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This is all predicated on the idea that you being able to release apks easily gets users who care enough too give you valuable feedback that you can use to learn and improve your app faster.

There are more apps on the play store than the iOS store, and apks have always been easy to work with and had this same advantage.

If this advantage has always been present, why aren't the apps already better than iOS apps?

You've been able to share apks "forever" (since before the G1, I believe), but Google's official beta-testing framework (Play Store integration [don't even need unknown sources], rolling/controlled updates, beta test volunteers, etc. plus the pattern of tying that to a G+ community) is brand-new since I/O this year.

And it seems to be a compelling package - pretty much every app beta I care about has switched to it (even those that already had an existing off-Play-Store setup).

Just because you have potential does not guarantee you use it.

Many businesses started on iOS first, producing an Android version as an afterthought by contractors. Others produced a minimum viable product which made them money, so they felt no need to iterate. This means upstart competitors can easily take away the market share of established products. It's a good thing for startups.

So you're saying that there is an opportunity in the Android market because the apps are generally significantly worse than those in the iOS store?

I'm saying there's more opportunity because the expensive applications built by large developer teams are still being built for iOS first. Android is still an afterthought in some app categories.

Most successful startups began with a niche. Look at AirBNB's cheap conference attendees or Microsoft's Altair owners.

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