Android Hits (Normal) Hiccups As it Matures
Now that the T-Mobile G1 phone based on Google's Android operating system is being broadly tested, and now that Android is officially open source, some of the problems that surround first-generation technology are starting to surface. Many observers advised consumers to wait for Android and Android applications to mature before buying phones. Here are some of the problems emerging and moves from global manufacturers.
Red Herring notes a review of the G1 phone written by a Nomura analyst where he cites the fact that "Android restarts itself often, resulting in the constant resetting of the device clock and other key measures." The reviewer says "This is a simple issue of maturity, The current version is 1.0, meaning that it is Google’s first attempt at putting mobile phone software into the wild.”
Meanwhile, speaking at a conference yesterday, Sprint's CEO said Android is "not good enough to put the Sprint brand on it," as reported by Information Week. Sprint is a member of the Open Handset Alliance, which seeks to promote Android, and is still pledging to produce Android-based phones in the future. Hesse didn't elaborate on what he sees missing in Android now.
On top of these developments, researchers are reporting the first Android security flaws. The researchers charge that Google needs to update some of the open source components within Android.
Are these reports anything to get alarmed about? Hardly. It's typical for version 1.0 technology to need time to mature before it really hits its stride. Apple delivered a remarkable platform and browser for the iPhone right out of the gate, but it too has stumbled as it has tried to extend services such as MobileMe. It's perfectly normal for Android to need a bit of time, and I bet we'll see it really take off next year.
In the meantime, in other Android news, China is going with Lenovo for its own Android-based phone. HTC is the manufacturer of the hardware for the T-Mobile G1, but China will opt for a Lenovo Mobile version of the phone, reports Gizmodo. The Lenovo/Android phones are expected in the first quarter of next year.