Developers working on Android, Google’s new mobile OS, have had two major complaints:
- They haven’t seen an updated version of the Android software development kit — the set of tools that a developer can use to create applications for Android.
- Google isn’t listening to them when they do complain.
But an Android engineer, writing in an Android Google group, wants developers know that team Android does indeed feel their pain. They just can’t do anything about it:
“So, while those posts aren’t falling on deaf ears, they’re typically falling in the wide-open ears of people whose hands are tied and whose mouths are gagged.”
The real problem here: Android isn’t just a service that Google is building on its own — its doing it in conjunction with a huge coalition of mobile service providers, handset operators, and software companies. This has some positive effects — as Dan Frommer pointed out earlier today, it gives Google the chance to get their OS on as many phones as possible. But when you’re working with that many partners, it makes it more difficult to get things done.
But do developers have a right to be frustrated? Maybe. The Android kit was released in November 2007, and it’s been updated once — in February (the company also released a quick security update in March). In contrast, Apple released its own kit for the iPhone in March 2008, and has since updated it seven times.