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What’s next for Android?

Mark Sigal has a really nice piece for O’Reilly Radar looking at the challenges that lie ahead for Android:

Now, as a developer, do you develop different versions of your software to take advantage of the cool features of each of these different devices (and the lifecycle of supporting same)? Do you focus on just the device that pushes the highest volume (and release more apps specific to that device)? Or, do you pursue a lowest common denominator that strives for uniformity across all form factors?

2 Comments

  1. I hate to say it, but isn’t that the dilemma we’ve been expecting all along? Unless someone comes out with a completely awesome Android phone (spoiler alert: it’s not the Droid you’re looking for) or Google makes their own handset as a reference implementation, the Android phone market will stay hopelessly splintered. At this point, the best role model Android phones have is the iPhone. To be sure, that totally sucks.

  2. I finally started using the MyTouch phone they gave out at Google I/O 09 (I’m in England & it’s GSM) and while I like the phone okay, I can’t add a contact to the contacts database without it crashing.

    I probably just need to do a software update. But I am guessing that one of the problems here is taking a web-type development model – basically, write something that works okay and fix the bugs later – and trying to apply it to a physical device. Google is a web-centric company, and that model works well on the web. But you want a phone to just work.

    I don’t like Apple’s attempt to own the iPhone platform and I think ultimately it will fall either to competition or anti-trust law, but they do understand the need for device robustness there – lessons learned from the iPod, no doubt.

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