Will the Android apps be ready for T-Mobile's G1 launch?
Many new Android users had already purchased their G1 phones from T-Mobile days before the Wednesday launch. But on Monday and Tuesday, they were wondering whether Google would re-list apps mysteriously removed from the Android Market.
With delivery of T-Mobile's G1 Android phone platform slated for Wednesday, Google released the final edition of the Android OS on Tuesday. Yet questions flared within the Android community over whether Google will also release all of its planned 50-or-so Android applications this week.
"As people start receiving their pre-ordered T-Mobile G1 phones, they are going to be very disappointed to find that the 50+ applications that were reported in the Android Market have now been stripped down to only 13. Many of the top applications that have been reviewed already will not be there," blogged developer Shawn Brown yesterday on Google's Android Community message board.
Noting that Google had earlier listed the 50+ applications within the Android Market, Shawn asked other developers for their reactions.
"While we are not sure why Google has decided to do this, it does not seem like a coincidence," said Shawn. "It may be because they want to cut down on initial bandwidth usage for the launch. Other theories are that Google may be doing a last minute quality check on the applications to ensure all work really well on launch day. Why do you guys think they took down so many applications last minute?"
Although BetaNews has posed much the same questions to Google, as of Tuesday evening, Google had yet to reply.
"If I had to guess I'd have to say it's last minute quality check or they're working on getting everything read for the launch," offered one reader of the Android Community board.
But the response among users wasn't exactly one of universal delight. "Well I just got my phone. I love touching it. But there are so many problems. I mean not having video player was such a dealbreaker for me, and then I hard about the open source apps, and thought maybe they left that functionality out to show [how] the App Store works," wrote another.
"And then they took it away. And ShopSavvy was by far the most talked about app in the news and the most common app [demo'd] by T-Mobile and Google themselves. And it's also gone."
The last time BetaNews checked, the apps listed on the Android Market site included AccuWeather.com; Plusmo College Football Live; Myspace Mobile; imeem for Android; Plusmo Pro Football; Live BlueBrush; Maverick; MyCloset; Cab4ME Light; e-ventr; TuneWiki; The Weather Channel; BreadCrumbz; and Buzzd.
Yet at a T-Mobile G1 pre-launch celebration in New York City last week, Russ Myerson, a T-Mobile senior product manager, told BetaNews that about 50 apps will indeed be ready in time for the October 22 launch date.
Meanwhile, also on the Android site on Tuesday, another blogger told developers that the final open source code for the Android OS is now ready to go, for building phones and other purposes alike.
"Even if you're not planning to ship a mobile device any time soon, Android has a lot to offer. Interested in working on a speech-recognition library? Looking to do some research on virtual machines? Need an out-of-the-box embedded Linux solution? All of these pieces are available, right now, as part of the Android Open Source Project, along with graphics libraries, media codecs, and some of the best development tools I've ever worked with," according to the Android blogger.
"Have a great idea for a new feature? Add it! As an open source project, the best part is that anyone can contribute to Android and influence its direction. And if the platform becomes as ubiquitous as I hope it will, you may end up influencing the future of mobile devices as a whole," he enthusiastically said.