When friends and colleagues learned I was going to focus more on iOS development, they quickly asked whether I was going to do Android as well. The quick answer to that was a clear No simply because I don’t have the resources to allocate on a platform where my chances of making a sale as an independent developer is very slim.
Sure, I might consider if it were commissioned work or if the outcome would be life-changing for even a few. But since I’d rather be building my own product and sell it myself than take client work at this point, I must start with putting food on the table first.
So instead of focusing on telling people why I’d rather not do Android, I’d rather tell people why I believe iOS is a better platform to work on, especially, if you’re an independent developer.
Ever since the launch of the App Store, I saw how it could change the apps landscape, both as a user and as a developer. I saw how users could actually do more with their phones (it’s now more than just a phone) and I saw how it could enable developers regardless whether you’re working solo or in a bigger team. I like how it gets rid of the middleman big-ass corporation and how it gives developers a chance to grow.
If you’re considering a platform in which to sell your apps on, you should first consider the best platform that can provide the best user experience. And most of the time, the best would be the simplest. This is where Apple shines obviously and it’s not necessarily about its users having more taste and more purchasing power but it’s about a platform that is able to provide for an experience you probably wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.
As a user myself, I find that it’s important to have a very consistent experience across apps, and if some apps would violate that predictability, it’d be nice to know that some are actually able to do it quite nicely.
The quality of apps in the App Store is superior in so many ways because of that platform as a whole. One can always talk about hardware specs and how it trumps the competitor but it’s not about just the hardware, it’s about the consistency of the whole experience.
As a developer, I’ve never felt more special than how Apple is currently enabling developers. This is manifested with mostly clear documentation and the availability of great frameworks and tools. Even in this regard, Apple’s design-oriented work becomes more evident. Acknowledging that they should equip developers well for them to be able to come up with breath-taking apps is very important.
Surely, Android is in more hands now compared to iOS but the number of manufacturers and devices out there is making it difficult for developers (worse for indies) to even catch up with writing and testing code for each. I simply find it unsustainable and let’s not even talk about the often delayed deployment of OS updates to older devices.
In the end, as much as I want to do Android as well, it just means I can’t please everyone, but I need to start somewhere.