“It’s no huge surprise Android has a few issues with fragmentation: most of us with a Google-run handset are still waiting for the update to Ice Cream Sandwich, so Jelly Bean is still a pipe dream. But it’s not just a nightmare for us consumers, it’s a headache for developers too,” Joe Svetlik reports for CNET. “And when one of the developers in question used to work for Google, and says he made his new app for iOS because of Android’s fragmentation, you know the problem is bad.”
“Rian Liebenberg is the man who used to work for Google [as former Engineering Director]. He spoke to Electricpig about his new venture Recce, a mapping app. And he chose to make it for iOS over Android,” Svetlik reports. “‘We do have a working Android build, but given some of the device fragmentation, we couldn’t guarantee we were going to have a great Android experience on every single implementation,’ Liebenberg said… That’s really quite damning. But many on Android will know exactly what Liebenberg is talking about. Ice Cream Sandwich launched back in October — that’s nine months ago. Yet it’s still only found on 10 per cent of Android devices.”
Read more in the full article here.
Adam Bunker reports for Electricpig, “Recce runs seamlessly on the iPhone and iPad, but recreating its speed and fluidity on a myriad Android handsets has proved too big of an ask, even for a Google engineer to muster, in time for launch.”
“You don’t need to be an Apple fanboy to acknowledge and talk about the problems that Google’s had in convincing developers about the ease of Android developing,” Bunker reports. “It’s about the problems found in developing for a gazillion different devices with different resolutions and processors, and running across several different software iterations.”
Bunker reports, “Liebenberg isn’t the first developer who’s told me this – it’s a wider issue than this specific app.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Liebenberg’s Recce (London) is quite interesting looking and it is available now for iOS – and iOS-only (smirk) – free for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch via Apple’s App Store here.
Google loves to characterize Android as ‘open’ and iOS and iPhone as ‘closed.’ We find this a bit disingenuous and clouding the real difference between our two approaches… Android is very fragmented. Many Android OEMs… install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves from the commodity Android experience. The user is left to figure it all out.
Compare this with iPhone, where every handset works the same. Twitter client, TwitterDeck, recently launched their app for Android. They reported that they had to contend with more than a hundred different versions of Android software on [hundreds of] different handsets. The multiple hardware and software iterations presents developers with a daunting challenge. Many Android apps work only on selected Android handsets running selected Android versions. And this is for handsets that have been shipped less than 12 months ago. Compare this with iPhone…
In addition to Google’s own app marketplace, Amazon, Verizon, and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android. So, there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid.
This is going to be a mess for both users and developers.
Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store which offers users the easiest to use, largest App Store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone. Apple’s App Store has over three times as many apps as Google’s marketplace and offers developers one-stop shopping to get their apps to market easily and to get paid swiftly.
In reality, we think the ‘open’ vs. ‘closed’ argument is just a smokescreen to try and hide the real issue which is: What’s best for the customer? Fragmented versus integrated. We think Android is very, very fragmented and becoming more fragmented by the day. And, as you know, Apple strives for the integrated model so the user isn’t forced to be the systems integrator. We see tremendous value in having Apple, rather than our users, be the systems integrator.
We think this is a huge strength of our approach compared to Google’s. When selling to users who want their devices to just work, we believe integrated will trump fragmented every time. And we also think our developers can be more innovative if they can target a singular platform, rather than a hundred variants. They can put their time into innovative new features, rather than testing on hundreds of different handsets. So we are very committed to the integrated approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterize it as ‘closed,’ and we are confident that it’ll triumph over Google’s fragmented approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterize it as ‘open.’
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]