Amazon Android vs Google Android, what could this mean for Android Apps?

Eindoofus
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I came across this article earlier today and I'm somewhat confused as to what the implications of this may be:

http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/17/google-versus-amazon-android/

If Amazon does decide to rework the Android OS to benefit them, how significant could the changes be? Will Google Apps still be able to run on Amazon devices and vice versa? Could Amazon keep the two from being compatible with each other if it wanted to? Would all the app programming still be done in java with the android sdk like it is now or could Amazon branch off with it's own SDK? How different could something like that become?

I'm trying to figure out what the implications of this could be. It sounds like they want to make the Android OS App experience more like the iPad and iPhone, in which case what do you predict they will do?
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I also read the same article by MG. While MG poses some good questions here, my thoughts run around the following lines.

Amazon has shown a lot of interest in Android platform lately. But I strongly doubt that they'll ever come up with a SDK of their own. Google's Android SDK is the official version and it'll stay as it is. However, being an Open Source based OS, anyone can develop and customize the OS in the way they want. Amazon is merely trying to optimize the Android for a better experience just like how each Phone Manufacturers are customizing / optimizing Android in their own unique ways both for branding as well as for ease of use that may/may not come natively. It's a good thing to have multiple choices over the Android experience instead of just a single interface choice as in the case of Apple's iOS devices.

A SDK on the other hand is totally different. You have to do a lot of customizations to the OS if you want to come up with your own SDK. That will change the way Apps are written and will only result in Developer frustrations over having to learn multiple SDKs. I'm sure if Amazon tried their hand on creating their own SDK, they'll loose very miserably. I'm sure Amazon is wise enough to know otherwise.

But, a different experience of Android User Interface or the different approach to Apps as they showed in the Amazon AppStore is always a welcome. More competition on this space means Google will have to perfect it's tools. As a consumer, we'll get the BEST out of this if such a fight ever happens. :)

Hope that helps...
Awarded 2011
Awarded 2011
Commented:
Well, who can know what will happen in future?
In my mind, it seems that there is already sufficient body of devleopment products and currently going on development
for the Android systems (as we can even judge from the questions in EE),
 that the risk that your application developed for Android today would become not useful
specifically because of the events mentioned in this paper is rather small. There are already plenty of Android phones
and even tablets around, and Amazon still needs to come up with the product which may potentially eclipse
those existing devices. Will this product be successful? Would they choose  to go the route they mention in the paper
and close the development and not support older programs? All those things are unpredictable, therefore
I would not change my today's activities because of this or similar articles.

In general, my belief is that in some time in future google's more open approach to mobile
app developments  a la Android, will trump much more tghtly controlled
Apple model, because it will attract broader range of developers and customers.
Am I right in this prediction?  Once again, no one can know for sure, of course.

Google, at least up until recently, has locked their app market from tablets and large-form-factor devices that don't meet the criteria that google sets out for a mobile phone. Devices such as the Archos 10 internet tablet, which is a 10 inch tablet that runs Android, do not get access to the market because they do not have a sim card slot and are too large, and therefore cannot be called a phone. The samsung galaxy tab is one of the few android tablets which has access to the official google marketplace.

Because the official app store isn't supported, manufacturers try to make their own application platforms. Archos for example has a special app store with a (limited) selection of apps, and it looks like Amazon wants to do this too. It is an appropriate next step that a customized SDK to write apps for that particular platform would come next.

Frankly, I don't think it will go very far - my understanding is that as Android develops and becomes a better platform for tablets, and as tablet android devices become more and more popular, google and the google market will official adopt them and third party "markets" and SDKs will become obsolete.

As a developer, I wouldn't jump on the Amazon SDK.

So I wouldn't worry too much ;)

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Commented:
It does, thanks. One more thing, I'm curious to know where you think this Chrome Books thing is headed. It's sounds like an interesting concept that's catered towards students and businesses but I've heard that there haven't been any impressive reviews.

In ideal world where there is a constant connection these devices would make sense but there is too often downtime. I mean there are plenty of apps on both Android and iOS that don't require a constant connection to the net.

What is your guess as to what will happen with these Chrome Books? Are any of these Chrome Apps capable of running offline. What language do Chrome Apps use? Do they use any offline code? Can any of them run offline? If not, how difficult do you think it would be for Google to throw Android apps onto Chrome Books? Do you think they would ever be likely to do that or is it more likely that we'll see a whole new SDK for Chrome Books, in which case would it still be Java and resemble any of the same structure as Android Apps?
Awarded 2011
Awarded 2011

Commented:
this is a little bit sceptical view on Chrome Books:
http://futurelawyer.typepad.com/futurelawyer/2011/05/is-there-a-chrome-book-in-your-future.html
I'd tend to agree with it.
 
First of all, thanks for accepting my previous answer.

Chrome Books is indeed an interesting concept. Netbooks are getting popular lately and they're worthwhile to some users who doesn't want a full-blown Laptop to carry around when all they need is some quick internet browsing or web based work.

Samsung and Google took this idea and made it to be much more using the already existing Google Chrome OS (Internet Browser as a OS) as a NetBook concept targeted towards Students with cheaper Price model. That's a very good idea. However, reviews are NOT great because, most reviews are done by technology geeks who consider them above everyone else and above any technology that's inferior in terms of hardware or software. They won't accept a cheap version of anything that's running with less  power and less OS. But if you go beyond them, for Students, this is a dream come true.

Of course, there are always the so called "Tablets" and some really good "Smart Phones" that can take care of the needs of the Students. But both of them has major cons when compared to NetBooks. Smartphones, while "may be" cheaper still pose a very small screen to be considered a Laptop. Tablets, while quite closer to a Laptop are very costly. So, Netbooks are the BEST way for Students and Google Chrome OS with Samsung Hardware is the BEST thing they can ever get.

Getting constant connection to Web is out of the question as most Universities has always-on internet in their campus. Even then, Google has always made off-line working as part of most of their products. You don't necessarily need "Apps" to do that. For example, Gmail and Docs can work offline natively. However, creating Apps that work offline is much easier than you would think. Moreover, Google Chrome already includes Apps SDK (checkout the Beta version of Google Chrome to see that). Apart from that, you also have Adobe AIR that can create excellent web and desktop apps. Mozilla Prism is another possibility. So, the future is sure looks bright there.

I'm sure ChromeBook is here to stay and if they perfected it much more, it'll be one killer of a NetBook that everyone will be wanting besides just Students.

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