James Williams

How Android could make Social Media easier

Tags: Android

I'd love for this to be some fluffy quick list of ten or so points but I've really only got one point: Android should have a *SocialMedia ContentProvider*.

Backing up a bit, applications on Android run similarly to those on the iPhone. Each functions in its own sandbox preventing it from wreaking havoc on the system. This sandboxing is further strengthened by the permission system. One key difference is that Android apps can share information if they store it as a ContentProvider. This is how Android implemented Contacts and the MediaStore(Photos, Audio, and Video). I think the same should be done for Social Media sites. One of the joys and pains of a emerging platform is that in the absence of a market leader, people tend to try out multiple apps centered around the same service to see how they stack up.

For a Twitter-related app, that means giving each app your login details and waiting for it to download whatever it deems appropriate. I would love to be able to provide my details once and have migration be seamless. Adding a TweetDataStore could reduce duplication of data between apps.

As programmers, a species that is prone to practice what I call "Slash and burn programming"(doing a ground-up redesign at the sight of the slightest incompatibility instead of evolving a solution), we could do just that and open ourselves to the OpenID problem. I think it's better if the community comes up with a consensus to make things easier for us all.