Android Doomed From The Start?
It seems like many in the blogosphere (why can't it be a cube?) are already dismissing Android as failed. For example, Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo says in this post:
I know. It seems like a dumb problem. But it is an obvious one. This is one of their main promotional images—which incidentally shows a T-Mobile G1 with a screen that seems to be broken, something which is bad enough on its own—and they failed to get it right. The problem with the clocks would have never escaped Apple's ferocious attention to detail, but it is not the image itself that's so troubling. It is what it symbolizes, what is missing at Android's most fundamental level: Attention to detail.The picture he is talking about is this one:
The problem with the clocks that he is talking about is that the digital clock in the top right says 2:47 but the "analog" clock shows a time of a little after 9:00.
So what else is wrong?As he goes on in the article he talks about some more things that caught his eye that are not up to par, such as changes to the text in the UI that make no sense. Still, his main thrust seems to be that Google put out a promotional image that has a stupid mistake in it and that this means that the platform as a whole will be unpolished. He may very well be right, although I couldn't say as I have yet to get my hands on a G1.
If he is right about the lack of polish, that still does not doom the platform to fail. Google is taking the handheld market extremely seriously, many analysts think that the handset market could soon become a huge source of revenue for the company. If this were just another Google product, like say Dodgeball, I might be inclined to agree that this could be dead on arrival. But it is not. Google needs to continue to grow to keep investors happy, and mobiles are the next logical step. They have already put a lot of resources behind this, does Mr. Diaz honestly think they won't work on improving the product?
I haven't even mentioned how Android is open source, so that developers can completely skin and theme the OS to their liking and then release it in the marketplace so that others can also use it. Google isn't afraid of open source, they are going to embrace the amazing things that developers will pull off, and it will only make the platform better and better over time. Google will be able to polish to its heart content once the developer community takes off, much like Canonical is able to put most of their work into polishing Ubuntu due to the hard work of the Debian developers.
Android has a big, bright future ahead of it. Mark my words (just not with a sharpie on your screen!).