Over the past couple of months, there have been waves of notable, high publicity, innovate apps released exclusively on iOS. Fantastical, Mailbox, Sunrise. All are from independent developers, and all were very well designed. As an Android user, I often wonder why there are very few apps like these for my platform. There’s a huge gap in the market for stand out apps on Android, as when I see a rare especially intuative and good looking app on Android, I buy it, even if I don’t need it. Shifty Jelly, developers of Pocket Casts podcast app, are a small team who are releasing an overhaul to their app on Android before iOS. They’ve seen this gaping hole in Google Play for those who are “passionate about design” and have taken advantage of it.
Let’s be honest, 2 years ago Android really sucked. The OS was a mess, the store was a mess, the SDK was a mess and the hardware was a mess. Today all that has changed, and it’s an amazing platform. That said overall the app quality on iOS is still far higher than Android, as developers catch up with all these new changes. There’s a point coming soon when Android will be full of high-quality apps, but there’s a gap in the market right now for small developers like us who are passionate about design to create something a cut above the rest. In short it’s currently easier for a good app to stand out on Android than it is on iOS.
Android is a viable, interesting mobile platform which does a lot of interesting things, even if these aren’t always done very well. While iOS is a big moneybox, developers still can, and do, make money from putting their apps on Google Play, however much harder it is to deal with fragmentation. There are more stand out apps appearing on Android, but the Play store still severely lacks many apps like Mailbox, or Clear.
So this is a message to developers: Fill the gap in the market and our phones with some gorgeous design and proper thought, and us users will make it worth your while.