I have to be honest here, I do not like android. Not because I like iOS more or anything like that, but because of the fragmentation issues and extreme openness.
Sometimes this much openness is not good for the end user. Yeah you can say it really nice to be an open platform because developers can get a lot of options and stuff, but just think about it. The apps are not controlled or properly moderated. There are many app stores online with almost no quality control or cross compatibility. It’s just like Google doesn’t even trying to improve the fragmentation issues.
Read on to find some other issues.
Now I might not like android, but I like Google. I love Google more than Apple®. I think Google is the best company ever.
And I also love competition. If it wasn’t of android, Apple might’ve declared itself an independent territory.
I think if Google “plays” it nicely and utilize its recent purchase of Motorola mobility, it can seriously give a very close experience like the way we get on iPhone or an iPad.
So I have few ideas that Google might “play” in future. I hope it does. This will make our life easier, us developers. The coming few decades are going to be of the post PC revolution and there are going to be only two rivals – Apple® and Google®.
Apple provides amazing experience to its users with its post PC devices. Having led this amazing breakthrough with how we use our digital devices, Apple has done an extremely good job with iOS and the control it shows with apps and what goes in and out.
Apple controls the whole user experience, with the hardware to the software to their “credit cards” and security. This gives the controlled and the best possible and optimized user experience.
We should always remember that it is not about us “geeks” or developers or content creators or anyone else except the “end user.”
The one who does a good job giving him the orgasm with amazing user experience – will win this race.
So why the android does seem like it is dominating the market share slowly?
There is a simple reason behind that. And that is that android comes in different varieties. It is also purchased by the majority of audience which doesn’t have that much of heavy web usage. Still there are exceptions. And the biggest reason for its growth is the new Samsung’s Galaxy lineup. I very much like the hardware of Samsung Galaxy S3, while I dislike the design because I think it seems like it is more designed by a committee in collaboration with lawyers.
Samsung and HTC has given android a significant boost.
But still there are few problems and it’s not just fragmentation.
Here are few reasons why as a developer you might not wanna build your FIRST app for android:
First, android has various hardwares in the market place running various different versions of android. You would be surprised that only 2% of people are running the honey comb and around 5% the new and latest ice cream sandwich. (2012)
Every Apple iOS device has a user with its credit card and ability to purchase stuff from just one tap.
Android is popular in countries who do not usually buys apps and in app purchases online unlike iOS. This might be a little controversial, but Android is more popular in second world countries with an exception of few European countries while iOS is more popular in USA, UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and It’s rising in China too.
While Android is more popular in few European countries, India, South east asia and similar countries.
So for your new App, Android is NOT a good market place to start.
On the other hand, iOS has amazing developing environment and less or no fragmentation:
Buyers can easily buy with confidence because Apple only approves legit apps and also control some in app privacy options.
There is a very little fragmentation because most of the iOS devices are running the latest iOS and carefully selected and configured hardware by the best tech team in the world. There are no 100,000 different variants.
So if this is your first app, start with an iOS and then scale it to android. Because if you’re starting up, it would be easier with testing, marketing and it is recommended if you’re not a geek like me.
Having said that, what else Google might do to push android experience to iOS level?
Well there are other two things that Google can to do if they need to improve the end user experience:
One is to address fragmentation.
This is some serious shit. This will make it easier for the developers to deal with the beta testing. This will improve the end user experience ultimately.
Second is to control as much elements of OS as they can.
With the future updates, Google can restrict third party App stores and restrict the installation of unauthorized or unapproved apps.
All the apps have to be tested for the respected for the respected configuration and must not be buggy at all. I think Google can easily do this with the new Google Play as well as the next android updates. Now obviously Samsung and HTC are not gonna like it, but hey who is the most important guy here? That’s right, it’s the end user. Screw everyone else.
Google should also use its recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility and build its own in-house tablets and phones with fully controlled environment. With all the amazing and free Google services deeply integrated with a controlled android OS, Google can really make a difference in the mobile world.
While iOS will still be slightly better because of the decision the late Steve Jobs and team took before building these devices, total control of ultimate user experience.
I think that windows phone can give a really awesome competition to android in near future, won’t say this for iPhone. Who cares I loves competition! Just check this article out by Steve Wozniak.
P.S. – I’m extremely curious for the next android update.
P.P.S – I’m also going to WWDC in June 2012. So I will post few important updates from there too. Follow me on twitter.