I’ve mentioned before how difficult it can be to code for the Android platform. There are so many different types of phones that you cannot test them all. You adhere to the standards and hope for the best (a lot like coding for the browser).
Yesterday, I got two very different emails about Ear Assist. The first one, from a guy named Kevin, was awesome:
Finally, an app that can help me with with my hearing loss. This app is saving me $7,000 in the cost of hearing aids. Stick it to the man…
This really made my day. I showed it to my wife and kids and everyone else I ran into. I mean, the spy apps are cool and I love the games. But I actually made an app that helps people. Awesome. I am doing my duty as a human being (you see, my head gets a little big sometimes).
The second email was very different:
App doesn’t work on my phone. Phone crashed and then I had no access to power for an hour. Please refund?
She had a very different experience. To her, the app is crap (although she was kind enough not to say it). On her phone, it did not work (I’m pretty sure it did not cause the power outage, though). If it was me, I’d say it was rubbish and over-hyped by deluded users. She could leave a comment telling others not to bother downloading it (not realising it would work for them much better).
Of course, I gladly refunded the money and cancelled the order even though it was outside of Google’s 15 minute refund period (way too short in my opinion). I was glad she tried it. But I would preferred to have another happy customer.
On iPhone, of course, it is much easier to test our code on every phone (there are only, like, a half dozen of them) so developers have an easier time and users have a better, more consistent, experience. But iPhones are expensive and don’t have the same reach as you can get coding for Android.
Despite all the problems with Android, I still prefer it as a platform. I like the simplicity of it. I like the ability to release anything and people can see it within a few hours. But, as many developers will tell you, iPhone users buy more as a general rule.