The Legacy of Android’s Original Vision

What Miner and Google gambled on, and it seems bizarre in retrospect, was that the carriers and the manufacturers would be good at customizing and improving the user experience of the base operating system. At the time, that gamble would have made some sense; if you went to the carriers and manufacturers in 2007 and asked what they wanted, they probably would have described exactly what Android had become by 2009. Unfortunately, while Android itself is a huge achievement and a popular piece of software, the customized interfaces added by manufacturers are, for the most part, horrible. They are poorly designed, they slow down development, they prevent quick software updates, and they lead to countless annoying divergences in the platform that are difficult for app developers to test against. These things are Android’s biggest weaknesses.

Nothing in Android makes sense except in the light of its original vision by Dustin Curtis.