Android

Blog | March 13th, 2013

I understand. You want a tablet that offers you flexibility, a price tag you can justify, and great software to go along with it. All of those things make sense for you to want, but that doesn’t mean they make sense for companies to satisfy.

Every week, it seems, someone emails me and says something a little bit like this: Android is a great platform, you’re being myopic by not developing for it, and people like you are just trying to stop the inevitable domination that comes from any open operating system.

It’s a personal, idealogical battle with these people (the ones who email me, not Android users in general). They’re not satisfied knowing that you prefer one device and they prefer another, it’s war. They will not rest until your iPad is on a pike, alkaline oozing from its [obviously too few and proprietary] ports. So to them, I say:

1. It’s not personal. I like my Apple products, so I make stuff that runs on them. It’s fun, and I happen to get paid for my hobby, but if no one ever bought another app of mine ever again I’d still develop for iOS. Sure, I’d have to get a day job, but this is what I love doing and it really, honestly, has nothing to do with snubbing you.

2. Make it yourself! If you want an app for your device and it doesn’t exist, go make it! That’s what I did, and it was a blast. No one is stopping you, and I really don’t know why it’s my obligation to do this for you. Myopic? Only if making money was my sole purpose in life which, I’m happy to say, it is not.

3. You get what you pay for. If you want the cheaper alternative, you’ll get an inferior product. I’m not talking about the touchscreen, the battery, or anything like that—though that can certainly be true—I’m talking about the support systems you don’t see. Apple’s developer tools may be imperfect, but they’re incredibly accessible: download Xcode, start developing. Yes, Apple makes more money off of an iPad than most companies probably make off of their Android tablets, but if you consider that some of those profits fund the continued refinement of those developer tools, maintenance of their documentation, and many other resources—resources that make apps like mine possible—then suddenly it’s obvious why one platform has a plethora of amazing apps and the other is still underperforming.* With hundreds of devices running Android, it’s even more important that Google spends some time getting this part right. Until they do, I not only don’t want to develop for Android, I can’t.

So get your Android tablet if you want one. No problem, end of story. Just don’t come crying to me when things don’t work out.

Update:

Two more good reasons I’ve come across in my research, just to drive the point home.

4. Refunds must be handled directly by the developer and, for the pleasure, Android will still take 30% of your proceeds—the exact same amount that Apple takes for handling it all.

5. DRM exists for apps on Google’s marketplace, but it’s easily circumvented and already deprecated. Instead, it’s up to the developer to ping Google’s licensing service periodically (assuming the device is connected to the internet) and lock up features or disable the app entirely if a pirated copy is detected. What could possibly go wrong.


*If it wasn’t, people wouldn’t keep asking me to port my apps over to Android.