Combo Apps/Why Developers Neglect Android

Android - 1

This is something I wanted to address with all the Android mobile photographers and artists out there who read my blog posts. It’s really important to let you know why you won’t see a lot of photo and art apps in the Google Play Store. There are reasons for it, so sit back and read all about it.

Android OS

This is the number one reason why developers neglect Android. Not all Android devices run on the same OS. People who have older Android devices aren’t able to run the latest Android OS. It’s a nightmare for developers to write many versions of the same app to run on all Android OS and many Android 3rd party devices. It’s also a mess to have all these mobile devices on hand for a developer to test their apps on. Older devices have different and obsolete hardware in them, so a device could run Kit Kat but it runs super slow. The app has to be able to render smoothly to process a photo while editing, run games and surf the net.

Android Lollipop 5.0

Lollipop 5.0 is the latest Android OS, you can only get this on Nexus devices. Nexus is the official Google mobile devices. The problem with this is all the devices are from 3 different tech companies with all different types of hardware in each device. This can have compatibility issues for coding and running apps. Now Samsung, HTC and other 3rd party Android devices will not get Lollipop 5.0 right away. They will get the latest OS three to six months later down the line. The other headache with Android OS and manufacture 3rd party OS that come in these 3rd party devices is they don’t mesh well together. Your devices will run buggy for a few months, will not function properly or never the same again because both OS are fighting with each other to run your device. Some devices might get updates to fix these problems and some devices will be S.O.L. getting the necessary updates to run your device properly. App developers have another nightmare to make sure they fix these bugs to make their apps work properly.

Android - 2

Most Android Smartphones have different screen sizes and there is no real standard screen/ratio size. This makes it hard for developers to remember all these different screen/ratio sizes to make the app fit properly on the screen. You have a larger screen with Android, that’s great and everything. Large a screens are great but it’s harder to take pictures with a Phablet, you get a lot of blurry photos.

These smartphones will have different mobile cameras in their devices at different mega pixels. If you have different megapixels in the cameras, sometimes the app will crash on you while editing a photo. Sometimes the apps will crash your phone so badly, it will effect the hardware in your smartphones. It’s a liability for developers that they don’t want to take.

Android - 3

It goes the same with Android tablets. All tablets don’t have the same screen size. The other problem are most of the apps in the Google Play Store are made to fit a smartphone. The apps don’t fit on the screen. You can’t stretch the app to fit the screen (a really bad problem). There is also the different types of hardware that are in all the tablets. They don’t always mesh will and can make your tablets run slow. Another nightmare for developers…

Android - 5

You are really and truly limited in the photo app department with Android. I had a Nexus 7, so I know this from experience. I feel Google should make some type of standards for 3rd party devices. It’s a free market with Google but it’s too free in my opinion. Nothing will change until Google change but sadly I don’t see this happening anytime soon.

Here’s a fact you may not know, app developer just don’t make the money or revenue like they do with Apple. Just because the app sold well on Apple doesn’t mean it will sell well on Android. People who have Android product aren’t really into buying photo and art apps. They mostly like to download music, watch movies, play games, check their emails and/or Google. Some might read and do simple things with their devices. The only photos apps Android users have on their devices are Instagram and Snapseed. That’s the extent for most mobile photographers on Android.

Apple and Android

If you love Android then stick with it, you don’t have to get an iPhone to be a great mobile photographer. But if you want the cool apps from Apple, you will have to get an Apple Mobile device of some kind. My recommendation is getting an iPad, iPad mini or iPod touch to get the cool apps. You can have the best of both worlds and that’s cool in my opinion.

Now you’re wondering if the information I’ve given you is valid. I’ve been writing this blog for 4 years. I’ve seen many changes, talked to developers, tested apps, read tech blogs and talk to many readers/followers. The information comes the knowledge and experiences of writing Combo Apps. I like to try things out before I write my opinions on each blog post. If you want to prove me wrong, then do the research yourself and make sure you’ve experiences both platforms to express your argument properly. I know Apple products are expensive. I don’t buy a new iPhone or iPad every year. I’ve up been sporting an iPhone 4S for three years and iPad 4 for two years.

The one thing I feel people are stupid about are switching platforms. Switching platforms from Android to Apple or vice versa is downright costly and throwing your money away. If you’re into photography, drawing, painting, video editing, music making or anything artsy, then get Apple. If you just like to watch movies, play games, read books, check your emails, check your social media and surf the web, then get Android. Both platforms have their strengths and weakness, just pick a platform and stick with it. One last thing I do not condone to piracy or jail breaking mobile devices either. That’s my last blog post for 2014. I wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!



About ashcroft54

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16 Responses to Combo Apps/Why Developers Neglect Android

  1. ima_soulman says:

    Ima Apple user for this very reason, the apps. I’ve been a photo buff since 15 yrs, now 60+. Should be a no brainier but even I switched to droid a few years back… Didn’t last long. Loving your site here. Cheers

    • ashcroft54 says:

      What’s funny is when people ask me to talk developer into making the apps for Android !!! This is why I wrote the blog post for that very reason !!!

      • ima_soulman says:

        Thanks, one more tidbit, to me droid users almost hate iphone peeps. Dont understand the feeling, i know hate is a strong word but thats what it seems like. Cant we all just get along… 😊p

      • ashcroft54 says:

        Yes and very true with the hate department. You just have to remember they hate what you have because they’re frustrated with what they have. Its kind of like having a Windows PC 😊.

  2. I agree with everything you said here, Tina. Although I know my android friends would have a lot of arguments for this. But that’s ok because they can’t do what we do 😉

    • ashcroft54 says:

      I hear this from my sister’s boyfriend about Samsung being better than Apple. He calls what I have Crapple but I don’t have the problems like he does with my Crapple devices. Most people who put down Apple and telling us we throw our money away secretly want an iPhone. I know my sister will go back to an iPhone. The only reason why she got a Samsung was screen size.

      If you watch CNET, they say Lollipop 5.0 is more complicated to use compared to iOS 8. A two year old can use operate an iPhone.

  3. imapurrson says:

    Hi Tina,
    I didn’t know all that was involved for developers to make Android apps. Very interesting read! I’ll stick with Apple, and the cool apps. Would feel lost without all of the fantastic photography apps. Thank you for writing your blog. It’s enjoyable to read, quite informative, and very much appreciated! Here’s wishing you a very Happy & Healthy & Properous New Year, Tina, to you and yours!
    Cheers, Denise

  4. Pablo says:

    Great post Tina!!! I’m agree with you 100%! In Argentina people how what to edit pictures have the problem that iPhone have more tasks than Android divices because a problem with government… And a lot of arndroids fones are made here… People who want an iPhone generally buy one when travel to USA, Brazil or Europe… I have my 4S and my ipad mini and I don’t know any people in my country How do extreme editions like me or likes others in the world… Happy new year!!!

  5. flutterbydragonfly says:

    Thank yo for this. Now it all makes sense. I just went back to an Iphone for the photo apps I want. The 6+ is amazing.

    • ashcroft54 says:

      I haven’t had an Android readers comment this blog post yet. What i’m hoping is they will read this blog post and understand why they wont get the apps they want in Google Play Store. I haven’t seen any blog posts about this topic either. You won’t see this type of article on Android Police, The Verge, Marshable, Cult of Mac, CNET or any other blog site.

  6. Very enlightning, Tina. Thanks for the info. I discovered after buying that I sho have bought an Android to my mom. She doesn’t use photo apps at all… Waste of money and she is not very satisfied. But me, I can’t live with my iPhone and the same photo apps. 😉 It really helps to know, anyway, why they don’t do the same apps for the different devices. Thank you again! And have a happy new year!!!

  7. I’m not sure if the whole platform fragmentation this really is an issue… nor the screen sizing. Sure it’s a challenge but to be honest we’re kinda this way with the iOS ecosystem these days too… (iPads, iPhone 4S, 5S, 6 and 6 Plus) hence the use of AutoLayout in XCode… which to be honest is a commonsense approach to screen design anyways (think about responsive design for web)

    The real reason for me not developing for Android (though I would LOVE to) is simply time. Plus, a lot of the core APIs for image processing are not available in the dual platform editors – things like CoreImage… so it’s a bit of a time sink learning all the new APIs for Android as well as iOS… I’ve had a tough enough time adapting to a lot of the iOS 8 changes, which have been fantastic but it’s the hidden stuff that steals your time. Subtle changes to libs like CoreLocation and permissions… by the time you patch and roll out you’re onto the next thing. Or when an Alert View starts to go awry when you build in iOS8.

    I guess it works for apps like Instagram that scale better than mine because they have a community. While Instagram is indeed a photo editor (probably one of the most used) it’s also a social network so it makes sense for those guys to be on Android.

    Same with games, and again they don’t need to delve too much into the nuances of the API for things like image manipulation to make it viable to be a dual platform codebase developed in say Corona or Xamarin.

    If I could find the resources and time to port say Simply B&W and Geló to Android I totally would… but it’s back to 1 of me and 24 hours of the day.

    • ashcroft54 says:

      I can see what you’re saying but most people wouldn’t understand if I wrote that in the blog post. I know just those general thing I wrote, makes developers run away. Then there was the developer for Meld who went with both platforms head in at the same time. They ended up shooting themselves in the foot with both platforms not working properly.

      If Android made a standard in developing like Apple did, then I could see photo developers going both ways. The problem with Google is they’re too big and can’t seem to focus on one thing at a time. They have a gift of not seeing things through until the end. That’s why many of these projects fail, like Google Glass.

  8. fotosynimaging says:

    I might add, I use a number of image manipulation apps on Android (including Instagram)

  9. Anne says:

    I have an iPhone 4s and a myphone agua rio (Android, kitkat) and I absolutely agree that if you like to take photos stick with iPhone. I mainly use my android phone for games, reading, social media apps, texting and calls.
    iOS still has the best app devs than android, now I understand why. It’s just sad because Android phones and tablets have capabilities that can really go on par with iOS devices and this can’t be realized if I have an iPhone 4s and a myphone agua rio (Android, kitkat) and I absolutely agree that if you like to take photos stick with iPhone. I mainly use my android phone for games, reading, social media apps, texting and calls.
    iOS still has the best app devs than android, now I understand why. It’s just sad because Android phones and tablets have capabilities that can really go on par with iOS devices and this can’t be realized if there are no good apps to use it with. are no good apps to use it with.

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