Yesterday I noted Baird's report that fragmentation in the Android platform is making some developers nervous.
If developers can't publish their applications to the Android Market, fragmentation is kind of a moot point.
The Android Developer Console, the content management application that lets developers publish their apps to the Android Market, has been experiencing outages and other issues since March 31.
There are more than 160 posts on this Android Market help forum thread pointing out various issues accessing the Developer Console, including error messages, problems with data and statistics not updating and failures in loading application lists.
On March 31, developerJim Scham noted: "I want to submit my app to the Android Market. I fill in the fields and click continue, after a bit a I get a 404 error."
On April 4, jesta192 noted:
"It is possible on occasion to get apps uploaded; I've uploaded two today. However, last night I was completely unable, and even now it is flaky. Uploading screenshots, for instance, fails about 70% of the time, but I keep trying, eventually they will go through. I'm sure this is only adding to the trouble, having to attempt the upload repeatedly by many developers."
This is not just a handful of disgruntled developers. This is a mini-Android army of geeks getting 404s, failures to update apps and other snafus.
A Google spokesperson acknowledged the problem to eWEEK: "Some developers may be experiencing issues accessing the Android Market developer console. We're aware of the issue and are working quickly to resolve it."
The fact that there is no timetable for a fix, and no reason for the outage in the first place, is not encouraging.
There's no question this is a problem Google needs to address if it wants Android developers to continue to feel comfortable using the Android Market.
Some, not many, rely on their Android apps as their main source of income. The fact is, as Baird noted, many Android developers also write apps for Apple iOS, so they have that to fall back on.
But if you're Google you don't want developers retreating from Android and falling back on iOS because the application publication experience sucks.
After awhile, that will get tired and the abundance of junk apps, incomplete payment options and distribution and yes, even fragmentation, will just seem like minor inconveniences compared to not being able to publish software.