September 2, 2014

All Quiet in Androidville on Eve of ADC Announcement

The winners of the first Android Developers Challenge are going to be announced next week and 20 lucky teams will walk away considerably richer. There will be ten winners of $100,000 and another ten will receive $275,000 for their efforts. And that will be the end of the first Developers Challenge. Later in the year we will get to do it all again.

At a cursory glance, you wouldn’t really know the first 20 major applications for Android are around the corner. Without digging around a little bit, you aren’t going to find much news to report on. It’s a little ironic that the closer we get to milestones and the official launch, the quieter things are getting. Why has Google gone silent?

Let’s be fair here. The Open Handset Alliance is a consortium of 34 members, all bringing different things to the table. Why does the burden get put on Google to speak about Android? There are carriers and hardware makers involved after all. Why can’t one of them speak up and give us a clue as to what’s going on? There aren’t even people speaking on conditions of anonymity about the closed door meetings. Fortunately, I am in position to know that there are people within T-Mobile who have used, tested, and played with Android. Otherwise, It’s all a big mystery.

It’s sad to think of all the potential customers Sprint and T-Mobile miss out on by not giving people a reason to wait. Buy a magazine ad with just a simple picture of your logo and the Android robot together with a “Coming Q4″ in it and watch how effective it is. Have your fanboys help generate buzz with a screenshot or two. Whenever the Dream (or whatever it ends being called) comes out, the device will have to be incredibly compelling to get people to switch carriers and cough up early termination fees.

The official Android Developers Blog has not posted anything since June 19th. We’re talking six weeks without a tiny morsel of new information. There are days that come and go and I try to think of something to write about for an editorial or opinion piece. I shouldn’t have to be waiting so earnestly for things about Android. I’d much rather be in a position to pick and choose what I want to cover, not dig for it. The only stuff getting written about in the Android circles these last few months has been mostly negative press.

My prediction for the next few weeks is this – Android will be major news for the next week. People will be looking at all of the semi-finalists and winners and trying to figure out where they’ll end up and how they’ll be used in the big scheme of things. There’s going to be some angry people complaining about the “flawed” system used to judge the applicants, but it’s likely to be the same people as before. I’ve spoken to a lot of the top 50 teams and they were extremely happy to be considered for the second round. Heck, most of the so-called losers in the first round were cool with how it went down. There are always going to be grumpy people who have an axe to grind. Unfortunately, they tend to get the press. The whole “squeaky wheel gets the grease” thing.

I’ve watched some Android articles go viral much faster than others and they are usually the ones spreading the vitriol and hate. It’s time we got some good news and positive publicity out of Android. Hopefully it starts next week and continues full speed up until the first handsets arrive. The less that gets said offficially, the more speculation we have. When you are talking about products, services, and contracts, you want people to know as much as possible. Unless, of course, it’s not all that great to begin with. Most of the terrible movies that come out nowadays don’t get screened for critics because they know how bad they are. I’m hoping that Android gets screened for us critics as soon as posible.