Google claims its Android cellphone software will usher in a new era of wireless communications. But for developers like Adam MacBeth, Android has so far brought headaches and frustration.
MacBeth said he spent weeks trying to write programs for Google's much hyped mobile-phone software, but he found the developers' tool kit full of bugs. "Functionality is not there, is poorly documented or just doesn't work. It's clearly not ready for prime time."
Complaints about new software aren't unusual, but a sizable number of developers -- the very people Google hopes will add the bells and whistles to its software -- are complaining that the tool kit is plagued by errors. Google, they said, has been largely unresponsive. Google said the software kit it released last month amounts to an "early look" designed specifically to get developers started as soon as possible and to elicit feedback. The company said it is incorporating suggestions into new versions.
Android is at the heart of Google's attempt to develop inexpensive cellphones that can easily access the Internet. The company hopes these next-generation phones will significantly boost mobile Web usage and increase its ad revenue as a result.
Google released software tools to help developers write programs for Android, and the company said it would pay $10 million in prize money for the best programs. Rick Genter, a software engineer who is writing an Android application, said that while Google's mobile software is buggy, it isn't necessarily any worse than any other software at such an early stage. He said there should be plenty of time for Google to tidy things up before Android handsets hit the market next year. (info from The Wall Street Journal)