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Is Android an Ugly Platform?

Illustration for article titled Is Android an Ugly Platform?

The path to Android for a "very successful iOS game development shop" might be "skipping the Android Market entirely" in favor of deals to be bundled on select handsets, according to John Gruber. Is the Android ecosystem that ugly?

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What that developer's considering is pretty wild, if you think about it. The consensus is that Android is the top-selling smartphone platform in the US now. That's due in no small part to the fact that there's a ton of Android devices, available on every major carrier. And Android's just going to get bigger. But this developer is considering intentionally limiting themselves to just a small fraction of the number of Android phones out there—limiting the number of copies they could sell.

Why? Because it would allow to them to develop their titles without worrying about gaps in OS updates from certain manufacturers (which could limit future functionality), dealing with lower-powered handsets, and—perhaps most notably—without wondering where the money would come from. Though the meme is perhaps self-perpetuating at this point, it seems to be the case that, on the whole, Android users are less willing to pay for apps. (Consider: Angry Birds has managed to sell millions upon millions of copies on iOS for 99 cents a pop, but the developers went the ad-supported route on Android.)

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Doesn't it strike you as a little crazy that an already successful developer is taking their time to figure out how to best launch on the fastest-selling smartphone platform in the US—and potentially foregoing a lot of business—because of potential issues with the platform? (A sad but necessary note: I don't hate Android. But I am asking a serious question about it.) [Daring Fireball]

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DISCUSSION

gnomeholes-old
gnomeholes

Lagdroid isn't the most common because uber geeks are out buying it in droves. Ok that might be true (but accounts for a small %) Its just a platform that happens to be placed on a gazillion devices. Most people don't even know what Android is, the others are just getting it because they can't switch to iPhone, and some unfortunate people are following the recommendation of their nerd friends.

We've all seen it... 30% or better would go iPhone if they could... and they likely will when its available on other US carriers.

Fragmentation is real, but the common phone buyer will only notice it in the form of less available apps or apps of less quality... and less adoption at companies that can't support 50 different look & feels of a phone.

Android is the new GM of phones.. way too many models but many people buy them because they don't know any better.