Android's Finest Hour

For a long time, the Android mobile operating system has been in the shadow of its main competitor – iOS. Tens of thousands of developers, including large corporations and young talents, sought to create an application for the iPhone first and only then for Android smartphones. Now the situation has radically changed. Developers realized that the Android operating system is no less (and maybe more) promising than iOS.

Android devices have become the most popular smartphones in the United States. According to data obtained by Nielson research company in September 2011, 40% of all smartphones in the United States are based on Android, and only 28% are based on iOS (most of the remaining 32% use RIM’s BlackBerry). The study also showed that most users would like to purchase an Android smartphone in the future. In addition, developers and entrepreneurs believe that the process of developing and releasing applications for Android is much easier and faster than for other operating systems.
Gary Gattis, CEO of Spacetime Studios, considers Android users to be more “hardcore” gamers than iOS users. Spacetime launched its first Pocket Legends game for iOS in 2010. Despite the fact that the Android version of the game was released 7 months later, the ratio of iOS and Android users is currently 50/50. Spacetime originally developed its new Star Legends game, released in August 2011, for Android.
The age category of Android users (men and women from 18 to 29 years old) is ideal for Spacetime products. Gamers who prefer Spacetime games on the iOS platform are much younger – boys from 13 to 18 years old. Many of them use the parent iPod Touch, they do not have credit cards to make purchases inside the game. Therefore, it is more profitable for mobile game manufacturers to cooperate with Android.
Android is also boosting sales of Tapjoy, a company that helps app developers promote their products in exchange for Tapjoy’s right to advertise. For example, in order to get a new weapon for your game character or additional SMS in the application for sending SMS for free, the user is invited to view ads, install the Bing search engine or subscribe to Netflix.

Mihir Shah, CEO of Tapjoy, said that Android users use these features 2 times more often than iPhone owners. One of the main reasons for this is that in April 2011, Apple abandoned the “pay per install” model (i.e., “payment for installation”), thereby depriving Tapjoy of the opportunity to promote many products and services. But despite this, many companies still remain loyal only to the iPhone. Why is that?
One of the reasons is piracy, which is common among Android applications. Pirates download the application and, after changing it a little, re-upload it as their own product. According to a Yankee Group study, this has a negative impact on Android revenue.
Alex Harrington, CEO of dating site MeetMoi, which was originally launched for Android, notes that it takes at least 6 months to develop any comprehensive application. Many companies started creating apps at a time when iOS was clearly leading the mobile market. The situation changed when the apps were already on sale.

Sometimes the choice of a mobile platform is influenced by the preferences of developers themselves. For example, Miso, an application for watching TV shows that, among other things, allows users to see what their friends are watching. Miso CEO Somrat Niyogi said: “We create products that we would like to use ourselves. Almost all of our employees prefer iOS.” However, Niyogi, like many other developers, believes that Android deserves no less attention than iOS.
Getting permission to launch an app in the Apple App Store is a rather lengthy process that can take up to 6 weeks. And in the Android Market, applications are installed much faster.
Spacetime Studios released the long-awaited Star Legends game on August 8 on the Android platform. Star legends is a multi–player online game in the genre of science fiction. The game appeared on the iOS platform only on August 25. This delay allowed Spacetime to improve the game. After all, along with the lengthy application review process, Apple must also approve each modification. Gattis believes that “when volume games of this kind are launched, the probability of bugs is very high.” With Android, Spacetime had the ability to release updated versions of the game, gradually eliminating defects. And only then was the iOS version launched.
It can be concluded that the main reason for Android’s success is very simple: applications enter the market faster, which leads to more sales.

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