Android started off being a great idea, from a great company, with lots of support from carriers and manufacturers, and an awesome $10million contest to get developers drooling. With some stiff competition from Apple, and loss of developer morale, I'm afraid of what the future might hold for this platform.
The new Apple iPhone 3G is awesome -- but more specifically, the App Store is what might be giving Google a run for its money. The quantity and quality of applications available through the store appear to be fairly healthy, whereas the applications being developed for Android were probably all created by people looking to make some quick cash from the contest -- which may have impacted the quality of submissions. There is no word on how many "good" applications were submitted in the Android contest, but if the top 50 winners list[pdf] is an indication, I'd say there's a better chance of an application being "average" than anything else.
We're pleased to announce that SDK build 84853 is now available on your private download site. This will be the last build released for ADC Round 2 and is the build that you will need to submit your final application under.
In addition, the final ADC deadline has been extended to Tuesday, August 5. This is the final ADC deadline.
Thanks! Android Developer Challenge Team
This letter was supposed to end up going to those 50 people -- it clearly mentions that there is a private download area where only the winners can download the latest SDK to code against. Unfortunately, it was sent to everyone who submitted an application. In case Google forgot, there are lots of Android developers besides those 50 that won the contest, and would appreciate new versions of the SDK. developerMorale -= 1.
The concept behind Android was that it was an "Open Platform", however Google's own actions are challenging their vision. XMPP, an open protocol that Google used to support in earlier versions of the SDK has been completely replaced by Gtalk. This means that all XMPP traffic must go through Google's servers -- so much for choice. developerMorale -= 1.
[Android] is now becoming just a Google platform for mobile, as forcing Gtalk on developers has a chain effect of enforcing Google ID’s on users and all communication to pass through Google servers. -- TechCrunchIT
I'm skeptical that Android will give the iPhone a run for its money -- what do you think?