maandag 4 januari 2010

Android open?

I have been using my T-Mobile Pulse Android phone for a couple of months now. And I am pretty pleased with it. It works like a charm, there are tons of useful apps available on the Android market, and it is open.

Or is it?

One of the things I am not so happy with is the application management: I need to periodically check if updates are available for my apps and than manually, one-by-one update them. This is cumbersome and silly, so I thought I'd try to write a simple app that would do this automagically for me.

It turned out to be pretty straightforward to show a list of apps that is installed on the device. But it turned out to be impossible to check if there's a new version of each app available on the Android Market. I have searched documentation, forums and mailing lists, but I found no solution. The problem seems to be that Google refuses to publish the Android Market API and the Android Market app does not seem to provide its content.

I understand that only the Android platform is open, and not all the applications. Google invested in the platform and so they deserve to make some money on it. But in this case they keep one of the major interfaces closed, which is a Bad Thing. Not only for me the user, or for me the developer, but also for Google themselves, because it encourages others to develop their own market and it drives the users towards these other markets.

And that's why this post is in English: I urge Google to open up the Android Market interface. This will enable developers to make better Market applications, which will only increase the Market's popularity.

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