- "You make a beautiful magazine for the iPad, and then you dumb it down for Android." Probably because your developer who told you this has no experience developing any real apps for Android and is forcing iOS's UI elements into it? Or maybe you're bombarding your magazine with too much content in the first place (you mentioned embedded music--seriously, isn't that information pollution?). I've seen beautiful apps on iOS that offer the same, consistent experience in Android, e.g., Evernote. What is your excuse for not pulling this off?
- "For every Android user that downloads an Android magazine we have 80 iOS downloads." But what about the Android users who read your content via your mobile website? Or, for many Android tablets from Samsung, via Pulse? Exactly what is your value proposition to these users why they should download your app when they can get most of your content for free? The way I see it, Android users are just being smart because they find ways to bypass having to pay for free content.
- "...with the current state of technology and the way the market is divided we can’t afford to invest in it anymore." Your target market is fragmented, DEAL WITH IT. If you want to make money, see it as an untapped opportunity and seize it. It's really TNW's call, but to me, their reasons for not developing for Android are just like fat people's excuses for not going to the gym.
As a mobile developer, I see this attitude as very dangerous. When an aspect of user experience is prohibitively difficult to achieve with somebody's pet platform (Android, iOS, HTML5, ePub, whatever), they tend to attack the need for that feature or experience.
Sometimes the lack of a feature really is beneficial - say, for security or privacy. Most of the time though, this is just frustration turning in to defensiveness. (Example: the now-dead argument that Android doesn't need smooth scrolling and animations.)
Also note that developing for widely-varying hardware + Android is vastly preferable to developing for widely-varying hardware + widely-varying proprietary OSes.
On the one hand that is sad for TNW, after all more subscribers is always good, but it is really bad for Mag+ since it points out a gaping hole in their strategy. By not investing in Android they leave the larger market share of Android devices open to another publishing company, and when that company uses the strength of their Android base to enter the iOS market, their customers (like TNW) will switch because they are all about the subscriber numbers.
Lets see how Mag+ responds ...
See Zaheer's comment on this thread too: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4991585
Uh...why? Why should they "do their part" for a platform where they have no users and don't see a likely growth of them?
I am an Android user and developer, but I am also realistic.
Android already has the bulk of the market share, if they are losing 80 to 1 there's something fundamentally broken in the ecosystem. Stop blaming the hot dog vendors.
So, now that hardware and the OS no-longer favor iOS, it's simply down to content providers to make the investment. Technologists bought in to Android because it's open, long before it became the best platform. Why shouldn't content producers do the same?
This is not well known, although it's an opinion often voiced here.
"Why shouldn't content producers do the same?"
Because they are not utopian technologists? This article is about a content producer that invested in Android yet failed. Instead of talking about how the content producers need to do more, we should be talking about why this effort failed.
Here's a start: when you buy an iphone today the Newsstand is one of a handful of Apps you start with. It's featured and people click on it and then many of them start buying and consuming content. What is the competing experience on Android? I assume there's no equivalent to the standalone Newsstand App installed by default on the phone. I assume they hit Play, which incidentally is terribly named and many customers never click on ever because they think it only leads to pokemon. Then they have to know that Magazines on their Device are a thing now and find them on which may be easy or hard in Play but is still an order of magnitude harder than it is on iOS.
I wouldn't say it's "well known" at all and I certainly wouldn't say it in such definite terms--and I am an Android user.
> Why shouldn't content producers do the same?
Because they have not yet decided that their projected returns from devoting significant resources to Android outweighs the opportunity costs? They have no ties to Android unless they will realize benefits from targeting it. The purchase patterns of current Android customers doesn't make me as a user and a fan of the platform think they're going to make back their money on investment, so I certainly don't think that they're unreasonable to want to actually see some assurances of a decent return before investing in the platform.
iOS users are not price sensitive and Apple doesn't make any pretense that content is free. People who buy into the Apple world are choosing to buy into an ecosystem where they are going to have to buy content from a collection of proprietary 'Stores'. Apple is well known for the iTunes store and the App store so it's a conscious choice for their users.
Most Android devices (obviously not the highest end ones) are sold on price, and Google as a brand is known for providing free, advertising supported content. It's no great surprise that people who choose that ecosystem expect to get free stuff and don't want to be buying a lot of digital content.
If they'd wanted that they'd have bought an iOS device.
A well structured Android application is like a mashup of different screens, processing (services), event handlers (broadcast receivers), data (content providers), user accounts etc. And it works with other components on the system, not its own little island as on iOS.
You haven't stated what your app is so this issue may not apply. A good example of a bad app is "Beat The Traffic" which is terrible on Android being an iOS port.
 Tags for Likes:
Sidenote: From the writeup it sounds like TNW is struggling more with their tooling than with Android. Anybody know of better alternatives?
Do people discover web sites through an app store?
I wonder if there's an opportunity there?
I run several e-mail newsletters that would work just as well as Web sites but the CPM is 10x higher for e-mail than Web so I use the format. I imagine they can sell the magazine by the page at a healthy rate in a way run of site banners wouldn't work.
I imagine they get a lot more support that way than they would if they put it on the web with a 'donate' button, so basically they are putting their effort into the audience who is willing to pay them.
Why would they just give it away rather than going to the market that values their product?
There doesn't seem to be any argument for making the site work 'properly' in 'every' browser and discontinuing the iOS version other than a dislike for iOS or iOS users.
Why should they discontinue a successful product?
Or, perhaps Android users just don't wish to be nickle and dimed into buying stuff.
Cynical view, but even myself as a v affluent individual + owner and lover of several apple mac computers shuns iOS because frankly I don't wish to pay for every app and content I might consume. Case in point is this NextWeb magazine - sounds like it actually costs money to buy. I'm not at all interested, esp if I can visit the website for free.
Android has a higher install rate than iOS but iOS tops dollar metrics because it is the platform of choice of those with the most disposable income.