Android, With More Optimism

Nice piece by Steven Frank on Android, now that we’ve seen the SDK:

Commoditizing the hardware will keep the price of Android phones down, which is certainly desirable. But I fear they’re going to run into the same quagmire that Windows Mobile has.

You don’t know if any given Windows Mobile device is going to have a touchscreen, a QWERTY keyboard, a numeric pad, WiFi, cellular access, Bluetooth, GPS… How can you design software that’s in any way elegant for an unknown combination of hardware? How well would the iPhone work if you couldn’t assume a touchscreen?

I’ve been thinking along similar lines — the coolest potential Android apps might only run on specific higher-end Android phones. And conversely, apps written to run on any Android phone, no matter how minimal the hardware, are likely to be uncool.

Friday, 16 November 2007