Android Application Failures Still Try Our Souls


Android-Application-FailureHappy Independence Day everybody! I only hope those of you reading this on your Android device have not turned it sideways or performed some other seemingly innocuous action that has made this application fail.

I say this because I recently read yet another blog about “workarounds” to compensate for application failures inherent in Android devices. These pieces have become almost ubiquitous over the past 18 months to the point where one would think Google would just go back and perform the structural quality analysis it needs to do to address the issues.

Their failure to do so reminds me on this day before Independence Day of the opening lines of Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”:

These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

As Google continues to “shrink” from its responsibility to provide application software that is of sound structural quality, they are certainly “trying men’s [and women’s] souls.”

I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight!

Application-Failures-AndroidI continue to be amazed that Google appears more interested in what to call their next Android OS. As “enamored” (can you feel the sarcasm dripping from that word?) as I was last year with “Ice Cream,” I am even more captivated by their latest one – Jelly Bean. I am betting he name really fits the product  – looks solid on the outside, but if Android’s history is any indication it will most certainly be a piece of gelatinous mush on the inside.

Maybe Google continues to fall into the trap of believing its own press clippings – the positive ones, at least – because they seem more concerned with marketing than they are with software quality. Google’s mobile operating systems continue to feature one flaw after another with these flaws not being “discovered” until after the system has been rolled out and installed by the consumer. And these flaws are not just minor ones that inconvenience the user like the ones mentioned in the work arounds blog to which I referred above. They include battery-draining and security flaws that cost time and money for those using the devices..

Nevertheless, they continue to build one iteration after another atop mobile platforms they know to have flaws – or at least by now they should know – and they continue to fail to fix them.

We Find these Truths to be Self-Evident

It’s truly a shame Google won’t use the same methodology as Thomas Jefferson and the Continental Congress did in forging one of the world’s greatest documents – the Declaration of Independence. From the time Jefferson began working on the Declaration of Independence on June 11, 1776, he wrote and rewrote, edited and re-edited versions of the document for almost three weeks until he came to what he felt was a product of optimal quality. And yet even after the document with all those versions and all those edits was presented to the Continental Congress on June 28, 1776, for a vote, those men debated for another five days over the contents of the document and made another 33 changes to it!

Obviously there was no Marketing Department pushing Congress to get out the final product.

Structural-Quality-SecurityThe Declaration of Independence – a document that truly did have urgency behind it as men were fighting and dying for the values it espoused – was edited and changed many dozen times before it was delivered. If that’s the case, why can’t the marketing people at Google allow their developers to perform a bit of automated analysis and measurement on Android software before they declare its “independence” from internal production? Were they to do this (harkening Paine again), they would “deserve the love and thanks of man and woman.”

These truly are the times that try our souls.

Jonathan Bloom
Jonathan Bloom Technology Writer & Consultant
Jonathan Bloom has been a technology writer and consultant for over 20 years. During his career, Jon has written thousands of journal and magazine articles, blogs and other materials addressing various topics within the IT sector, including software development, enterprise software, mobile, database, security, BI, SaaS/cloud, Health Care IT and Sustainable Technology.
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