Dell Aero Highlights Android's Flaws

Google's Misguided Open Source Platform
What about the Open Handset Alliance, founded as a way to give "consumers a far better user experience than much of what is available on today's mobile platforms"? As far as I can tell, it doesn't really exist, or if it does, it's merely Google in disguise.

Carriers can do whatever they want with Androids, and as Jason Hiner of TechRepublic notes, "Members such as HTC have gone off and added lots of their own software and customizations to their Android devices without contributing any code back to the alliance."

How can there be an open platform if everybody keeps their contributions to themselves? As it stands, the Open Handset Alliance doesn't mean much, and the platform is neither controlled à la iOS, or open à la Linux. What a mess.

Apple has certainly made its share of strategic mistakes, particularly its decision to grant AT&T exclusive rights to the iPhone in the United States. But it has kept control of the platform. Given AT&T's inability to deliver a good user experience, just imagine how much worse the iPhone would be if Ma Bell could fill it with whatever junky apps and off-the-wall features some marketing exec figures would make money.

I'm glad the Aero is here: It's a good lesson in what's wrong with Android and much of the wireless industry. It also shows how Google's open source approach combines the worst aspects of creative difference with the worst aspects of community development -- the opposite intent of the open source movement.

I welcome your comments, tips, and suggestions. Post them here so that all our readers can share them, or reach me at bill.snyder@sbcglobal.net.

This article, "The Dell Aero: The ultimate example of Android's flaws," was originally published by InfoWorld.com. Read more of Bill Snyder's Tech's Bottom Line blog and follow the latest technology business developments at InfoWorld.com.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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