John Gruber doesn’t buy the argument that Android 4.0 will force developers to build software for it, “like it or not”:
“Whether you like Android or not, you will support that platform” sounds a little arrogant, but maybe that’s just me. But it got me thinking. Maybe “whether you like Android or not” is exactly wrong. I think maybe the biggest reason iOS has such strong developer support is that developers like iOS. They use and prefer iPhones and iPads personally, they like Cocoa, and they like the App Store.
I tend to agree. I love the iPad, I love using it, I love creating things using it. I’m not even a developer (per se) but this thing makes me want to whip out Xcode and get started. Isn’t that weird? Android on the other hand, well… do we need to remind ourselves about the landscape again?
Why would anyone choose to develop for this convoluted platform? I can think of three reasons why not to:
- It’s complex – lots of different versions, screen sizes, input modes and hardware configurations. How are you meant to design a quality experience and maintain that for a thousand variants on the android model? Matt recently set out some arguments for and against maintaining support for the just the latest version of iOS, which has a grand total of 2 dominant OS versions, 3 handset options and 2 screen resolutions. That’s it.
- Android users tend to be less inclined to pay for apps. Why go through all of this difficulty to create software for people who don’t fundamentally place any value on it?;
- It’s sluggish, laggy and generally slower than iOS or even Windows Mobile Deluxe Special Home ARM edition.
Why would you torture yourself over this large volume, low margin, difficult to plan for and convoluted suite of devices? I can’t think of too many reasons. And to put it so bluntly – like it or not – just doesn’t make sense.
On another note: does John Gruber ever sleep? I live in Sydney, which is hours behind/ahead of the US, and I often see updates from DF during the day. Has anyone else noticed this?