I came across a really interesting article today, tweeted by one if my friends. It’s a transcript of Steve Jobs’ conference call with analysts – you can check out the full article here. It followed Apple’s announcement of record earnings this quarter.
The article is a really interesting read, and raises some really good points. I’ll go over a few of them below:
We’re often asked why we’re so set on iOS development, and a common question is about Google Android, and if (and when) we’ll start making apps for that. One of the big selling points of Android is that it’s ‘Open’, as opposed to iOS, which is said to be ‘closed’. This is true in the sense that anyone can download the Android OS, set up on their device and start using it. Definitely not the case with iOS! However, you’ll find that a lot of manufacturers install their own user interfaces on to Android – this results in the user having different experiences on different devices, even though they’re both running Android. Maybe it’s not a big issue….maybe.
Then comes the development environment. TweetDeck recently put out their Android app. After contending with 244 different handsets, and over 100 versions of Android software. Now that is a lot of testing. How about testing on iOS? On one device? Hmmm….
So what about app stores? Well, there’s one Apple App Store. And there’s one marketplace for Google Apps. But there will also be new app stores opening up for Amazon, Verizon and Vodafone…so as an Android developer you’ll have to choose which app store to distribute your apps on…
Another question is flash. I think Jobs’ response sums it up really really well:
[Q: Any updates on your stance on Flash?]
Jobs: Flash memory? We love flash memory.
Another big impression I had after reading this transcript was that Apple is really focused on making the best devices. They aren’t worried about being the biggest company – it’s about making the best device for the user. There’s a heap of 7 inch tablets running Android on the way. Incidentally, Google has said not to run the current Android release (Froyo) on tablets, but to wait for a tablet specific version of the OS (read here). But vendors have gone ahead and made tablets running the current version of Android anyway. Even though Google said to wait…interesting aye?
But back to my original point – the reason Apple didn’t make a 7 inch tablet is it believes there’s no way of creating a great user experience (i.e. apps) with this amount of real estate. So why 7 inches then? Well, if you were trying to save costs, a smaller screen would be a great start…
In any case, for us it’s a bit of a no-brainer. One App Store, one device, one operating system. It means we can focus on creating really innovative apps that really push the boundaries of integrating an amazing user experience with core business processes. As for the competition – well, we’ll have to wait and see what happens…