Google trading quality and security for market share?
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 — by Wayne Smallman
Google are experiencing something of a downer this past several days, much of which leaves a huge question mark hanging over their qualitative approach to Android.
While I’m sure many will be quick to champion Android, I’m not one of them. Personally, I don’t see any reason for me to use an Android-powered mobile device, which isn’t to say I’m recommending you don’t, because I’ve never even used one, aside from attempting to navigate my girlfriend’s phone once or twice. But my suspicions of the Android have been born out more completely recently, but have been coming to fruition for several months, if truth be told.
Earlier this month, Google made an astonishing mess of paying their Android developers, providing them with a stock response and no actual details as to when they’re likely to be paid. Then, even more annoyingly, they then provide some limp support resources, which allude to nothing more than a broken link. As is customary with Google, there is almost no way of contacting them, which is bad enough normally, but for developers? This is just a shambles.
Next up, we have sponsored applications leaching battery life on Android and Windows devices, typically a problem associated with free applications. However, I must hasten to point out, this may also be a problem with Apple’s iOS devices, too, though my feeling is that it would be to a lesser extent, given their application development guidelines are seen by many as being much more stringent.
Sponsored? Advertisements. Yes, we all hate adverts, but now you have another reason to hate them, especially on your Android device, as they just became a massive vector for a potential wholesale privacy violation and possibly theft of many other resources you have on your device. This is the kind mess I’d have expected of Microsoft, circa 2001-2005, and not Google.
You have to wonder if Google is trading quality, security and community for market share. Assuming that Google are that stupid, expect more and worse missteps in the coming months and years.
In all, Google have — in my opinion — been in gradual qualitative decline for quite some time, and this simply more evidence of that funk. The fact of the matter is, perceived choice and reduced cost comes at a price — you get what you pay for…