Is Google ignoring the Android Market?
When I first switched to Android from Windows Mobile, I was amazed by how seamless the transition was. I didn’t hate WinMo exactly. It was more of a love/hate relationship. In fact, I mostly enjoyed flashing it and constantly tweaking settings and updating its various radios and ROMs (mainly thanks to the proprietor of this site, whom some of you may have heard of). But when I finally decided to bail on WinMo, my Nexus One could do everything out of the box that I had to hack my old Fuze to be able to do (and half-assedly at that). And the difference between the Android version of apps versus Windows Mobile ones was staggering. For one thing, legitimate Windows Mobile apps were ridiculously expensive when their iPhone and Android counterparts were either free or a negligible fee. I’ve installed close to 50 apps on my Nexus One and they have all been free. Every last one. And they work. My Fuze was in a constant state of FUBAR. Apps tended to hang far more often than actually work. It was an enormous struggle just to make calls because my GV Dialer would crap out on me 7 times out of 10 (which probably had more to do with my rode-hard Fuze than the app itself). In retrospect I can’t believe how long I put up with all of it. But now that I’ve had my Nexus One for a few months and the Google-phoria has tapered a bit, my perspective is a little more even-keeled. So, I’m only now able to see a few flaws in the land of Google as well. My biggest gripe is with the Android Market, specifically quality control. You seriously have to wade through an enormous amount of crap to find anything worth installing, if you’re just browsing. Windows Mobile didn’t suffer this fate so much because, well, Marketplace barely had a selection to begin with (since nobody was designing apps for the dying-on-the-vine WinMo 6.5). This is the one area Apple and iPhone tend to come out on top. The app store on iPhone, despite its burdensome censorship issues, makes it far easier to find relevant and useful apps. And DVD John (the programmer who decrypted commercial DVD’s) takes the Android Market failings a little deeper on his blog, claiming that Google is falling down on the job both in terms of paying its developers properly and filtering the spam apps. Kyle VanHemert overt at Gizmodo summed it up succinctly enough, “…as the Android Market continues its explosive growth, Google will have to make some changes to ensure that its quality apps don’t get lost amidst the junk.” But if this is Android’s biggest problem, then Google is still sitting pretty.