Why Android was doomed from the StartMay 29, 2012
Written by Bryan Aamot
Here at Brainware LLC, we don't support Android. There are dozens of reasons for this, but the most important reason is that it would cost us more to port our apps over to Android then we would make in profits by selling our apps on Android. Android is a totally different operating system. Games port well because they use OpenGL. But, native apps don't port at all. They need to be rewritten from scratch. And Android users buy, on average, 2 apps per year. iOS users, on the other hand, buy 70 apps per year. That's a shocking 35 to 1 ratio. Also, Android runs on all sorts of devices with different screen sizes, processors, working memory (RAM), and storage memory (Flash). So, all the artwork would have to be redone for multiple Android devices and we would have to dumb-down the software to work on the worse Android device that was worth supporting. Or, even worse, we have to make different versions for different devices. Then we would have to buy dozens of phones (varying in price) just to test to make sure the software worked well on each one (performance wise, and functionally). All in all, the cost to write Android software is about 5 times as expensive. So, combining that with the 35 to 1 ratio, I believe that only a fool would write Android software and there are a whole lot of fools out their doing just that.
I've been writing software for over 25 years. New developers with a couple of years experience don't get this sort of thing. They are naive and altruistic. They believe the media which has been saying that the Android system will become dominate. Well, that just isn't happening. In fact, with the introduction of the iPad and the potential of Apple TV software apps coming out soon, the spread is widening even greater. iOS doesn't have any of the problems I stated above. It's a fertile market with high levels of quality control and has Apple's strong marketing arm promoting apps. It is extremely profitable for skilled developers. Android, on the other hand, is a complete failure in my opinion. But, what can you expect from Google which is really just an Advertising company who bought out all the dot-com employees that lost their jobs in the early 2000's. But, they can't buy their way into the world. That strategy simply doesn't work. You have to have experience in order to win -- not just money.
Here is a little blurb about me and why I think Apple is kicking ass.
I've been writing mobile apps since the days of the Palm Pilot. I worked at America Online for 8 years. I was the lead developer for AOL for the Palm and also AOL Mobile Communicator (a Blackberry Pager device). Even back then, the phone market was extremely fragmented. There were 5 different operating systems and hundreds of variations of phones. The reason for this was simple: Phone manufactures didn't write software. At Apple, the people that make the hardware work with the people that write the software. This relationship is very important. For example, when a new chip came out on the iPhone that had some really fast line drawing graphics, the software guys added new features for developers (like me) to take advantage of this new chip. Yet, they also wrote the software so it would run on older iPhones! Another example is when Apple came out with the double resolution display (aka Retina Display). Instead of having all the software rewritten, they simply told developers that they can optionally add a second high resolution image to their app (no software update required). This sort of thing is amazing from my perspective. I've never seen a company care so much about third party developers as Apple has. And, on top of this, we get 70% of the retail price of the app. And we can resell more stuff to people that have downloaded our apps by using in-app purchases. We also have things like The Cloud, Game Connection, and Push Notifications. These are amazing features that don't exist on Android phones. In fact, Android is nothing more than the old Mobile addition of Java (J2ME) that Sun Microsystems wrote 10 years ago. Android phones are just cheap Chinese knock-offs of an iPhone. Google just wrote a simple user interface layer on top of Java and created a dumb green pez shaped alian that barks "DROID" when the device is turned on. Google gives their OS away for free to phone manufactures so they can destroy their competition. This is how Google operates. They give everything away for free and they have an army of software developers out there that are blindly following in their footsteps.
Remember that twilight zone episode called "How To Serve Man" where everyone thought that the aliens were coming to help cure disease and famine on the earth. But it turned out that it was just a cook book! Nothing in life is free. You get what you pay for. Don't be a droid.
- I was just referred to this article which states that the ratio of Android to iOS profit is 1 to 8! If that's not enough proof that Android sucks swamp water, what is?