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Old 06-20-2011, 01:49 AM   #1
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How important is Android for Google?

And specifically, Android for tablets?

I am a little bit puzzled by certain shortcomings of Android. For example, the search engine of the Android market. It simply sucks. I type in dictionary to get an idea of what dictionaries are available and I get onscreen keyboards, word games, notepads... Among the first seven results, only one dictionary. I can't believe it! I mean, this is Google we are talking about. How come it hasn't even bothered to create a decent search engine for their own app store? It shouldn't so difficult for them. After all, they have certain experience in that field.



Have you seen the recent reviews for Google Earth? They are all abysmal. It seems that the app is simply broken. One of the best apps for Android, created by Google itself, and it's broken because, I guess, they couldn't care enough to test the update.

How come Google Docs still feels like a fascinating... experiment? After all these years in development, it should be the best office app for Android hands down. But it is not.

Maybe this is part of the problem: Google is used to releasing web services in beta, but I don't think that works for an OS, not when the user has to pay several hundred dollars to use it. And now they are releasing Chrome OS. A company that had no previous experience developing operating systems just a few years ago, now it's goint to develop and support two at the same time. O 2.5, because I am not sure that Android for phones and Android for tablets are exactly the same OS. At least it has significant differences, doesn't it?

My impression is that Google is not putting its whole weight behind Android. Instead of focusing on one thing until it works like it should, they are expanding in all kinds of directions. Hopefully I am wrong, but I have the impression that Google is biting more than it can chew. And, as an Android user, I am a little bit worried about the future of the platform.

What do you think?

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Old 06-20-2011, 02:24 AM   #2
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Maybe this is part of the problem: Google is used to releasing web services in beta, but I don't think that works for an OS, not when the user has to pay several hundred dollars to use it.
It seems to have worked quite well, and users have paid hundreds to use far less functional versions than Google is releasing now.

Quote:
And now they are releasing Chrome OS. A company that had no previous experience developing operating systems just a few years ago, now it's goint to develop and support two at the same time. O 2.5, because I am not sure that Android for phones and Android for tablets are exactly the same OS. At least it has significant differences, doesn't it?
Google has had an internal battle going on for some time, about just how far to commit to the cloud and how soon. Chrome OS is part of the full on cloud side of the battle, Android is a little more conventional. When Google first bought Android, they weren't fully committed to it, but they were concerned about the mobile market being controlled and their web content (specifically, their ads) being shut out, so they released Android in beta, though they called it 1.x, gave it a shot, and people liked it. Not everyone wanted Apple, winmo was neglected and Palm was nearing extinction, so it filled a void. 2.x is like a real OS, though still rough around the edges, and it's hard to imagine sales having better trajectories. Android's biggest purpose was to ensure that no group (Apple, MS, et al) could shut off access to an open mobile internet (that Google needs to survive) without consequence, and I'd say it has done that job well.

Android is Android. The newest for tablets has a different UI than the newest for phones, but the next iteration, called ice cream sandwich (not the catchiest nickname) unifies the two. With lots of tablets itching to get to market to compete with the iPad, Google wanted a more tablet friendly UI on the table fast, and I suppose there wasn't time to iron out all of the wrinkles, so they split things up temporarily.

Lots of people share your dissatisfaction with the market. And the complaint is fair, as are a lot of others. Google Docs is one indication of how the company has lots of different groups with different focuses: Docs was not developed for Android. Neither was Chrome (the browser), and both should have been. As to the core of your question, I don't think the shortcomings indicate google isn't serious about Android. It's been a huge contributor to their core business: advertising. Mobile ad revenue is a fast growing market, and pretty much everyone believes the mobile internet will be THE internet of the future. Google is deadly serious about that, and so long as Android helps, they'll keep getting a little better at it with each passing year.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:31 AM   #3
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^ Absolutely could not agree more. Well-said David.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:25 AM   #4
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I am a little bit puzzled by certain shortcomings of Android.
The first rule of Android is that you do not criticize Android.

Android is strong. Android is perfect.

We are neither.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:31 AM   #5
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The first rule of Android is that you do not criticize Android.

Android is strong. Android is perfect.

We are neither.
You got things mixed up, that was the rule for users of the fruity OS: "every problem is a feature, you are just doing it wrong!".

Android users come down hard on Google. Honeycomb still has a long way to go.

Last edited by HansTWN; 06-20-2011 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:33 AM   #6
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You got things mixed up, that was the rule for users of the fruity OS: "every problem is a feature, you are just doing it wrong!".

Android users come down hard on Google. Honeycomb still has a long way to go.


^ and as well we [they] should. Best road to real progress.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:49 AM   #7
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I agree, the Market's search engine is not the best but I believe is not a search engine thing, but a database problem (normalization of the data there) or wrong tags.

I mean, with so many Android versions and so many apps (released without proper tags sometimes) makes it difficult to retrieve info. The market needs to be segregated in a way that you can filter by version; kind of iPad way, where you can filter by iPad or iPhone apps.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by HansTWN View Post
You got things mixed up, that was the rule for users of the fruity OS: "every problem is a feature, you are just doing it wrong!".

Android users come down hard on Google. Honeycomb still has a long way to go.
and any lack of a feature is a useless feature, until you get said feature then it's just "Magical".
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Andanzas View Post
And specifically, Android for tablets?

I am a little bit puzzled by certain shortcomings of Android. For example, the search engine of the Android market. It simply sucks. I type in dictionary to get an idea of what dictionaries are available and I get onscreen keyboards, word games, notepads... Among the first seven results, only one dictionary. I can't believe it! I mean, this is Google we are talking about. How come it hasn't even bothered to create a decent search engine for their own app store? It shouldn't so difficult for them. After all, they have certain experience in that field.



Have you seen the recent reviews for Google Earth? They are all abysmal. It seems that the app is simply broken. One of the best apps for Android, created by Google itself, and it's broken because, I guess, they couldn't care enough to test the update.

How come Google Docs still feels like a fascinating... experiment? After all these years in development, it should be the best office app for Android hands down. But it is not.

Maybe this is part of the problem: Google is used to releasing web services in beta, but I don't think that works for an OS, not when the user has to pay several hundred dollars to use it. And now they are releasing Chrome OS. A company that had no previous experience developing operating systems just a few years ago, now it's goint to develop and support two at the same time. O 2.5, because I am not sure that Android for phones and Android for tablets are exactly the same OS. At least it has significant differences, doesn't it?

My impression is that Google is not putting its whole weight behind Android. Instead of focusing on one thing until it works like it should, they are expanding in all kinds of directions. Hopefully I am wrong, but I have the impression that Google is biting more than it can chew. And, as an Android user, I am a little bit worried about the future of the platform.

What do you think?
Google Earth has 4 out of 5 stars It seems to work perfectly on my Droid X.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RockdaMan View Post
The first rule of Android is that you do not criticize Android.

Android is strong. Android is perfect.

We are neither.
Are you still hoping that if you pretend hard enough that the Android userbase is as fanatical as Apple's it will somehow become true? The above post is basically trolling. Are you really cool with being that guy?
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:20 PM   #11
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I agree, the Market's search engine is not the best but I believe is not a search engine thing, but a database problem (normalization of the data there) or wrong tags.
That's interesting. If you are right, I guess this means that Google won't be able to clean the mess anytime soon, right? That's too bad.

Quote:
The market needs to be segregated in a way that you can filter by version; kind of iPad way, where you can filter by iPad or iPhone apps.
I totally agree with this. I want to buy the Oxford Spanish dictionary. At $25, it's a bit pricey for an app, but it's one of my favorite dictionaries and I use it all the time. But I can't find out how well it would look on the screen of my Transformer. Oh well.

They also need a better way to promote apps that are currently on sale. Right now what's the point of having a sale if nobody is going to find out?

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Google Earth has 4 out of 5 stars It seems to work perfectly on my Droid X.
It has 4 of 5 stars because it's a great app. I am not arguing that. But the last update broke it for many people. I can't make it to work on my tablet. When I looked yesterday, I saw a lot of 1-star ratings from people complaining about this problem.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:44 PM   #12
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I totally agree with this. I want to buy the Oxford Spanish dictionary. At $25, it's a bit pricey for an app, but it's one of my favorite dictionaries and I use it all the time. But I can't find out how well it would look on the screen of my Transformer. Oh well.
AFAIK they still have a 15min. trial period (double check before taking my word for it as it might have changed) so you can at least give it a quick try and cancel the purchase if it sucks (it was much more useful when the trial period was 24 hours). I don't know if that will give you enough time, but it's something.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:24 PM   #13
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I've been using the Amazon app store more and more. It's not perfect either, but one thing they do well is promote discounts and markdowns. That's definitely in their wheelhouse. Selection isn't up to par yet, but it's also not bogged down with spammy stuff yet. I have no desire to get a google checkout account either.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:53 PM   #14
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Are you still hoping that if you pretend hard enough that the Android userbase is as fanatical as Apple's it will somehow become true? The above post is basically trolling. Are you really cool with being that guy?
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:11 PM   #15
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I guess Rockdaman just thought he was in the fruity forum when he made the above comment! An honest mistake, a wrong mouse click and you are there.

And after all, Android users are a stubborn bunch. Didn't Steve the Great declare that SD expansion slots are evil? And still you are refusing to buy tablets without them?

Last edited by HansTWN; 06-20-2011 at 11:15 PM.
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