Google (GOOG) is readying a new version of its Android mobile operating system — version 1.5 or “Cupcake” — for release. But there’s a risk that some popular Android apps could break because they aren’t compatible with the new software.
Google has published a handy how-to-make-sure-you-don’t-get-hosed guide for developers. In brief, it says:
- Don’t use internal, unsupported APIs, or hooks into the OS.
- Don’t change system settings without warning users.
- Simplify your layouts.
- Make sure you can support software-based, virtual keyboards — not just key presses on a physical keyboard.
- Make sure things don’t get screwed up when someone turns the machine sideways, which trips a device’s motion sensor.
A nice, transparent guide. But also represantative of one of the shortcomings of an “open” operating system — where developers don’t need Google to approve their apps before they’re distributed.
iPhone developers: We don’t have access to Apple’s developer message boards. (Or do we?) Would they ever publish something like this?