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Opinion Editorials

Android once again left out of app development (come on, Clubhouse)

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) Why are Android devices always playing second banana when it comes to app development and testing? It CAN’T be the camera… Can it?

Android phone being held in hands with painted nails.

Okay, okay, fine, Apple people, let’s get this out of the way first. I’ll concede that your dumb, expensive, break-if-you-sneeze-on-them, proprietary EVERYTHING devices are… Probably not an actual tool of the devil.

But Y’ALL have to recognize a few facts about Android devices in return, chief amongst them being: People have them.

As far as ordinary users go, I don’t really care if my phone could beat up your phone (which it CAN), I’m more talking to the people making the decisions about where their fresh and sexy apps get placed first.

Apps like Clubhouse, a sort of invite-only mini podcast situation, that we’re all expecting big things from, have also left Android users expecting later release dates. And yet, for all my circa 2017 LG phone having bitterness, I do kind of get it. Conventional wisdom is that iPhone users are all early adopters, more affluent, and in other words, more desirable as an audience.

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And if a fledgling app can only chase one of the two audiences at a time, it almost makes sense that all the eggs would go in one no-headphone-jack-having basket.


Phone models in use chart by year.

According to Statista, Android ownership is in the lead. By quite a bit. Even if we try to apply ‘quality over quantity’ to a market, well… They’re going to want Android users eventually anyway.

Why take a bird in the hand approach when you know you’re headed to the bush directly after unhinging your jaw and eating the first bird, feathers and all, I assume?
Or, to leave the metaphor…why wait to chase a group of people you already know you want?

New apps need cash, and they need the biggest userbases they can get as soon as possible after beta. It’s not just the fact that I’ve been pulled into the platform wars that makes me ask — why wait?

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Clubhouse specifically catches my eye here— the app aims to preserve transparency, isn’t yet making room for advertisements (they’ll get there, every app does), and is currently only hosting brands inasmuch as brand profiles are allowed. They’re even being cool and embracing user-reported crackdowns on pyramid schemes, according to Digiday.

So with no need for high-quality pics, hyper influencers to push brands (aside from company execs themselves), or a certain lifestyle market to capture… Why is it that Android users are being put on the back burner?

At this point, it seems like the folks hiring devs have an ‘It’s just what you do’ attitude about this, which we all know has NEVER come back to bite a company, creator, or hapless wild animal on the rump before. And while I’m hardly forecasting immediate doom for Clubhouse or anything else… I am bookmarking this page for an ‘I TOLD y’all so’ later on.

Meanwhile, this Android user will just have to keep screaming at people directly. Catch me on my lawn from 6 feet away sometime. It’ll have to do for now.

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You can't spell "Together" without TGOT: That Goth Over There. Staff Writer, April Bingham, is that goth; and she's all about building bridges— both metaphorically between artistry and entrepreneurship, and literally with tools she probably shouldn't be allowed to learn how to use.



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