Google Thumbs its Nose at Android Users

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After doing a little bit of digging it is clear that Google Buzz is not supported on any Android device that is running firmware that is less than 2.0.

Currently the only Android phone's that can run Buzz are the Motorola Droid (running Android 2.0) and Google's own Nexus One (running Android 2.1). This is Google blatantly neglecting older Android users (calling Android 1.6 “old” is capricious as it was released less than six months ago). Imagine if Microsoft released a version of Office 2007 that was only compatible with Windows 7 (and not with XP or Vista) or if Apple released a version of iTunes that was only compatible Snow Leopard (and not Tiger or Leopard).

There is no doubt that tech depreciates over time and older software must for purposes of efficiency and reduction of software bloat be left by the wayside, however, the fact that Google Buzz is available to iPhone users and not to the vast majority of Android owners feels like a slap in the face.

The following extracts have been taken from a Google Support Forum:

Answer by “Bin” (who is apparently a "Google Employee"):
Oh sorry, the Buzz web app is currently only on Android OS 2.0+ but hold tight and we'll work on getting the G1 up to speed. Sorry about that!

And further down:
Yes, support for Buzz is "coming soon" to previous Android versions. Thanks for your patience, and in the meantime you can still use the "Buzz" layer in the Google Maps app.

Please clarify: is this an Android app, or a web app? If it's a web app, why should the version of Android be a limitation? Isn't that the whole point of web apps?

Or is Android 1.6 missing some critical web browser feature that Buzz needs? If that's the case, and Browser on Android 1.6 is critically out of date, why isn't it being updated independently like Maps?

Good point, KelsonV. There are some new features in 2.0 that are necessary, such as appcache, database and location. We're working on another version that will make Buzz for mobile accessible on older Android OS versions (and some other smartphones as well).

Isn't a "web app" supposed to be universally available? Isn't that the basic premise behind creating a service which is run in a browser (and not installed as a native application).

The response from "Bin" suggests that this was a mere oversight, which may actually make it worse. Has Google completely forgotten that there is still a huge number of customers who are using older versions of Android because there service providers refuse to upgrade?

It seems easy enough to decipher Google's intentions. Every single one of their products has one factor that ties it all together search and ad revenue. GMail has text ads, search has ads and even many android apps have ads. All Google cares about is ensuring you are connected to one of their services. It is irrelevant to them whether you are using Android and Chrome, an iPhone and Safari or Windows Mobile and Internet Explorer (note the Google Chrome Frame plug-in). If this is the case why should I bother using an Android? I am a heavy user of Google apps. I use the mail, calendar, contacts, picture, blogging and virtually every other service they have to some degree. I assumed that by buying an Android phone I would be intimately connected with all these Google services. Indeed the mail, calendar, contact and maps integration in Android is incredible. But, where is Google Reader (the wonderful web based RSS feed reader) and Google Tasks? The mobile website for both these services is almost as good but why are there no dedicated apps? Surely it cannot be that difficult to port them over? Again this is a sign of Google's careless attitude towards its Android user base.

Once I am able to upgrade my phone I will most certainly be switching to an iPhone.

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