None of the technical reasons given are actual issues with Android, they're just differences between iOS and Android. If you published a magazine solely on Android and tried to move it across to iOS you'd have the same issues (unless you found a functional platform-agnostic media store, which may or may not exist).
They are of course completely justified to stop producing an android version. Not many people used it, and I don't doubt that there's a lot of work converting between the two. Why is there a lot of work? Because the starting point is an iOS specific magazine design, not because Android is inherently limited.
Once you've got in the boat of single platform optimisation (using Apple Computers store for video and music integration in this case) then moving to something that is platform agnostic is hard.
It's an interesting case study though, that it's costing they're losing money (I think that's what they're saying) by creating for the diversity of the Android platform. Would be nice to see the figures.
Lots of them (the main ones) are issues with the prop product they use for targeting android
"Magazines" are a specific form for delivering content that evolved out of the technological limitations of paper printing, the economics of delivery, and the whim of the market. Delivering them on floppy disks was tried, didn't work. Delivering them on CDs was tried, didn't work. These days, most magazines have web sites -- in some cases, the paper appendix has withered away, or is not as current as the online version. That's as it should be.
It's nice that they were experimenting with bundling their magazine up as an app, but unless they have a focus aligned with the delivery platform (i.e. MacUser being distributed through the Mac OS X store, iTunes Music Review via the obvious) there's no good reason to do it that way.
A lot of apps are just a desperate attempt to get brands in front of eye balls.
Then your Kindle is not a full featured reading device. The Kindle's opted to imitate a black and white textual book (the e-paper thing), when future ebooks can are will be much more than that.
That meant removing movies, sound, interactivity and content."
Interesting, I wasn't aware that Android devices can't play movies or sound, and don't react to touch.
This simply isn't possible with Android. Either you lower the quality (because your video must all be H.264 Baseline 3 for compatibility) or you'll simply get pockets of oddball devices that can't play media (because they don't support the entire set of Main or High profile video features).
Additionally, the magazine is probably using HTTP Live Streaming to handle media (the ideal protocol for streaming to iOS devices). While Android technically supports this in Android 3 and 4, there are differences in supported features. Specifically, most of the features in version 3 of HTTP Live Streaming (which came out in iOS 5) -- including multiple audio tracks, closed captions, frame based indexes and more -- are not supported in Android.
E.g. look at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/id481037450?mt=8&src=af&..., they have music tracks that you can play (see example pages on horizontal scroll section); presumably you can click-through and buy them somehow?
I am going to assume by this statement that you've never worked on an Android project before. I work for an enterprise company with lots of Android apps and fragmentation is very much real.
The HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy S3 are both very popular and still being sold today. It is extremely difficult (borderline impossible) to make one decent app run on both. You have to build two apps.
I have developed and tested apps that run just fine on both of these devices. No different builds, not even different layouts. You're right, fragmentation is real, but it is not an unsolved problem in the Android world.
> “You make a beautiful magazine for the iPad, and then you dumb it down for Android’."
and then you read
> "we pick movies from the iTunes store"
So essentially, it was about being lazy in the first place and opting for a close ecosystem.
"To give you some insight in how little uptake we saw on Android here are some statistics: for every Android user that downloads an Android magazine we have 80 iOS downloads."
Which is funny, because it's also possible that the Android/WP users are just going to http://thenextweb.com/magazine/ instead of downloading a dedicated application to provide "movies, sound, interactivity and content"... Last I checked, my web browser is fully capable of providing all of that already.
So it really doesn't seem that you're in a position to be questioning someone else's logic.
> Last I checked, there isn't 80 times as many iOS devices
> as there are Android
They chose to restrict their content to iOS because of laziness; they did not want to look for a cross-platform solution. What do you expect Android users to do when you give them a pale imitation of a product that exists on iOS? Of course they're going to go elsewhere.
side comment: the oddity of a site called "the next web" focused on dragging the paper magazine format onto a digital platform cannot be overstressed, what's wrong with their great website that people need a magazine app?
I chuckled and closed the tab when I read that. Consider not relying on proprietary methods of content delivery if you want interoperability.
Frequent crashes? Sounds more like an issue with the app than the platform. You can develop unstable code anywhere. The remark about Android being "less intuitive" is also a classic among Apple fans, but I don't really understand why people keep saying this. It's just not true anymore.
Edit: re your second point. How frequently do you uses both platforms? Personally, I use both extensively everyday. TNW have a point.
From the article, it's pretty clear that they failed to make a decent Android version, nobody used it, so they gave up.
I'm contesting their Android-bashing on ease-of-use and technical merits. I use and have used an Android phone and an iPod touch for the past 4 years.
They created a half-assed Android effort and didn't bother advertising it properly. Now, instead of doing a proper job, they have just abandoned all cross-platform development? That's very short sighted.
It's not something I use, are there examples of similar magazines that are profitably managing a media-rich cross-tablet presentation.
Why does this remind me of Microsoft and IE aroun d 10 years ago? Oh yeah, it's because there's a monopoly and people complain why not everything is working the same way as it does in the proprietory counterpart.
1. in-app purchase for subscription with users that already have a card on file
2. better control of content and performance
I don't think they did particularly well with (2). "Our Choice" by http://pushpoppress.com/ourchoice/ and Alice in Wonderland (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gew68Qj5kxw) is much closer.
It's unclear to me if it's just because Android users use their devices different (and get less apps), if it's because the app market doesn't lend itself to finding apps, etc...
The exact same cycle always repeats: 1) Release iOS first 2) Get lots of angry Android complaints 3) Release Android 4) Get a trickle of users. (I know you may be thinking, well you released to iOS first so your app probably isn't at good on Android, but we've tried it the other way around as well)