What every iphone developer ought to know about Google’s Android platform ?

By manik February 17, 2009

I think Android is an undiscovered Gold mine for mobile app developers who want to build sustainable business.

1. Not just for smart phones : We are moving towards machines that will be somewhere between Smartphone, Netbook and PC. We have recently seen tremendous growth in netbooks. Freescale has announced that they are going to launch $100 netbooks based on Google’s Android operating system.

2. Android is Open Source – Let’s look at recent history of operating systems for desktops. We had Windows and then Linux and lately Ubuntu emerged and challenged the basic notion of people whose previous experience has been dealing mainly in proprietary product. We are going to see the same kind of polarity shift in mobile application with iphone being the major player with huge growth opportunity in open source system like Android.

3. Open Handset Alliance: There are 20+ members of Open Handset Alliance that are behind Android Operating System. HTC has just announced a keyboard-less phone based on Android. We should expect some more handsets coming out this year. I think its too early to assume that Android is  not so exciting or successful.

4.  Money – All the apps available in the Android Market have been free. This has prevented  developers from creating applications for the Android platform. Android Market is now accepting paid applications from US and UK developers. Unlike on the App Store for Apple’s iPhone, developers don’t need to get their products approved by Google or by service providers. With the Android Market, developers get 70 percent of revenue from each software purchase, with the remaining amount going to carriers . Google does not take a percentage but they use their own payment system , Google checkout.

I believe iphone is a great platform(and I love it) but we dont want to put all our eggs in one basket.

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