Google Android Disappoints Developers

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Despite the hype that accompanied the announcement of Google’s Android mobile operating system, the first reports back from developers who have worked with it are not too encouraging. Separate reports from Ars Technica and the Wall Street Journal sketch an operating system full of promise, but also beleaguered by bugs.

“It’s clearly not ready for prime time,” software developer Adam MacBeth told the Wall Street Journal. “Functionality is not there, is poorly documented or just doesn’t work.” A first-hand account from Ryan Paul at Ars Technica mirrored this complaint, but also noted that Google’s system to track down and eliminate bugs is inadequate. Rather than automating the bug tracking process with a system for users to build a database of known issues, Google relies on posts in its forums to call problems to Android developers’ attention.

Google released a software developer’s kit (SDK) for Android on Nov. 12. The company called it an “early look,” meant for getting developers familiar with the OS before an official release. Eventually, two prizes of $10 million apiece will be awarded to developers of the most promising Android applications.