Category Archives: mobile

Everything mobile.

Dear Google, Why do you treat Android as an Orphan?

Dear Google, Why do you treat Android as an Orphan?

The problem with Google Android Market.

Android is a good platform, no doubt. But Google treats it like an orphan. Why, Google?

Did you give birth to Android just for fun? Have some responsibility! Nurture your child!

Believe it or not, Google doesn’t care a damn about Android. Why should they? Its not their primary product compared to Apple/Blackberry/Nokia! Google Search is!
Android is just a fun project for them with a bunch of investment as a throw away. Remember the time when Google wanted to have Android as an Independent company? Remember how Google didn’t pay lot of attention to the sale of Google Nexus One and finally shut the production?

There are some clearly visible problems with Android and why its not still the best in the market.

1. No Liability. Google doesn’t want to take responsibility of filtering quality apps. As I’m blogging at the moment, there are 300k apps in iTunes, 250k+ on Android, 50-80k on Blackberry and so on. None of the Android developers will disagree with me if I say that 80% of the Android apps are useless. Where is the Quality? People launch apps just to promote their own product?!
Hello? There is something called as HTML 5 and Mobile Web for that! But why would Google care for an orphan?

2. Lack of Interest: I have seen the forums. There are teams who answer questions related to problems but the entire thing is so slow and there is no fun involved. Developers are not excited about asking questions for the appstore.

3. Google Market: The market is a big big thumb down. I don’t like it at all. Lets take some examples:

A. Android Publisher accounts has big problems : There’s always some maintainence or upgrades or something or the other not working. Specially in last couple of months this has increased.

B. The Publisher account is a ONE MAN ARMY : Lets say you have a team, OH NO, Market doesn’t allow teaming concepts. Its linked to your primary account. How on earth Google assumes the app publishers will handover their primary account password to the developers to upload and maintain the apps? Companies like us launch 2-3 apps weekly and its a big problem for us to convince clients to send their Google Password.. This is surely not expected out of Google. To top it, our clients think we do not know our stuff!

C. Merchant Accounts: Well Google, Did you know how many Android developers are there in India? Atleast far far more than you think. For those of you who didn’t know this. Google DOESN’T ALLOW Paid apps in India and many other countries. Such a pity!

D. Ratings/ Comments: Oh Google, I am so disappointed with you on this. People keep commenting in and out. Negative comments on competitor products. A good product turns evil! One cannot even mark a comment as SPAM!

E. Free Apps to Paid Apps switching Not possible: Ok Google, You really scare me now. What if I want to offer my App free for a few days during holiday season? What if I want to run a promotion campaign? Really, have your team no marketing sense?

F. Copy Protection: Google missed out the long term thinking here. They have this feature of now allowing the apps to moved from Internal memory to SDCard. It was made to ensure that apps aren’t copied. Hey Google, didn’t you know ROOTed devices does that anyway. Obviously if someone wants to copy will copy it anyhow! But look at the negative side? There are devices with just 128MB of internal memory. How do you expect these devices to run apps out of internal memory?

G. No limelight for new apps: Google android store has become a place where there is no room for fresh apps. Whenever you open the Google Market, you’ll see top free/top paid etc and on the last is new releases. This is not the case with Apple iOS. Apple ensures that new apps do come on limelight by presenting the user with this screen first. As a result of this silly thing which Google fails to understand, the top apps keep topping all the time and there is very less scope for new apps to come on limelight

I. Google doens’t earn from Apps: They earn from selling support for their Android OS. There are 100s of manufacturers today who goto google for customizing their OS in the way they like it. Samsung and HTC are top ones. Google makes good money with this and they’re just not bothered about retail consumer markets.

Sales Reports:

So why all this?

I probably think is that Google doesn’t want to regulate the apps. Instead it wants as many apps as possible. The way google is behaving with the market clearly shows that it wants the app publishers to *NOT* earn money from their app’s sale but rather from other sources which is clearly Advertisements.

Due to such things, app developers are switching from a PAID app model to a FREE App + Adversting model. This is not good for publishers, but a very good thing for Google. As yet again, Google is highly interested in only ads! No matter where they come from.

Mobile devices are a new toy and platform for Google for their ad business to expand and the policies and strategies around the apps clearly suggests that Google isn’t going to improve their market in near future and just expect small little changes here and there to keep people happy!

Android has become nothing but just a dust in the glittering eyes of the users.

J2ME : Virtually end of life

J2ME has virtually reached its end of life. Not because there are no projects in the market. There are still projects even for vb6(1998 release) but the mobile software development has almost changed all software development paradigms.

There are many factors why J2ME is not as popular as Iphone apps. I learned J2ME first(year 2000), then Java SE and then Java EE. J2ME was very easy and didn’t need much java knowledge as it was the most simplest forms of applications one could have. So why’s it dying. Because of its simplicity.

Here are some reasons why Java Mobile Edition is dying out.

1. Simplicity: J2ME was too good for apps having 128KB of memory. As years passed by, memory became cheaper by the day but J2ME feature list didn’t grow up well. I believe that at some point of time, if resource availability is more then we could enhance some good features. But nah! J2ME kept doing little enhancements while hardware jumped faster.

2. Limited availability: Even though it was Java, the component set it provided were too simple. With just a dozen component set and a few layouts one cannot keep up. There are still a few options for providing more components via J2ME Polish, but Polish is a 3rd party tool.

3. Change: J2ME didn’t change or addin more features. Rather I would say the community was really slow in developing more components. Most experts were busy in developing enterprise solutions. Custom components were made but not released as open source. Sun & J2ME polish were the only one who were publicizing WTK. Blackberry’s RIM (Research in Motion) may be doing it indirectly to promote their handsets. But they themselves included a lot of API which were through J2ME but native to Blackberry handsets only — Smart! But I feel they were caught up with this technology and now they cannot get rid of it. But what can I say, RIM was a new company trying to make its mark in the market so they had a good choice of adapting an existing technology rather than creating and SDK for their own apps. Remember RIM is not Apple..!

4. Integration: J2ME had a great IDE with Netbeans only. Larger audience who uses eclipse didn’t have the best IDE which netbeans has. Drag n Drop etc were available much later and still with limited functionality. In fact I would say the flow designer of Netbeans is much much powerful and can give a good competition to Iphone SDK in terms of mobile app flow.

5. New replaces the old: Windows Mobile came in as all smart phone which took a lot of enterprise market. It had easy drag n drop VB6 style programming which made it easy. Years 2002-2006 enterprise market was ruled by smartphones having windows mobile or CE etc. Even now many shipping company, restaurants etc prefer windows based solution. Remember Blackberry was famous in the industry as a personal usage smartphone for its business services and not for its 3rd party application. Now when Iphone has come in, the market is flourishing with projects on iphone!

6. Android bug: Lastly most J2ME developers knowing Java are migrating to Android platform which is completely java based. Even the new ones. They want to build up a career in Android and not in J2ME!

So if someone asks me what’s the future of J2ME? I would say its a ship with a torn sail! The technology needs a complete revamp. Polish should be integrated as a native support. Better IDE which competes with other products’ IDE. It definitely needs much better SDK support.

And whose going to do it? Let the community decide!