Is Google Android Messing Up Java Mobile Software?

Android continues to grow in popularity but the concerns being raised about Android’s approach and use of Java refuse to go away.

Java creator James Gosling had criticized Android’s approach to Java a few months back –

It’s really hard to tell what their (Google) intentions are with Android. They put this thing out there, and you’ve got lots of people picking it up. The big attraction seems to be the zero on the price tag. But everybody I’ve talked to who is building an Android phone or whatever, they’re all going in and they’re just hacking on it. And so all these Android phones are going to be incompatible…

What’s going on in the Android world is there’s kind of no adult in charge. And all these handset manufacturers are doing whatever they damn well please. Which means that it’s just going to be randomness. It could be “let a thousand flowers bloom” – but it also could be a dog’s breakfast. And I guess having been around the track a few times, it feels like it’s going to be more of a dog’s breakfast…

Some of the recent criticisms surrounding Android are

Not only are there three different versions of the Android OS out in the wild at the moment, but different handset manufacturers customize the platform and add their own specialized ROMs, with the result that code that runs on one phone completely borks out on another.

Android developers have also aired their seeming irritation with the amount of effort that is required to make an Android app work across devices.

We find ourselves having to create apps that are compatible with multiple firmwares, multiple ROMs and multiple devices with different hardware. It’s in sharp contrast to the iPhone platform. Apple has tightly controlled the introduction of new iPhones and updates to its operating system.

So while Android continues to grow in popularity there continue to be serious concerns about Android’s approach & its impact on Java mobile software development. Will Android lead to a long term mess up of Java mobile development? Is Android being adopted primarily because it is free & comes from Google or on merits? Is JavaME the way to go for Java mobile software development?

With 2 key Android tech sessions on Android Design & Building an Android App at the upcoming IndicThreads Conference On Java, we certainly have at least one topic for extended debate & discussion at the conference.

Harshad Oak

Harshad Oak is the founder of Rightrix Solutions & IndicThreads. He is the author of 3 books and several articles on Java technology. For his contributions to technology and the community, he has been recognized as an Oracle ACE Director and a Sun Java Champion. Contact - harshad aT rightrix doT com & @HarshadOak

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