All Android apps are not made equal
Google's are more equal than others
With Android developers finally let loose with real hardware, some of the limitations of the Android SDK are coming to light - though it seems that applications coming out of the Googleplex aren't limited in quite the same way.
The first evidence of a hierachical strata of developers comes with access to APIs for installing applications, a capability that Google likes to restrict to their own Android Marketplace app. The issue has highlighted the lack of equality amongst developers, upsetting some idealists though Android reckons the community will have to give up a little openness for the sake of security.
Marketplace comes pre-installed on Android phones; Google's application repository can't be accessed any other way, and as such it has access to capabilities that won't be available to third-party developers. Specifically, the Android Marketplace can install other applications onto an Android phone without warning, or alerting, the user.
Here's the official Android response.
"At this point, we think it is too dangerous to give a third party application blanket access to install applications without the user being involved. That may change in the future, but for now that is the way it is."
This isn't going to affect most developers, of course, but should Handango decide to port InHand - an on-device application for buying apps from Handango - then application installation could well be complicated by repeated dialog boxes warning users of potential risks: in contrast to the smooth process promised by Marketplace.
There are significant security risks with allowing a third-party application carte blanche to do what it likes, but that was supposed to be part of the Android experience - allowing punters to take responsibility for their own security. Still, Google clearly believes that users can only be trusted so far. ®
For the most part, in a embedded system, "it's open-source" is a non-sequitor, reinstalling an embedded system is less of a trivial matter then reinstalling a computer, and a large section of the population cannot manage that. That said, lets go back over the points of my post:
1) I souldn't have to trust google will only install things I want on my phone without my permission.
2) I souldn't have to trust google will not lose their key, thereby forceing me to trust someone else to only install things I want on my phone without my permission. (really, with all the companies/government agencies losing information, do you think this is something that shouldn't be considered?)
3) Google should not use their monolopoly status in one market to acheve an advatage in another. (a monopoly in android application distrobution should not equal an advantage for your android apps)
Frankly the third point, while it stands on it's own, is still the lowest of my conserns.
Having embedded this type of a backdoor in the system, I would require a full audit of the code in order to think about trusting it. Again, the cost/benifit of doing that is a no-brainer, yes I CAN audit it, but they have already proven that it has to happen in order to trust them. It's far more cost effective to go with a company that has not earned my distrust.
If you can't guess, I will not be buying one.
Surely no app should install stuff itself
quickly going off Android.
well im happy
You may mock Windows Mobile for being sluggish compared to its newer brothers, you may call it dull when you compare it to the beautie of its new brothers, you may even go as far as saying its c**p but you know what?
I like it.
I can do what ever i like on it and it just workes, i can install more or less what ever i like on it, and it works, i dont have to live in fear that it will be switched off by someone else or have its applications removed, i dont need to worry about it keeping track of everything i do and i can have all the security of the faster web browsers that may or may not be open source because i choose. its my phone and i do what i want with it.
Now, the point im making is actually this, buy what ever you like, after all its you thats going to be using it, stop all this BS about this is better than that and so on because it really doesnt matter if you like it, all it does it get other people up who are daft enough to take the bate and attack right back. Not one of the now four main PDA OSs beats all the others in everything, all are good, and equally all are bad, lets just chill a min and have a real think about whats important and get on with it.