To support Android… or not

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Lots of people love the PracticeDeck app.

Even more people love the notion of the app, want the app, then learn it’s iOS-only… and the smile fades from their face and they put their Android phone back in their pocket. But most follow up by asking me to bring it to Android.

There’s no question that’s my #1 request: bring the app to Android.

Would I like to? Yes. But being a small shop there’s only so much I can do… and it’s a lot of time and trouble to make the port. I had thought about contracting it out to someone else, but then that’s a lot of money I can’t expect to recoup. Not only because I know how much time and effort it took to write the app thus I can make a fair estimate of Android dev costs, but well… Android just doesn’t make much money for developers.

Take this article.

I didn’t realize piracy on Android was so rampant, and so many people proud to do it. It bugs me because I’m sure you work for a living and you wouldn’t like it if someone didn’t pay you for your efforts, or just took whatever you made and didn’t pay for it. So what motivation should I have to make things if someone’s just going to take it and not compensate me? I have a family to feed and only so much time in a day, so I have to spend my time so I can care and provide for my family. Busting my hump for months and getting nothing to show for it doesn’t motivate me all that much, sorry.

Many have told me that the “revenue” model on Android tends to be ad-based apps. But I know ads just do not make much money, except for a few very lucky people. But reading that article, I didn’t realize that there are ad-blockers on Android, and so we’re back to the same thing of people getting something for nothing and the developer loses out.

I’m sorry, but that’s just not motivating. Well it is motivating: motivating to focus my efforts elsewhere.

Do I want to make an Android version? Sure. But I think it’s going to take the larger Android ecosystem to first become more supportive of developers, because right now it’s losing developers. Google, the handset makers, the carriers… they’re going to have to start the change. And yes, the customers/consumers in that realm will have to change too. But it’s a larger change that needs to happen with folks in general.

Everyone hated Metallica when they spoke out against Napster, and while they were wrong in many ways, the fundamental premise what they produce X so they can earn a living, and if people don’t pay them for X, they can’t earn a living. Think about that folks. You really love the product someone provides; doesn’t matter if it’s music or art or software or food or whatever. This person does X because they are good at it, so they work to make money doing what they’re good at so they can feed themselves and their family. If they determine they can make enough money at X to care for themselves, they’ll keep doing X. If they can’t, then they will have to stop doing X and find something else to do, because we all like to eat. So think about that. If you really love X, support the person that makes X so they can keep making X so you can keep enjoying X. Because if you don’t support X, the creator of X will have to find something else to do and X will cease and you will no longer be able to enjoy it.

It’s simple. Support the things you like, that you use, that make your life better in some way. If you support them, they can continue to make your life better.

If you don’t support them, they will vanish and ultimately you lose out.


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