An interesting article by John Gruber on Apps for Android.
In fact, the Android Market, as a whole, bears a lot more resemblance to the Cydia app store than it does to Apple’s official App Store…
I’m not saying Android is in trouble. The opposite, in fact: I think it’s going to continue growing — in terms of handset sales — despite this. And maybe as Android handset sales grow, this situation will change, and developers will start creating exclusive killer apps for the platform, drawn by the size of the market.
…Android, today, is thriving despite the fact that its third-party software library is very weak compared to iOS’s. It’s not that most top-notch mobile apps are written for iOS. It’s that almost all of them are, despite the fact that Android, by most accounts, has surpassed iOS in phone sales and perhaps drawn even in unit sales overall. Android developer support has grown over the past year, but at nowhere near a rate that’s commensurate with the growth in Android handset sales.
My hypothesis hinges on three factors:
- Apple has carefully constructed iOS and the iTunes App Store to support this “app console” model.
- Developers, large and small, have swarmed to Apple’s app console model, with consumer-friendly apps, design, presentation, and pricing.
- iOS users understand the app console model and have embraced it — both in terms of a willingness to look for and install apps, and a willingness to pay for them.
None of those three things are true for Android.