 – $600 on a phone, I’m not even going to bother looking at other phones for a while, regardless of contracts or not.
    #4 You are comparing something that is software only (Android) to a software/hardware package (iPhone). I’m sure there will be a good number of phones that run Android that will be utter crap. And, then there will be some phones that run Android that will kick the iPhone’s butt. It’s like comparing a Mac and Windows. You don’t compare the operating system to the computer. (Mac comes with iLife and a built-in camera and bluetooth – Windows comes with a DVD.) No, you compare a given Mac (MacBook Pro 15″) with a given laptop running Windows (Dell XPS with Windows Vista Ultimate, or whatever). Trying to compare what is, in practical terms, vaporware (not that it doesn’t exist, but the final product does not yet exist) to the hold-it-in-your-hands iPhone – is not only unfair – it’s pointless.

  33. Sure, the video was unimpressive, but I think you should hold off judgment until the thing is actually released. Who knows–maybe they’ll catch on to your opinions (and those of many others around the internet) and make appropriate changes.

  34. Sure, the video was unimpressive, but I think you should hold off judgment until the thing is actually released. Who knows–maybe they’ll catch on to your opinions (and those of many others around the internet) and make appropriate changes.

  35. I call no-fair:D

    Comparing Android to the Iphone- Isn’t that a little like comparing Winamp to the Zune?

    It’s not fair to judge a software platform by the interface of the hardware it’s running on.

    There are several reasons I’d take an Android-Powered mobile over an iPhone-

    1) The SDK – That “don’t believe it till you see it” think mentioned above goes both ways. Apple promised an SDK for the iphone a long time ago, and waffled with “web sites are your SDK.” They’re not. They might do it again, too. And even if Apple produces one next year, it’ll be from all the pressure they’ve received, not from a genuine attitude of thinking of their device as a platform to allow others to build on.

    2) I’m a developer. I understand that puts me in the “not normal” set of consumers, but honestly, from a programming perspective, Android looks like a playground I can carry around in my pocket. And I really love Google API’s- The documentation may not be an exhilerating read, but be serious. It’s an API. And in Google’s case, as a general rule, you can create wonders with them.

    3)Choice (that seperation between phone & platform comes in, here). If I want an Android-powered phone on a 3G network, I pick a provider with a 3G network, and a model that supports it. If I want an Android phone with GPS, I pick a model with GPS. If I want an iPhone with 3G, I wait. If I want GPS, I either risk bricking the iPhone to install something that fakes GPS based on celltower location, or I wait.

    4)Developer community- The barrier of entry into developing for the iPhone is vastly larger than for Android, so naturally, I think more people are going to develop for Android. More developers -> more software -> greater presence in developer forums/communities -> better software. That’s just how I see it rollin’.

    -Alex

  36. I call no-fair:D

    Comparing Android to the Iphone- Isn’t that a little like comparing Winamp to the Zune?

    It’s not fair to judge a software platform by the interface of the hardware it’s running on.

    There are several reasons I’d take an Android-Powered mobile over an iPhone-

    1) The SDK – That “don’t believe it till you see it” think mentioned above goes both ways. Apple promised an SDK for the iphone a long time ago, and waffled with “web sites are your SDK.” They’re not. They might do it again, too. And even if Apple produces one next year, it’ll be from all the pressure they’ve received, not from a genuine attitude of thinking of their device as a platform to allow others to build on.

    2) I’m a developer. I understand that puts me in the “not normal” set of consumers, but honestly, from a programming perspective, Android looks like a playground I can carry around in my pocket. And I really love Google API’s- The documentation may not be an exhilerating read, but be serious. It’s an API. And in Google’s case, as a general rule, you can create wonders with them.

    3)Choice (that seperation between phone & platform comes in, here). If I want an Android-powered phone on a 3G network, I pick a provider with a 3G network, and a model that supports it. If I want an Android phone with GPS, I pick a model with GPS. If I want an iPhone with 3G, I wait. If I want GPS, I either risk bricking the iPhone to install something that fakes GPS based on celltower location, or I wait.

    4)Developer community- The barrier of entry into developing for the iPhone is vastly larger than for Android, so naturally, I think more people are going to develop for Android. More developers -> more software -> greater presence in developer forums/communities -> better software. That’s just how I see it rollin’.

    -Alex

  37. Hey Robert! Android does not have to beat the iPhone. I don’t find it earth moving… but we are spoilt brats. Android offers lots of possibilities to easily develop new stuff. I was disappointed with Google last week when they announced this. All the hype about a gPhone and we end up with a platform. But Google are being clever offering $10M in prizes. This could lift the level of android applications very quickly.

    I don’t have an iPhone, I’m not in a ‘state’ to get a phone that has Android. But it might change. I think the biggest problem will be the greedy telco’s.

  38. Hey Robert! Android does not have to beat the iPhone. I don’t find it earth moving… but we are spoilt brats. Android offers lots of possibilities to easily develop new stuff. I was disappointed with Google last week when they announced this. All the hype about a gPhone and we end up with a platform. But Google are being clever offering $10M in prizes. This could lift the level of android applications very quickly.

    I don’t have an iPhone, I’m not in a ‘state’ to get a phone that has Android. But it might change. I think the biggest problem will be the greedy telco’s.

  39. I think that they’re doing what Microsoft did with the Zune. Everyone knew that Apple had a corner on the mp3 player market with the ipod. Microsoft was just looking to dent its market share and really expand in other avenues. I’m guessing Google is doing much of the same. Let’s face it, the iPhone is the only really game out there, and everyone knows it.

  40. I think that they’re doing what Microsoft did with the Zune. Everyone knew that Apple had a corner on the mp3 player market with the ipod. Microsoft was just looking to dent its market share and really expand in other avenues. I’m guessing Google is doing much of the same. Let’s face it, the iPhone is the only really game out there, and everyone knows it.

  41. Ryan (comment 14) has it exactly right. This is Apple vs. EverybodyElse all over again. Apple goes first, big hype, and the trendy types all buy. But in the end it is the less fancy, more open platforms that win.

    Might not be perfect, but many developers will see this as an opportunity, and much more innovation will come from Android than the iPhone. One caveat, we have to see it running on some real hardware.

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