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InformationWeek Daily - Thursday, Dec 20, 2007

Editor's Note

Developers: Android Doesn't Work

Looks like Google (NSDQ: GOOG) doesn't have the Midas touch after all. According to reports, a sizable number of developers who've been working with the SDK for Google's Linux-based Android platform say it is full of bugs and often doesn't work at all.

It is not atypical for there to be bugs in new software. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a large number of Android developers are encountering serious coding errors in the SDK. It cites the experiences of one developer, Adam MacBeth, who has been unable to get an application working in Android after working on it for weeks.

Said MacBeth: "Functionality is not there, is poorly documented or just doesn't work. It's clearly not ready for prime time."


This is an early stumble for Google. Google needs the developers to be happy with the SDK if it expects the platform to gain any legs in the market. If they can't get applications to work because the coding is all messed up, Android might be a very short-lived experiment or fail to have the impact Google hopes for. The developers who WSJ spoke with also said Google has not be very responsive to their complaints.

The news isn't all bad, though. The WSJ wraps its article with thoughts from professional software engineer Rick Genter. Mr. Genter said, "While Google's mobile software is buggy, it isn't necessarily any worse than any other software at such an early stage."

Let's hope that's the real story here.

Since Google doesn't plan to make the platform available until the second half of next year, it and the developer community have ample time to get the bugs worked out.

What about you? Any other developers out there experiencing trouble with the Android SDK? Leave a message on the InformationWeek Blog and let us know.

Eric Zeman

Quote of The Day

"In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan." -- A Christmas Story

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