Android or iOS or Windows – What’s a developer to do?

Can’t they all just play nice? I wish. If Windows, iOS and Android all ran the same app without a rewrite, developers would be king. Publishing costs would be lower. Market would be bigger. But, they are at each others throats, with no-one willing to give an inch. Developers have to pick what to focus on first. As a small publisher, we cannot afford to write everything 3 times. As a small publisher, we must take a long term view to sustain and survive.

Currently there are 4 big software companies fighting for dominance. Google owns search and wants to own it on mobile. Amazon owns e-commerce and wants to own it on mobile. Windows owns desktop, and wants to keep it’s dominance there while expanding into tablets. Apple is king of all – e-commerce, search and platform – within it’s closed walls. Today, sales of kids apps are significantly higher on iOS compared to Android.

Google is the owner of Android. They are expanding android’s reach with their nexus line of products. That’s a +1 for Google. Amazon is supporting and enhancing Android devices via it’s Kindle fire line of products. That’s another +1 for Android for a publisher. Windows 8 has just come on the market. Every new windows version encourages customers to upgrade their desktops. This time, the upgrade is to a touch-screen. Long term, I think desktops will move to touch screens, with windows 8 or it’s successor as the operating system. Android is a VM (Virtual Machine). Like java, it can run on any OS. Windows 8 already runs android apps via Bluestacks. Windows 8 and touchscreens will open up the PC market to touch apps. Lacking in native apps, Windows 8 users will use Bluestacks or similar to run Android apps. That’s another +1 for Android for a publisher.

Long term, we are looking at Android (Amazon, Google, and Microsoft) vs. iOS (Apple only). Add to that the lower cost of android devices. Add to that our expertise in Java.

I am making the obvious choice for us to build kids apps for Android VM. Oddly enough, most people I talk to think we should be writing for iOS. Only time will tell if it was the right choice. In the meantime, I am enjoying creating, teaching and learning.

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