Epic Games calls for Android fixes

Epic Games calls for Android fixes

By Rob Crossley

October 6th 2010 at 8:00AM

Rein criticises carriers who â??run wild with the OS and add bloatwareâ??; tips Windows Phone

Mark Rein, the vice president of engine vendor Epic Games, wants to see Google make various improvements to its mobile operating system, Android.

In an interview with Develop, Rein said Epic is keenly watching all mobile device developments – including that of new entrant Microsoft – yet isn’t completely sold on Android just yet.

“I think [Google] still has a long way to go,” he said.

“I’m also worried that every Android phone vendor seems to have a different user interface than the other. It is unclear whether Google will step in and straighten it out or continue to let it grow out of control.

“Another problem with Android is the carriers run wild with the OS and are adding all kinds of bloatware and not-so-great custom user interfaces.

“Some companies are taking the open nature of OS to an extreme – can you imagine how happy Google was to see Verizon replace all Google Search with Bing on one of their Android phones? Hopefully that kind of shenanigans will wake Google up a bit.

“I couldn’t imagine Apple letting any carrier hijack the customer experience to that sort of extreme. Apple is out there fighting the good fight on behalf of its end users and delivering a pretty consistent, and great, user experience around the world.”

Instead of Google, Rein tips Microsoft as the dark horse in the mobile race.

“Microsoft could be a major disruptor here. One of the unique things they’re doing is creating a proper first-party games organisation for Windows Mobile 7.

“They’ll be making serious investments in high-quality exclusive games for their platform like they’ve done with the Xbox consoles, and they’re bridging the social gaming aspects of the 360 and mobile platform through Xbox Live.

“If they combine that with the best Exchange integration, real Microsoft Office app compatibility and software on the phones and tablets then they could be serious competition to Apple. Plus, they have a huge amount of cash and a desire to not let mobile pass them by.

“The one thing they’re not doing yet is native app support, which means we can’t play on their platform. But both Apple and Google shipped with that constraint and fixed it later.”