Mubaloo’s technical team lead and Head of Android, David Branton, led a roundtable focused on Android Lollipop this week. As we’ve already covered on the blog, Lollipop brings a huge change for Android, with some walls being built around Android’s open field. The platform is getting a fresh new, paper inspired look and features that should appeal to security conscious people and organisations.
David covered many of the main points discussed in the blog about Lollipop, but also revealed some interesting insight.
It’s clear that Google is taking back some control of Android from the handset manufacturers. In the past, Google had guidelines in place for how apps should look; with Lollipop, these guidelines have morphed into something more akin to rules. Though developers can upload apps if they’re not in the Lollipop style, they’ll find that they fall down the search optimisation.
Google’s power is in its ability to assert control by demoting apps, websites and anything else discoverable via its search engine. Companies must adhere to Google’s rules around content, advertising and now around app design. This isn’t a criticism. Much of what Google has done is in the interests of quality and us, the people of the World.
With Lollipop, much of the work done is around refining and standardising the experience. It’s also about security and helping companies to control devices on their inventories.
Google Android is no longer a challenging platform to develop for. Sure, the wide variety of devices in the marketplace can cause some issues due to different hardware, but these are negligible compared with a few years ago. Google Play Services has helped to iron out many of the cross-version kinks.
As the platform matures and expands to other devices, it seems Google is keen to have more of a control on quality. By using automation, it’s able to check apps as they are being uploaded. It seems that more checks are being done to ensure apps are of a certain quality. Though this is currently focused on apps that utilise Android Auto or Android TV, it is a sure sign of more regulation to come on Android.
Whilst Android used to be an open field, with few restrictions, Google has been looking at the infrastructure and design. It has added features that enhance the experience. Yes, there are walls going up, but they are considered and are there for the right reason.