Google is pushing their Linux-based mobile operating system, dubbed Android, to the development community as the mobile platform destined to revolutionize the mobile space. And, under the search-giant’s mantra of “do no evil,” Google has been touting Android as a completely “open” mobile platform for which anyone and everyone can develop mobile applications.
Turns out, Google isn’t exactly “un-evil,” nor is Android as open as they’d have us believe.
First, Google founder Sergei Brin has been caught making some shady investments in to his wife’s new startup. Brin cleverly funneled Google’s money in to his wife’s startup using investment strategies aimed at covering up his direct involvement in the conflict of interest investment. It wasn’t illegal, but was most definitely shady.
But, that’s not really our area of interest. More to the point is Google’s recent bungles with its Android mobile OS.
Developers have been complaining for months now that the Android SDK has been plodding along the path to updates. Without Android SDK updates, developers can’t forge ahead in their Linux-based development – leading to reports of Android developers jumping ship to Apple’s Mac OS platform for the iPhone and iPhone 3G.
Thanks to an email distribution mistake made by Google employee David McLaughlin, we now know why Google has been so slow to roll out updates for its Android development community. The email notified all Android developers that a new SDK was available for download at a private download site. The problem was that the email was intended only for winners of a recent Android development contest.
The clumsy Google employee sent out an apology, confirming that the email was intended to only be sent to the privileged few Android developers that made the cut to ADC Round Two. And, following on the public admission that private Android SDK updates were being made available only to the select few in Google good graces, the “preferred” developers started owning up to their special treatment. The “preferred” group of Android developers apparently had access to Android SDK updates that were never made available to the average Android developer. Even Google reportedly had a hand in hiding the Android SDK updates from its general development community.
It seems Google’s Android platform isn’t all that “open,” nor is Google all that altrustic. This latest blunder could lead to massive Android defections as developers choose to invest their time and effort in to Apple’s Mac OS platform. Apple allows anyone and everyone willing to follow iPhone application development rules and guidelines to develop applications for the iPhone platform and market them through the AppStore.
Will Android survive this mis-step and prove to the world that it can compete on a global scale? Or will the iPhone and the Mac OS be more than Google can handle? Can the Symbian Foundation come out swinging and take both Apple and Google by surprise? Time will tell…
[Via: Ars Technica]