Time does NOT fly

Saila Laitinen's picture

I feel both a bit disappointed AND relieved at the same time. The reason is that despite of the old “how time flies” idiom, I find the utmost surprise to see how slowly the smartdevice time has flown.

A bit over ten years ago the entire 'platform' race got started by Nokia introducing the Series60 aka S60 aka Symbian. Then came Google with its' Android, Apple with iOS, Samsung with bada and Microsoft with WM. All trying to learn from their predecessors’ mistakes.

There are basically four common natures that apply to all above-mentioned platforms:

1. either they are fragmented or closed
2. either they are open or they don't allow true innovation to be done by the developers
3. either they are truly user friendly or they are not earned the acceptance of the markets
4. either they are very simple in nature or they are too complex to understand by the developers

Symbian fell into having the fragmented, open, truly user friendly but too complex-syndrome.

Android has learnt from Symbian and improved the complexity and therefore has taken the dominant status in the markets. But the fragmentation may cause a total disaster to this platform.

iOS is closed, innovation killer, truly User Friendly and relatively simply.

WM has already shown to be closed and innovation killer, but it has a nice user friendly UI. About the complexity I cannot say much yet, until I get to try the SDK myself.

The ideal platform would have the following obvious natures: open in right places, but otherwise closed to prevent the fragmentation. This means very strict rules for the device manufacturers using the platform. All should respect the architecture to the fullest extent, except the developers, who ought to have full access to the entire API set of devices. It should also be extremely user friendly, this could be accomplished by setting up an extensive enough usability study that utilizes the basic consumers from the age-group of 15-45 years, all continents, educational backgrounds etc. Then all this should be implemented by using the newest SW development policies and best practices in order to keep the architecture as simple as possible.

Why has it been so difficult then? Well, first of all developing a sw platform for smart devices is everything but a simple thing to do. I've read that Android OS alone has over 12 Million lines of code. This indeed is a talent bogey of hundreds of engineers. Unfortunately engineers running a show can mean engineers ruining the show. The risk of loosing touch on user friendliness both towards consumers and the developers is tangible.

Developers’ value seems still to be under-respected by all major players in the market. One doesn't want to trust them enough to give them control or gives them all control and access but at the same time forces them to maintain