Oct 26 AT 4:24 PM Taylor Wimberly 33 Comments

Google hand picks developers for Android 2.0

Google is set to unveil Android 2.0 on October 28 and the first phone featuring the new OS (Verizon Droid) will be in customers hand on November 6. Developers feel left in the dark because Google has failed to publicly release the Android 2.0 SDK or comment on the upcoming changes.

Not all is lost, because Google has hand picked several developers to receive an early look at Android 2.0 and test their software on new devices.

Check out this invitation that was recently sent out to select devs:

Congratulations!  Based on the popularity of your Android application,
we’d like to invite you to visit Google to test drive your code on new
test hardware.

This is an invitation only event to take place at the following locations:

* Monday, Oct 26 in Mountain View, CA
* Tuesday, Oct 27 in Mountain View, CA
* Tuesday, Oct 27 in London, UK

We’re opening a few slots next week for developers to come in and
explore new screen sizes and features of the platform.  During this
time you’ll have access to Android engineers, as well as test hardware
devices. All attendees are required to accept our NDA, which will be
sent to you upon registration.

What do you guys think? Is it fair that only a small group of devs have access to the code while everyone else is left waiting? How do you think Google is handling the release of Android 2.0 so far?

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • neal d

    its a toss up but i’d consider leaving my bride at the alter to get the chance to go to the Googleplex.

    I know, I’m a bastard.

    • http://Website michelle

      If she loved you, she’d not only understand, she’d be on the plane there with you. ;)

      • http://Website S. M. Das

        Eeerie… sounds just like my wife… and her name is Michelle, too!

        :-o

  • J.A

    whats wrong with google acting like that ,hand pick devs,i didnt expect that from google not fair….

  • http://twitter.com/txhoudini Eric Weiss

    A preview is a nice thing to do for those making high quality content for the platform. If it’s good enough to test code on then it must almost be ready for the spotlight, right?

  • http://luigimontanez.com Luigi Montanez

    I don’t see anything in that invitation about Android 2.0, just about new devices. The NDA makes sense if the hardware manufacturers don’t want information about their devices leaked.

    Is there more to the invitation that specifically mentions Android 2.0?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      They are showing off the new Motorola Droid (ships with Android 2.0) the day before it is announced on October 28.

    • http://www.nexsoftware.net Justin Shapcott

      “…explore new screen sizes and features of the platform.”

      Ummm… Kind of takes an update to the platform to have new features of the platform, no?

      • http://luigimontanez.com Luigi Montanez

        Yes, there was an update to the platform to support new screen sizes, and that was Android 1.6, released last month:

        http://developer.android.com/guide/practices/screens_support.html

        So since we know multiple screen support came in 1.6, why jump to the conclusion that “new features” means 2.0, and not 1.6?

        • http://www.nexsoftware.net Justin Shapcott

          Because as you just said… 1.6 has already been released.

  • http://www.motionPHR.com Jeff Brandt

    WTF, This sounds like Apple

  • Joe

    Juuum that’s good. But I wonder if Steve Kondike (Cyanogen) receive this invitation after what happens. That would be bad if he didn’t receive it. Specially knowing that The HTC Dream would suck right now without Steve intervention.

  • http://www.comsi.com Jeff Brandt

    I guess 2.0 is not stable and they need some very friendly developers. This cannot help sales.

  • http://wootroot.com/blog WootRoot

    I think its completely fair to give developers of applications that are profiting google greatly a chance to preview new handsets/os updates before others. Its kind of a “Hey, thanks for making such a great app that in turn made our consumers happy, as well as put some money back in our pockets”. I completely agree with google doing this.

  • http://codeshogun.com lordhong

    They did the same to ADC I winners by giving them private access to the 1.5 SDK. Not surprised at all. Not fair at all.

  • Tomas Herman

    hmm…i thought android was meant to be open source…this is not how opensource software is developed :/ there should be git repository somewhere with nightly builds etc :( i mean i know there might be good reasons not to make the source code public…api thats gonna change etc but still i think they either shouldn’t give ‘corporate developers’ any advantages or they should stop calling it opensource and free system…for god sakes user’s doesn’t even have root access :/

  • http://www.buzzandroid.com Buzz Android

    To compound the issue… Those of who are a part of Motorola’s Apparently Accelerator Program (which is supposed to give us early access to tools to help us get a head start developing for Motorola devices) have gotten nothing but specs… which Motorola accidentally made public anyway.

    What’s up Google and Motorola?

  • http://www.buzzandroid.com Buzz Android

    Damn virtual keyboard and fluky auto-correct.

    App Accelerator Program… Not Apparently Accelerator Program.

  • ukandroid

    I’m interested in the London invite. Does that suggest the Droid may be launching in the UK sometime soon too? All the news so far has been about the Verizon launch in the US.

  • B

    The app accelerator program is a freaking joke.

  • http://www.buzzandroid.com Buzz Android

    At this point… I tend to agree. App Accelerator Program seems to offer only promises, but when it comes to delivering on those promises, there is only disappointment.

  • http:androidandme.com dannydarko

    So, what does that mean for all the other devs?Also, what happens when we buy the droid or any other 2.0 device are we the droid faithful gonna be stuck to using only the included apps or what? I dont think that the Big G is handling this appropriately. I understand from a corprate point of view but, that doesnt amount to sqwat i am a consumer droiddict not a corpie so smarten up Googie!

  • sully

    You’re talking about a two day jump on 2.0. Not that big a deal in the grand picture. Six to 8 weeks from now we’ll all have great phones and the apps that take advantage of 2.0 will start rolling out from these developers and others. If I was a developer and I wasn’t on that invite list I would work hard to make sure I was on the next invite list.

  • http://yellowrex.com William Furr

    I don’t get the weird secrecy around Android 2.0. I thought it was supposed to be open.

    If I had to guess, I would say it’s the intense competition breeding secrecy. One of the players must think they need a big splashy announcement with no big prior leaks, just little teasers to build up excitement. Maybe a combination of Verizon and Motorola. Google may just be playing along.

    Ah well, so long as it all gets dropped to the AOSP eventually, that’s still way better than the rest of the smartphone OSes.

  • William Furr

    I don’t get the weird secrecy around Android 2.0. I thought it was supposed to be open.

    If I had to guess, I would say it’s the intense competition breeding secrecy. One of the players must think they need a big splashy announcement with no big prior leaks, just little teasers to build up excitement. Maybe a combination of Verizon and Motorola. Google may just be playing along.

    Ah well, so long as it all gets dropped to the AOSP eventually, that’s still way better than the rest of the smartphone OSes.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

  • Morten

    I will not touch this phone with a stick before I’ve seen extended reviews of that UI.

  • Kenneth Johansen

    The bigest thing I like about having a G1 phone is Google is always looking for better ways of improving my experence of my phone. I like what I’ve seen so far. My buddy has a I-Phone and doesn’t get updates. I guess he will have to buy a new I-Phone when G1 eclair 2.0 comes out.

  • Pablo

    I dont understand why everyone is freaking out about this invitation thing.

    They are selecting users to try out 2.0 and give feedback about it, so they can release a more robust 2.0 when its time.

    Of course they will do the 2.0 code drop into the git tree when its ready for everyone.
    I don’t think it would be better if they released what they have so far if its not “ready”. Developers will want to stick to the release google makes without having to worry about important changes or re-testing their releases with different nightly builds.

    I think its easier this way. It gets released when its completed, and then they do additional code drops to fix bugs, add smaller things, etc…

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  • http://Website Robert

    Not to rain on anyone’s parade here, but I believe that Google is doing the right thing. Think about it… They hand pick the best (user rating,downloads, etc.) and invite them. Why not pick the dev’s that produced the most profitable apps? It’s sort of an application if you think about it.

    And why not pick the best dev’s for the job? This gives the Google and the dev’s that were picked a headstart on things in the sense of profit. You have to remember… Google is still a company and companies want to make money.

    A lot of people complain about Apple being greedy bastards. As well as Windows. But they are companies. Why not complain about Whirlpool, GE, or the sort? Polo, Nike, Levi?
    It makes no sense at all. Companies are all about profit. If they could make money and not deliver us the products they make, do you think they would would build such programs?
    I dont think so. Be happy with what you have. And if for some reason you cannot do that…. build it yourself.

    *If it ain’t broken, Take it apart and see what makes it tick!*

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