Can Google's latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich land apps first?

Summary:Apps will continue to be iOS first until Android versions unify and become easier to test and ensure it works on multiple devices.

Google Executive Chairman did some chest thumping over Android, said the company's mobile OS trumps Apple and continue to grab market share.

But can it get app exclusives to land on Android first?

CNET News' Stephen Shankland was on scene in Paris and noted developers were a bit skeptical about Schmidt's claims. After all, Evernote's latest app is for the iPhone only. Flipboard will barely acknowledge that it's pondering an Android app. This iOS first mantra is everywhere. For instance, Jawbone's interesting UP wristband only works with an iOS app. Nearly every app developer starts on iOS and then goes to Android.

Schmidt said developers will ultimately follow volume and that means Android. That claim may be true to an extent, but until Android is unified---Ice Cream Sandwich is a start but unification will take years---developers will take an iOS first strategy.

Jawbone, like most developers, goes to Apple's iOS first then Android. Why? The latter is more complicated to test.

Jawbone, like most developers, goes to Apple's iOS first. Why? Android is more complicated to test.

Simply put, there are too many flavors of Android on the market and too many devices for a developer to test and ensure quality. I've heard this lament repeatedly from developers on both the consumer and enterprise side.

On the enterprise side, CIOs say that iOS is easier to secure because there's one flavor, a stable code base and you know what to expect. Android has different versions and devices. In other words, Android is too much work.

On the consumer side, it's a similar story for Android. For instance, Club Penguin launched its Puffle Launch app on iOS first because it was easier to test. The app is now on Android too, but Club Penguin wanted to ensure it worked on multiple devices. All that testing takes time.

Shankland quoted Schmidt:

"Whether you like Android or not, you will support that platform, and maybe you'll even deliver it first."

Android will get support, but it can't get cocky. Apps will continue to be iOS first until Android becomes easier to test and ensure it works on multiple devices.

Topics: Apps, Android, Apple, Google, Mobile OS, Software Development

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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