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Android App Developer: The OS is 'Hideous'

Software programmer Joe Hewitt, known for his work on the Firefox web browser and creating the Facebook app for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch, recently slammed the Android platform, calling it "hideous." He also added that the OS reminded him of Windows--a developer-friendly platform but "sloppily designed."

"Android tools are horrendous, OS is hideous, but the absence of big brother telling me what to do gives it a slight edge," he said on Twitter.

The "big brother" aspect refers to Apple and its controlled environment with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Hewitt ceased development on the Facebook app back in November 2009, citing Apple's strict policies for his reason in abandoning the platform.

"I respect their right to manage their platform however they want, however I am philosophically opposed to the existence of their review process," he said last year. "I am very concerned that they are setting a horrible precedent for other software platforms, and soon gatekeepers will start infesting the lives of every software developer."

Although he seemingly applauds Google's openness with the Android platform, he apparently doesn't like anything else about it. "Once a day or so it hits me that I am writing Java (which is the Android programming language), and I cry a little," he has stated on Twitter. "The more I work with Android the more it reminds me of in, it's really flexible, agnostic, and developer-friendly, but also really sloppily designed."

Hewitt suggested that iPhone users should stick with their phones and not move to the Droid X. He also said that Google still hasn't provided a solution for the Android fragmentation problem. "Android fragmentation will hopefully stabilize within 2 years, and if not, at least people upgrade phones much more often than computers," he said.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • bsbsbsbs
    Less time crying, more time creating good apps Joe.

    You sound like me when I CBF working.
  • Assmar
    He spelled it incorrectly as well?
  • dalethepcman
    Yes but will it blend..

    If somone ask's if it plays Crysis I will pull a "Jay and Silent Bob strike back" on your ass!
  • nevertell
    Wait, does android SDK is based on java ? Can I like compile stuff with gcc/g++ and run that ?
  • kyeana
    nevertellWait, does android SDK is based on java ? Can I like compile stuff with gcc/g++ and run that ?
    To my understanding, it is natively java (with an android specific api), but i have heard rumor that it does support compiling and running C(++). Don't hold me to that though.
  • GNU/Linux is a huge mess itself. You have thousands of different minds with different ideas (most of them being hobbyists) all developing/contributing to an OS. The advantage M$, Apple and Berkeley all have over Linux/Linus is that they all have a group of engineers that accomplish things with a unified goal by goal basis.

    This makes GNU/Linus very messy, not necessarily worse, just messy.
  • IM0001
    Any idea if he is going to give WP7 a try? Kinda a middle ground but I believe Microsoft did a good job of making things powerful yet tidy.
  • Shadow703793
    I some what agree with him (and yes, I have done/working on a few apps for personal use for my self). One of the problems is that Android deviates quite a lot from standard Java ME and Java SE. The lack good examples and documentation in the official Android API don't help either.

    kyeanaTo my understanding, it is natively java (with an android specific api), but i have heard rumor that it does support compiling and running C(++). Don't hold me to that though.What you are talking about is probably the Android NDK which can create native ARM executables. The NDK does use of SOME C++ libraries,headers,etc.
  • AMDnoob
    I agree with him. I'm all for Android for the sole purpose of beating Apple's iOS to the ground and pissing all over it. But the GUI is FUUUUGLY. I never realized how unintuitive and sloppy and gets in some areas. HTC's Sense UI is a step in the right direction, much prettier, easier on the eyes and consistent for the most part. The stock camera app however is atrocious, the disgusting black liner around the viewing window is just so ugly. And the music app is hardly anything to be proud of. Andriod's UI needs an overhaul. Want to see a beautiful GUI, WebOS, that's where the shits at.
  • matt87_50
    you can use c++, using the NDK, but as he says, the tools are a horrible pain in the arse, and the c++ implementation doesn't even have the STL libraries!

    things like file access, you have to call out to java routines because you can't do that from within c++.

    the guy is right. JAVA can go **** it's self, especially on these performance/efficiency critical devices. the whole thing is just a mess, yet still preferable to iPhone...