android appsDespite the fact that Android currently accounts for the majority of the smartphone and mobile device market share in the world, developers have been slow to move towards the Android platform.

The majority of applications are pumped into iOS first and Android second, but there are some very persuasive reasons why Android developers should not be so quick to dismiss the Android marketplace.

Why aren’t developers utilizing the Android marketplace more?

There are a few reasons why developers are slow to move towards Android: there’s more competition in the Android marketplace, there are more free applications for the Android, it’s more difficult to create a revenue pipeline on Android and there are issues of complexity regarding Android devices that simply do not exist for iOS devices. However, most of these issues have mitigating factors or can be tackled through alternative means.

Tackling the issue of competition in the Android marketplace.

The Android marketplace has far less rigorous standards than the Apple Store, and this means that there are far more applications released. “Developers often shy away from this competition,” says Android security expert, “but there are reasons why they should instead embrace it.” Quality applications still rise to the top of the mix and they are seen by a far greater market. Further, the overall costs — application fees, quality assurance — for publishing on the Android marketplace are less than for iOS.

Why developers may want to embrace free applications.

Developers that shy away from Android due to the proliferation of free applications may want to rethink their strategies. While free applications may not generate immediate revenue, many free applications are ad supported and still manage to bring in significant amounts of money through in-application purchases. Offering in-application purchases is rapidly becoming a leading method of revenue generation and even preferable to paid applications, and advertising is rapidly becoming an excellent pathway towards monetization. Free applications allow a developer to display the value of their application and get the user invested in the product before actually making a purchase; the great majority of popular and revenue generating applications today have been driven by either advertising or in application purchases rather than upfront fees.

Creating a revenue pipeline for the Android.

Some developers have moved towards iOS because the operating system simply makes it much easier to actually receive funds. iTunes and the Apple Store are so well-integrated into the iOS operating system that making purchases is a snap for many users; this is not so in the Android environment. However, Android purchases are becoming easier and monetization is only one part of the complete package. Android developers often find that the installation process is easier on the user through the Android marketplace overall, and the amount of control the developer has over their content is far greater due to a lack of restrictions.

The challenges of development may lead to opportunities.

One of the major issues that developers face when developing for the Android platform is the wide variety of devices that are actually running Android. With the iOS operating system, developers really only need to concern themselves with either iPhones or iPads. Android is on hundreds of systems, from tablets to smart watches, and this can greatly increase the complexity of the applications developed. However, this also leads to some unique opportunities. Developers for the Android will be able to develop for a variety of platforms, not just phones and tablets. Android may eventually be run in vehicles and Android developers can port their applications to revolutionary new products such as Google Glass. These unique opportunities far outweigh the issues many developers might have with complexity.

There are still some legitimate logistics issues with the Android platform that may need to be resolved before a true developer renaissance develops. Android has an incredible amount of market fragmentation; very few devices are ever on the most recent version of the operating system and, at any given time, there are at least three popular versions of the operating system available. Without consistent standards, the Android and iOS debate becomes very similar to the PC and console debate: developers simply know what they’re getting with one system and are unable to anticipate with another.

Article WritingAbout Author:

Christopher is a writer for Android antivirus company Armor for Android. Christopher has worked in the Android security field for several years and provides content and advice to Android users.