Time Warner Cable has provided an update on its progress on its Android tablet app for streaming live video. For those of you who have been waiting, the company promises that it should be released within a few weeks, "definitely by Memorial Day," but the caveat we first heard last November still applies: it will only work in the home (just like the iOS product) and only be compatible with Android 4.0.
In explaining the reasoning behind that limitation, TWC pulled no punches (and in fact, you could argue it threw a few) in talking about the difficulties surrounding Android development. Jeff Simmermon, TWC's Director, Digital Communications, made a none-too-veiled reference to the fragmentation that Android developers have to contend with:
Developing our video product for Android is not unlike tweezing one’s eyebrows while using a disco ball for a mirror. We’re going to get there, but it’s going to happen one facet at a time.Simmermon compared it to developing for Apple's iOS, which he said is "much easier" since there's only one OS and one manufacturer to target. In addition to the fragmentation issues, TWC also believes that the "security and stability" of older versions of Android just aren't there yet, so it's limiting streaming to ICS.
"Developing an iOS live video product for Apple devices is much easier."
The company is also aware that ICS is only installed on a mere 2.9 percent of devices, and so was clear on the fact that users will need to wait until their devices are upgraded in order to get the new streaming features. In the meantime, the vast majority of Android users without Ice Cream Sandwich will have to settle for pining over the above screenshot while wondering what became of Google's promise last year that the update situation would get better.