Google's Software Development Kit for Anrdoid - their Linux-based phone operating system - has been in developers' hands for more than a month now. So what's the word on the street? According to Ars Technica's Ryan Paul, it's not all that great. Apparently, developers are pretty hamstrung not only by bugs - which is to be expected - but by the lack of a QA system good enough to aid bug-tracking and other critical elements of the development process.
This is surprising to me, given Google's track record of application development and Web-based services. Apparently Google is tracking issues internally but hasn't provided any sort of public issue-tracking system for the Android project. According to Paul, "users post information about the bugs they encounter in the Android Developer Google group and hope that one of Google's programmers sees it so that it can be added to Google's private, internal issue-tracking system." Not the most efficient way to write good good, huh?
Paul got his hands dirty with Android, writing a few experimental applications for the OS. His take? Android is more like the Java FX platform than the iPhone platform that everyone in the media wants to compare it to:
"The inevitable comparisons between Android and the iPhone platform seem a bit misguided now that I've really worked with Android. The iPhone platform seems to be tailored to a very specific kind of user experience that is particular to the hardware ... Android, on the other hand, has to be designed from the ground up to support an extremely diverse range of hardware devices with vastly different capabilities ... And seriously, some of those devices are going to be monstrously ugly clunkers compared to the iPhone."
It'll be interesting to see what becomes of Android in the coming months, and if the HTCs of the world can come up with Android-based handsets that aren't "monstrously ugly clunkers."
Read Paul's entire article on Ars Technica from here.