When Google announced Android there were high hopes about an open mobile platform. The momentum Android may have had has largely disappeared as developers have waited months for an updated software developer kit (SDK).
One discouraged developer started a petition for an SDK update. His fellow developers have joined the discussion, many expressing displeasure and optimism in the same sentence.
“I am holding out hope for Android but my development efforts are currently focused elsewhere and will be until Google makes some significant positive moves.” – Hong
Among the frustrations with Google is that the company has released an updated SDK to finalists in its Android Developer Challenge. That means there is a newer SDK, but most developers are not given access to it. How open is that?
A member of the Android team joined the discussion to say they are focusing on delivering Android-capable mobile phones. Indeed, hardware is another complaint of Android developers, who have gone eight months without being able to develop against more than an emulator.
“i lost patience long ago. will keep coding/waiting untill the end of
july. then ill eigther switch to the iphone (if sells are good) or
windows mobile. i see absolutely no use in working with a barely finished SDK on an emulator without a piece of hardware in my hand. MOBILE phone development is no fun if you cant test it MOBILE.” – just-some-guy
Indeed, iPhone is a common comparison with the Android developers, who see a closed system with millions of potential customers as better than an open system without a single user. I can certainly relate. Android is still just a bunch of potential to do cool things, while the iPhone can do cool stuff now.