Wall Street Journal article today - are things going down the drain for independent developers?

by JP » Tue, 24 Jun 2008 02:01:31 GMT

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 The WSJ has an article today about the state of the affairs in the
Android empire.
Looks like the journalists made a number of phone calls and did not
just regurgitate some blogs - some solid insights into carriers and
developers' current situation, it seems. I have the following
takeaways from the article:
- For app developers, there is a world of two speeds. If you got "in"
through the Challenge or some other relationship, you already have
access to information about the next SDK, draft release notes at the
minimum, probably the SDK itself. Nothing in sight to the public
though. Or did I miss something? The WeatherChannel developer anyways
indirectly confirms this, which means they are getting a headstart to
implement the necessary changes to their apps, while everybody else
has to sit and wait.
- Carriers are busy branding "their" Android. Worst case, we can
expect subsidized-only phones a la iPhone, which only include apps
which made it on the inside track, while independent developers cannot
load and test theirs (superficial carrier explanation here: copy Steve
Jobs excuses of yore). The first batches of Android phones will
certainly come with aggressive SIM locks - no question in my mind, but
I might be proven wrong.
It'll be interesting to see however if enthusiasts can flash these
suckers from clean Android images without too much trouble. Sans SIM
lock, sans branding, but I suspect special service cables will be
needed which are not available to the public. Needless to say that
we'll be told we'll burn in hell (or worse) if we choose to pursue

Overall... question marks keep piling up for independent developers.
Looks like we are getting squeezed out of the race to market? Perhaps
some clarifying words by the developer advocates at Google might give
us some pointers (wink, wink)?



Wall Street Journal article today - are things going down the drain for independent developers?

by Anil » Tue, 01 Jul 2008 22:04:03 GMT



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