GOOGLE FINALLY COMING GOOD WITH THE ANDROID DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

It looks like the folks at Google are listening and they’ve taken a big step which will help a number of developers get at least one Android powered device to work with. Yesterday Dan Morill announced a new version of the SDK with a link to the android blog, what he didn’t mention is that the blog post also reveals that Google have created a programme for developers which allows they to get what is basically an unlocked T-Mobile G1.

THE ANDROID EMAIL CLIENT ON THE G1, POSSIBLY THE WORST APP ON AN "INTERNET" PHONE EVER.

The G1 has been around a few weeks, it’s billed as “The phone that’s built for the internet”, but it would appear that the G1 isn’t built for email which many people consider as being one of the most useful things on the internet for over 35 years. The G1 has two in-built Email clients; one is for Googles' GMail, the other is for accounts with whichever ISP you’re with. Personally after seeing several stories of problems with Google locking accounts (see here, here, and here for a few) I’d prefer to stay with my ISP, but that leaves me with an Email client which is being described by other G1 users as “the most pathetic attempt I’ve ever seen” and “frustrating”, views which I wholeheartedly agree with.

IT PAYS TO TALK...(OR HOW I ENDED UP BUYING A G1)

After talking to the in-store staff at the T-Mobile store in Maidstone, Kent, UK, I am now the owner of a G1 looking at a total cost of £360 ($580) which is about the price I would expect to pay for an unlocked G1 You may wonder why yesterday I was looking figures that were twice that amount, well, it’s a mixture of good fortune and good customer service. I explained my situation to the in-store staff and they explained they could offer me a “£20 per month for 18 months” contract or a “£30 per month for 12 months” contract (both of which have a total cost of £360), but I would have to pay more for the ‘phone.

WHY I WON'T BE BUYING THE ANDROID T-MOBILE G1 PHONE

After getting interested in Android after Mike Jennings talk, weeks of coding on AndAppStore.com, reading up on APIs, watching and getting involved with discussions on the Android developers and discussion mailing lists, and following various Android community sites to see if the G1 was the start of the Android revolution, I’ve decided that, for now, I’m not going to get an Android ‘phone, and here are the reasons why; The T-Mobile Deal (phone & contract)

FIRST ANDROID SECURITY FLAW TO BE PUBLICLY REPORTED...

The New York times is reporting a security flaw in the G1, and to me it’s confirmation that Google left opening up the source to public far too late by doing it the day before users could go out and buy hardware with it installed. If the source code had been available a few months (or even weeks) ago there would have been time for the collective eyeballs of the development community to take a look for problems like the reported one (which was found after a few days) and fix them before the device reached the hands of consumers.

EXPECT TO PAY WHEN YOU SETUP YOUR PITCH IN GOOGLES MARKETPLACE

If you want to have your application listed in Androids Marketplace the first thing you have to do is pay them $25. That’s right, even if you’re developing a free application for their open platform to list on their “user-driven” marketplace, it’s going to cost you a $25 entry fee. Do you have an app you’d like to to sell?, well, if you make a sale via the Marketplace, that’ll be another 30% (yes, thirty percent) of your sales going to them.

ANDROID; THE NOT-SO-OPEN OPEN PLATFORM

If you’ve taken an interest in Googles Android platform before you’ll be familiar with phrases such as “Android is the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices” from when the Android and Open Handset Alliance initiative was started, and if you’ve attended talks by some of the Evangelists you’ll have been told that you can replace any part of the ‘phones software, but, this morning, it would appear that you won’t be on a level playing field.

SAME SCAM... DIFFERENT AUDIENCE

I’ve recently been subscribed to the development and discussion mailing lists for Googles Android platform due to working on AndAppStore.com and recently an email posting caught my eye because it reminded me of a scam that I thought had long since passed. The scam works like this; A person or company comes along and says “Hey, you’re really talented, I’d love to sign you up so I can offer you some great projects to work on, and, of course, and you’ll get a share of the profits”, which is indeed a good offer.

INTERVIEW WITH ANDROID GUYS

The folks over at AndroidGuys have been kind enough to publish an interview with me which covers some plans for AndAppStore and how I’d like to see the Android ecosystem develop.

WHERE GOOGLES ANDROID MAY HAVE ALREADY FAILED

(Declaration of interest; I’m involved in AndAppStore.com which allows Android Applications developers to list Android applications and users to download them) Imagine this; You have a product you want to make available worldwide, but you need the help of others to make it popular. You start a worldwide PR campaign, you make a mock-up available so people become familiar with your product, you run a worldwide competition for people to come up with uses for your product, and then you announce launch dates in one country for one date, another for a month later, a few more next year, and, well everyone else, you’ll have to wait and see what happens.