Today is "A Day", the day T-Mobile announces Google's Android mobile platform (see our brand new little sibling site, AndroidCentral, for all the details and coverage) to an anxiously anticipating world. Well... mostly anxiously anticipating.
Turns out some people aren't as interested. Is it because Google's latest forays into content, including YouTube and Wikipedia rival Knol, and platforms, including Android and Firefox rival Chrome (and gLinux OS on the horizon?), make them think "don't be evil" is just a sinister plan to catch the world -- and our privacy -- off guard and unaware? Nope. We tend to like and trust Google. What then?
Same reason some people are less than thrilled with Windows Mobile. See, while supporting multiple hardware and handsets is "choice" for the consumer, that translates into "headache" for the developer. Make a game for the iPhone, and it plays the same on every iPhone 2G, iPhone 3G, and iPhone Touch on the planet. Make a game for a multi-device OS, and suddenly you have to worry: some don't have keyboards, some have full Querty, some have T9, some don't have touchscreens, some don't have d-pads, some have 320x240, some have 480x800. Infinite combinations leads to infinite complication, and that's before you even worry about bug fixing. And for some developers, including Steve Demeter who just cleared $250K from the iTunes App Store for his game, Trism, that's a deal breaker:
“Do I want to be spending 6 months to write the game, and another 6 months making it compatible? If I had Trism available for Android, and there are 50 Android devices and every time one of them crashes (the users) contact me, do I want that?”
Sure, some developers won't care. Freedom alone will make the effort worthwhile to them. But these are the developers already coding for Windows Mobile (or LinMo). But for others? The App Store, with all its problems (and they're still many), maintains a value prop that's going to be incredibly tough to beat.