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The Instability of Android

To be frank, Google Android has too many developer versions. A developer friend of mine was complaining about the many developer versions she had to keep in mind while building applications or updating previous work. In fact, at this time, there are eight different versions of Android. Many developers find this to be problematic. These problems result in fewer Apps and more bugs.

On top of the 8 different Android versions, there are different OEM versions. For example, take the Droid II and the Samsung Galaxy Pro, both of which run on Android 2.2. However, you would be surprised to see that the OS is different on both devices. This is because original equipment manufacturers (OEM) usually insist on customizing the software to add their own programs.

Many times, this backfires. For example, the microSD card slot in the Motorola XOOM has not been working even after users upgraded to Android 3.1. This is the sort of thing that users don't like. The whole story reminds one of what was happening in the operating system world before Windows emerged unexpectedly and dominated the market. An operating system allowed OEMs to tweak until Microsoft came along and everybody abandoned the operating system. If this trend continues, perhaps Windows 8 will be able to take over the tablet world.

Google has refused to share the android code and make it open source. On this one, I'd say Google knows best. However, what vexes me is the security holes in the Android Market. One can easily buy an Android app from the android market that has malware holy cow! This is crazy and Google shouldn't have allowed this insanity to continue for long. Presently, many users insist on buying Android apps from popular developers. Therefore, Android users are advised to have an android malware removal tool on their device before downloading any app.

The price of an Android tablet also seems a bit expensive. We expected the android tables to be marketed as an affordable alternative to Apple iPad 2 and not something that shares the same price range as the Apple iPad 2. Let's face it, iPad 2 is the best tablet around right now. Therefore, when people see the best at a particular price and the second best at the same price, they will simply go for the best. The Nook is running on Android and they understand the market very well, which is why at $250, I, and many other consumers, can go for a Nook as a very good alternative to a luxury tablet which the iPad 2 is.

Despite all the problems, Android keeps doing relatively well. However, until Google addresses some of these problems, they are leaving themselves open to competitors to swoop in and steal market share. MeeGO, WebOS, and Windows 8 are all potential android killers.





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