Lots of Excuses

The first comment on Robert Scoble’s Droid piece I linked to earlier today is from Thomas Marban, one of the developers of Twidroid, which is widely (maybe even universally) hailed as the leading Twitter client for Android. Marban writes:

one of the main reasons why UIs are unequally inferior are not only the way you build apps (open vs. closed hw/sw system) and the SDK itself but also marginal to non-existing UI standards, no ready-made drag & drop UI items, variations in carrier- & device firmware, hard- & software input, screen sizes, international customizations, modded phones, rooted phones and last but not least completely different expectations among users and the linux’ish target group itself. in a nutshell: beautiful mess. obviously, all these reasons eat up a huge pile of time that one could better spend with improving UX and polishing the interface. those who started early with android development have learned and are still learning it the hard way, just like they did with win 3.1 back in the days.

That doesn’t sound like someone who plans to ever ship something of the caliber of Tweetie, Birdfeed, or Twitterrific. From what I’ve seen of Twidroid, it’s not even as good as Craig Hockenberry’s original version of Twitterrific for iPhone, which was written as a jailbreak app before the iPhone officially supported third-party software. If Android hardware diversity is already a problem for third-party developers, it’s only going to get worse.

Monday, 9 November 2009