Entelligence is a column by technology strategist and author Michael Gartenberg, a man whose desire for a delicious cup of coffee and a quality New York bagel is dwarfed only by his passion for tech. In these articles, he'll explore where our industry is and where it's going -- on both micro and macro levels -- with the unique wit and insight only he can provide.
My friend and colleague Harry McCracken recently bought a brand new Droid from Motorola. He says it's a "loaf of day old bread.
" He's right. The Droid and Android 2.0 were introduced with much fanfare in December, but have already been eclipsed by Android 2.1 running on Google's Nexus One, and there are some serious ramifications for being behind. For example, Google recently touted the latest mobile version of Google Earth, which is a cool app that you won't be able to use unless you're running 2.1. Sure, Google says "Google Earth will be available in Android Market on most devices that have Android 2.1 or later versions," but that's most
, not every
. And what does Google mean when it says "as devices like the Droid get updated..." to 2.1? When
will they get updated? Is it any wonder that some Android users are starting to get pangs of buyers remorse?
When Android was announced, I wrote that if "Google can deliver, the impact could be huge," but I caveated a major issue: Google would need to prevent the market from fragmenting and allow it to succeed where other mobile and desktop Linux implementations had failed. Linux fragmentation remains one of the many reasons the open-source OS has failed to capture a meaningful share of the PC desktop market, and Android is rapidly following a similar path by fragmenting into different versions with different core feature sets, different users experiences and run different applications.