Android is a mature, stable, and slick operating system. Jelly Bean truly made it a mobile OS to rival all others, banishing lag and unifying the system into something gorgeously usable. But it still sucks to be an Android user, and it truly shouldn't. Here's why.
Last night, Nike decided that it wasn't going to continue developing an Android app for its awesome FuelBand. It's had an iPhone app for the FuelBand for ages, and to be honest, Apple's partnership with Nike probably had something to do with it. All that Nike+iPod stuff obviously gives Nike an incentive to get the iPhone app out first, and that's fine, I guess, but to decide to just ditch Android solely for iOS...that plain sucks.
Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated incident. Time and time again, Android users are forsaken, or made to wait for an eternity for new apps. To be honest, apps that are standalone and aren't required to make something else work, I can almost forgive. Android users simply don't seem to break open their wallets as much as iOS users do, so market forces dictate that you're more likely to make a return on your investment when you punt it in Apple's direction. When it comes to apps that are written to support other things, like the Nike FuelBand, or other non-phone products, it's simply crazy and infuriating not to support Android.
Put it this way. There are loads of iOS devices out there, but there are equally many millions of Android devices in the hands of punters too. In fact, it's almost inevitable that there will always be more Android devices than iOS devices going forward, simply because there are more manufacturers and device categories using Android. So, by cutting that lot off, you're reducing the market potential of your product, as those Android users aren't going to buy whatever you're trying to flog them.
Some companies like Nike obviously don't see that as a problem -- they'll just sync it with their computers, right? But for Android users it's absolutely infuriating. There's no reason, especially with the current flagship Android phones, that you can't do everything you can with an iOS device on Android. In fact, you can probably do a lot more on Android than you can on iOS, due to the flexibility of the OS.
It sucks that Android doesn't get everything. It sucks that manufacturers of accessories and apps don't see Android as a viable platform sometimes. And it sucks that even when they do, Android users have to wait for developers to finish and push an iOS app out the door before they get a whiff of an Android version. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be changing any time soon, and it's through no real fault of Google, Android, or the legions of people buying Android phones, either. It's just a fact of mobile life right now, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.
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