Feeds

Google's Android market needs Jobsian strongman

Tough iPhone love

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The Apple standard

But to reach consumers, there really needs to be consistency in the way that users find and consume applications. Apple has set the standard – for better or worse – with the App Store. Android apps require users to purchase and download only from their device, generally not an issue, but not always the best user experience.

The big question is whether or not the task of building and maintaining an Android app store similar to Apple's store should fall to the Google-borg or whether third-parties such as Motorola or Verizon should take ownership and are capable of offering the breadth, depth and level support needed for a wide variety of applications.

Perhaps connecting your iPhone to a computer is where Apple has found Android's current Achilles Heel. For better or worse, with the iPhone, you know Apple is in charge. With Android, it could be one of a dozen or more companies, from your device manufacturer to a carrier to a startup to Google itself.

Having said that, Android is a promise of things to come, and it will likely leapfrog the iPhone within the next 18 to 24 months – at least on the operating system side. Developers like the tooling, APIs, and possibilities associated with new devices, and many resent Apple's choice of Objective-C on principle alone.

For their part, device manufacturers like the customization capabilities as well as the fact that there is a core kernel that is developed similarly to Linux with a theoretically benevolent Google directing development.

And, while Android lacks Apple's combined polish of hardware, operating system and marketplace, there is historical precedent that suggests being part of the world wide web rather than building a walled garden is the right way to go. Just ask AOL.

On that basis, Android will likely coalesce into just a few versions and continue in general to take market share from RIM, Microsoft, Nokia, and Palm – a move that could easily sound the death knell for the mobile operating systems of any number of companies.

However, market dominance is one thing – actually having consumers like and want to use your device is another. Handset makers and telcos, especially, are not known for their forward thinking. The mobile apps market has been marked by years of mediocre applications and walled gardens that lock in both consumers and developers. The market bread indifference and frustration towards phones and service providers, and that's what made the iPhone seem so revolutionary and appealing.

The challenge for Android, then, is not motoring to some kind of inevitable ubiquity but in corralling the various app stores and marketplaces to make it easier for developers to make money with their own applications and for consumers to find and pay for them.

To achieve that, someone, somewhere has to start taking a cue from Apple's user experience and consistency. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.