Windows Phone

Poll: What was the biggest letdown in the development industry in 2010?

Developers, what story were you the least happy about this year: Android fragmentation, WP7, the lack of interest in parallel programming, the shift to cloud, or something else?

Some of the biggest news stories in the Programming and Development realm this year were not necessarily good for developers. For example, Android has become very fragmented between the carriers and the handset makers, causing huge problems for the developers. Windows Phone 7 looked so very promising, but the reality has been a bit of a disappointment, considering their competition. To me, the lack of interest in parallel programming (in no small part due to the kinds of applications that we usually get to be involved in) has been a bit of a disappointment. And a lot of developers I know are simply unhappy about the sudden, rapid, and hard shift that many companies are making to cloud computing. Looking back at some of these stories, what were you the least happy about this year?

J.Ja

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

13 comments
ghallahan
ghallahan

Oracle buying Sun, putting Java's future openess in question.

Mark Miller
Mark Miller

You said there were lots of development issues going from one Android phone to the next. How does it compare with older mobile phone dev. environments? I can remember a time when mobile phone development was very platform specific (though I didn't get involved in making apps. for phones). How does it compare with the era of Java phones and JME? I vaguely remember there being small platform-specific problems with JME where something didn't port well.

Justin James
Justin James

Those days of mobile development were such a nightmare, I didn't go anywhere near it. J.Ja

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Biggest bust in 2011 will be Chrome OS based netbooks. Utterly a waste of development time.

jasondlnd
jasondlnd

Android very well could have been a contender to the iPhone and Blackberry, if it had been handled differently. In my opinion, the Android platform would have had much more success if it were directly controlled by Google (in the same way that Windows Phone 7 is being controlled by Microsoft or the way that the iPhone is being controlled by Apple). Most people will argue the point that control may hinder development; in reality, it leads to a higher level of security and consumer confidence.

mckinnej
mckinnej

Contender? I think you missed something. The numbers came out over the last week or so. Android is #1 in the U.S. and #2 worldwide. iPhone is holding fairly steady and Blackberry is bleeding customers.

Justin James
Justin James

Two years ago, people would say that BlackBerry was unstoppable... they are on the ropes now. Less than ten years ago, Palm owned the market. Where are they now? Right now, Android is rocking hard, but the fact is, they are like Palm was in 1999 or so... the first decent entry into a small field. Look at the numbers beyond the market shares, and what you will see is a market that was barely growing in the US when it was BlackBerry and Microsoft ruling it. The introduction of iPhone didn't shrink their competitors' market share be replacing their phones, but by growing the pie very quickly and grabbing most of the expansion, the folks who didn't want a smartphone from BlackBerry or Microsoft. Likewise, Android was the first smartphone OS that had broad appeal and was not restricted to AT&T. Basically, Android is "good enough". As someone who has been through 2 models of Android phones in the last year, from version 1.6 through 2.2 (and every version in between!), I have a VERY negative impression of Android. It is unstable, unreliable, extraordinarily buggy, and suffers badly from bit rot. The last OS I had at this level of "quality" was Windows 95 or 98 (pre "SE"). It is BAD. Like Windows 9X, it's a shiny OS that looks slick and entices users, but the reality of living with it... ugh. I think Android is VERY vulnerable. They may be eating BlackBerry's lunch, but BlackBerry had zero non-enterprise momentum, and at the OS level, BB is even worse than Android. Will WP7 be the OS to knock Android down? I don't know. But I do know that Android is vulnerable to anyone who offers a better experience, and given the issues with Android, it isn't like they are sitting on top of a mountain waiting for everyone else to climb it. J.Ja

Justin James
Justin James

I've had the Motorola Devour and the Motorola Droid. The Devour has MotoBlur on it. The Devour was actually MUCH less problematic than the Droid, in large part because MotoBlur was better than the built-in stuff, particularly around Exchange and Facebook integration. For example, MotoBlur synced Facebook contacts to the address book reliably while the Facebook app does not. The Devour was also the best piece of phone hardware I've ever used (except for its somewhat slow CPU and lack of LED flash, which was baffling). I only got rid of it because three of them had the same problems making calls (which turned out to be Verizon's fault anyways). The Droid, on the other hand... total piece of garbage. I've got a bug list that's around 20 deep of various flaws. Most people I talk to say that the problems must be specific to the Droid implementation of Android, but the Droid has one of the least modified versions of Android out there, other than the Nexus line. The problems could be Motorola specific. But that points out a fundamental problem with Android, is that it's openness, which is a boon, is also a problem. I have no way of knowing for sure if these issues are caused by Motorola, Verizon, or Google, and all three blame each other instead of solving problems. And that's one reason why I think Android may well be finished as soon as a credible competitor comes out with the right offering. The right offering will have iPhone of WP7 level of non-modifiability to ensure device reliability. J.Ja

jkiernan
jkiernan

Which 2 models did you own? Do you think the troubles you experienced were model-centric or pervasive throughout Android?

C-3PO
C-3PO

I just bought an android phone and I love it. Albeit I had a 3 year old windows phone before that, and anything would have been a huge jump. At any rate, I didn't buy the Windows 7 phone because I didn't like the interface and there were not many apps yet - I expected when there were, most of them would be pay apps. I didn't buy the iPhone because of the hype and the price, and Apple's control. The Android phone was a happy compromise - lots of free stuff, works well, plenty of apps to choose from. It's not my "business" phone though, which might make a difference, though if I were to purchase a business phone, I think it would have been a blackberry... still not MS or Apple.

don.gulledge
don.gulledge

Personally, I think the biggest loss (or no gain) is that of moving from the fat client to the thin (the Cloud) without anyone providing anything good in the way of technology that empowers us. The browser technology is so antiquated and behind that merely doing the simplist of things requires so much coding and low level work that it borders on idiocy. Everything is going thru the "reinventing the wheel" and the developer is the one that is loosing. All because good competition is a dead thing except when it is controlled and owned by just a few companies. Reinventing the wheel is OK for the young, since they're learning for the first time. But, after working in many, many languages why I am relearning it all over again. Why does my 4GL turn into a low level language and I'm back to being just above assembler. It's all about control.

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