May 14, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Next week, Google will host thousands of Android developers and enthusiasts at its annual Google I/O conference in San Francisco. In a series of messages to the Android team, Androinica.com hopes to give some constructive criticism about how they can improve the operating system we all love so much.
Hello, Android team. My name is Andrew and I’m the Managing Editor of Androinica.com, a website dedicated to Google Android news.
As you can imagine, I spend a great deal of time looking for and writing about the leading apps available in the Android Market. Sadly, dancing through the parade of soundboards and lame sexy photos can be annoying when you’re constantly swiping on an Android phone. I’d much rather have the option to browse the Market on my computer.
Google, I ask – nay, I implore – that you buy AppBrain and/or DoubleTwist, put your Google spin on them, and fully-integrate both services into the Android experience.
Over the past few years, Google has acquired more companies than I can count. Why not spend some of your billions upon billions of cash and stock options to acquire these two companies that would greatly enhance using an Android phone? This is such an obvious move that I’m surprised you haven’t already done it.
AppBrain and doubleTwist are two companies that plug-in glaring holes in the Android experience. For one, there’s no simple solution for media management. I know it’s hard to imagine for a company full of Harvard, Stanford, and MIT grads, but the “average” person doesn’t know how or want to mount their SD card for dragging-and-dropping content every day. They want a dummy-proof solution as simple as iTunes, and doubleTwist is the closest we’ve come to seeing such a product. doubleTwist is far from a perfect solution, but it’s a solid option for syncing photos/music and converting videos into formats compatible with Android devices. You could sit back and let a third-party develop on its own, but Android would be much better if you acquired the company, threw some more weight behind it, and built it into a true “iTunes for Android” experience (minus the bloat and annoyances of iTunes, if possible).
It also wouldn’t hurt to be able to browse the Market online or on the desktop. I know this is counter to your mobile-centric approach, but we need a good desktop version of the Market. Even Android Developer Advocate Dan Morrill acknowledged the need for a desktop solution.
I’ve been browsing the market exclusively from AppBrain for a few weeks now, specifically because my phone could never be as fast as my desktop, and AppBrain filters out the spam apps. That’s something you might have a problem with, but I’d put up with those crappy apps once again clouding my vision if it meant you could make AppBrain widely available under a Google banner. You have no idea how much people would appreciate being able to more easily mass-install and sync applications that we download through the web.
Google, you’re under no obligation to buy AppBrain or doubleTwist, but you have to admit that these two services have done an admirable job of addressing the areas that you overlooked. Don’t be like Twitter and rely on developers to plug your holes for months on end; cut the check and build a better product in your name.
Android’s already a great mobile platform, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it easier to get content onto mobile devices.