Review: Android Cupcake Build

I just realized that I haven't blogged in a couple of months. This is partly because I've been busy working on various projects, some of which I may write about in later posts. However, I'm going to contribute yet another blog post about Android and this time it's about the build, flash and hacking process.

Android is meant to be an open platform, and I'm proud to say that I'm able to easily reflash my phone to Cupcake and test out the latest and greatest. However, my verdict on the latest and greatest is that it's not ready for primetime. Anyone who says it is clearly hasn't ate their own dog food. The device I used to test Android is my ADP1 phone, which is an HTC Dream. That being said, it should be clear that Cupcake is not meant for this phone.

The reason I say this is obvious:

  • The On-Screen Keyboard buttons are too small
  • The animations are slow and choppy

Now, if I turned off the animations, and the on-screen keyboard, I would have no problems with this phone, BUT it would mean that I would be running the exact same thing as Android 1.1, which makes this exercise somewhat pointless. I also did run into other bugs, but I chop that up to me actually grabbing the trunk and throwing it on the phone every day for a week instead of grabbing cupcake-stable (does that exist?)

I'm assuming that the HTC Magic and later Android Devices will be faster, and have larger screen real estate, and as such will not have the problems the HTC Dream currently has with Android. Then, what I have to ask is when will Google distribute these handsets? If Google raises the bar on the dev platform's minimum requirements, then what will developers have to do to keep up. Having to buy a new Dev Phone every 6 months is fine, but not at $400 a pop.

Perhaps they'll speed up the Animations and fix the keyboard in future releases of Android, but right now, Cupcake isn't quite ready for primetime on the Dream, of course assuming that's the device it's meant for.