Ron Amadeo for Ars Technica:
The agreement places a company-wide ban on Android forks, saying OEMs are forbidden from taking “any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android” and specifically disallows distributing or encouraging a third party to distribute “a software development kit derived from Android.” Google has full control over the countries its apps are released in and distribution methods used to distribute the apps. This allows Google to restrict its apps to the Play Store and will keep them out of competing stores like Amazon and Samsung. Google also stipulates that the Google apps must be distributed free of charge, and they cannot be modified, reverse engineered, or used to make a derivative work, and ads are not allowed to be placed in, on, or around Google’s apps.
But Android is “open.”
Ben Kuchera, interviewing the CEO of Days of Wonder:
Hautemont joked that Google created a platform so open that it’s barely a platform anymore. The physical versions of Ticket to Ride are a specific size, and it takes a non-trivial amount of work to make that game fit well on digital devices with comparatively small screens. The good news is that with the iOS platform you need only aim for two screen sizes to hit 100 percent of all devices.
Things are not nearly as simple when you look at Android as a whole. “When you take [a game] to a platform that has dozens of different form factors, screen ratios, and so on, the work is not quite as simple. The question for us, it’s not that I don’t like Android… the question is how could we do that in a way that is satisfactory, and that’s when things start falling apart.” Everyone wants a version of Ticket to Ride that plays at least as well as the iPhone or iPad version, and they want it to run perfectly on their own phone or tablet, running their own version of Android. Trying to deliver the quality Days of Wonder is known for across all the variables of Android is simply cost prohibitive, and Hautemont has no interest in lazy ports.
Besides, there’s also the issue of customers paying for the game.
The Android ecosystem simply makes things too hard for both developers and users.
There’s something to be said for simplicity.
The Bing Community Search blog:
Today we are happy to announce the first official Bing for Mobile Android App available to Verizon customers. You can now download the free Bing App from your Verizon Wireless Android phones’ Marketplace.
This is precisely why I (unfortunately) hope that Android doesn’t gain the upper hand in the mobile market. Apple did a great job freeing handsets from a lot of carrier interference with the platform and user experience—though AT&T fought back by using network restrictions—and Android is handing that control right back to the carriers, where it shouldn’t be.
This app should be available for all Android phones.
(via Bing Community.)