Monday, October 5, 2009

ADC2 and Android 1.6

So T-Mobile started rolling out the newest update to Android (1.6, code-named Donut). I got my update last week. Now normally this would be cool. I'm especially happy about some of the market improvements in 1.6.

The only problem is, voting for the first phase of the Android Developer Challenge II is going on right now, coinciding with the Android update. And developers were told to develop apps compatible with 1.5 for the contest (for most of the development period, the 1.6 SDK wasn't even available).

What this means is that because of the update, some percentage of the apps submitted to the contest will not be compatible with 1.6. I loaded Relativia to my phone with 1.6 and checked it out. Seems to be working fine, even all the map functionality.

But there are a few devs on the discussion groups that are reporting crashes and errors when running their contest apps under 1.6. This is not cool. I don't know of any feedback from Google about this issue so far either. I wouldn't think the number of people working on Android at Google is very large. It sounds like some people were not communicating, though.

User judges have the capability to skip apps they don't want to vote on. The fairest thing for a user to do would be to skip voting on apps that crash. But most users probably aren't aware that problems with the app could be due to OS version compatibility. Google could do a number of things to correct the situation, some which would require a lot of work (like testing apps for compatibility issues), to disable the voting app under 1.6, only allowing it to run under 1.5. They could cut short the user voting and rely on expert judges from the second round. Or they could simply do nothing.

I'd heard that devs complained about the administration of ADC1, but I don't think anything like this happened. Stay tuned...hopefully Google will actually address the matter soon. The issue doesn't seem to be affecting my entry, but I hate to see other devs get screwed over.

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