What happened to Android-based phones?

Don Reisinger hasn't heard much about Android and he's starting to worry if things have gone awry. Have you heard anything about Android?

Even though the company promised it would be the cornerstone of its mobile plans going forward, Google's Android platform has fallen off the radar in the past few months. Some say it's because the company has had a series of issues with its SDK and companies are complaining about the difficulty of developing on the platform. All the while, we've been waiting for something from the Android camp to find out what's going on.

Chances are, Google is being tight-lipped about Android's progress for one of two reasons: it's having more trouble than it originally anticipated or it simply doesn't want us to know anything before it springs some major developments on us.

Regardless, I can't help but wonder if things have gone awry. After all, in an industry where the iPhone gets most of the attention, wouldn't Google want to do what it can to remind us all that it has something of its own up its sleeve?

I guess not.

A quick glance around the Web tells you everything you need to know about Android -- nothing. I spent a good hour looking for something to discuss here and after giving up in disgust, the best I could come up with was some useless news about the top Android applications.

To make matters worse, I was perusing Google's Android Developers blog and there has been little mention of anything important surrounding the launch and availability of Android.

With that in mind, I can't help but wonder what is really going on at the company. Is it simply trying to hide its problems so we think that everything is running smoothly or is it doing all it can to build up the hype? If it's the latter, I don't think it's doing a very good job.

Here's my theory:

Google got into the open handset business with too much hope for the future. The company figured that because of its success online, it could expect to enjoy the same kind of success in an extremely competitive environment -- the cell phone industry. Realizing that it's probably not all it's alleged to be, Google ran into trouble with software development and getting Android up and running on some of its partners' devices. And in an attempt to reassure us that everything is fine, it has maintained radio silence.

Disagree? Take a look at what Google has said recently about Android. If you notice, the company has stayed relatively tight-lipped about its plans going forward and although it may hint at interesting developments going forward, I'm not sold on the fact that anything big is coming out of the Android camp.

While I know that there are probably thousands of people right now that are anxiously awaiting an Android-based phone, I can't help but wonder how many have stopped caring. Let's face it -- if something is announced towards the end of 2007 and it's hardly mentioned by the middle of 2008, how many people can we truly expect to care?

Google's Android platform may be as wonderful as the company wants us to believe and some may even say that it's better. But unless I can actually see it with my own eyes and I have some concrete information about its development, I need to consider it AWOL.

And in the end, it's on Google to find a reason why we should care about Android and except for the boring updates on the company's Android blog, Google has gone silent. If you ask me, it better wake up soon or there could be more trouble on that front than it may expect.

Wake up, Google. We want to hear more about Android.

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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