I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

That Android-first developer “trend”

For some bewildering reason that’s likely a reflection of society’s bankrupt standards for journalism, a lot of people read Business Insider.

Whenever one of my products or I am mentioned in it, I get more people coming out of the woodwork and telling me they saw it than from any other press coverage — usually via Facebook, a website that assumes I’d like to read an algorithmically profitable subset of the random writings of people whose random writings society expects that I should care about, but I don’t.

Anyway, somebody wrote this on, a domain name on the internet, and the aforementioned people are woodworking about it despite it having no relation to me:

Facebook Is Seeing More And More App Developers Go Android-First

Facebook is seeing a trend in Europe of app developers going “Android-first.”

The first line of the article has already proven the headline to be misleading. And those who find the rest of the article between all of the other garbage on the page1 may notice that the headline actually doesn’t reflect the real story at all. This is the bulk of the actual information being reported:

But Codorniou told us Facebook has a team of evangelists encouraging Android developers to use Facebook as a way to build and promote their apps: “As of today, I have four guys from my team in Paris talking to Android developers about the greatness of Parse, Facebook login, app links, app events. It’s a very important bet for us.”

“There is a pattern coming from Eastern Europe. The Russian developers develop on Android first because of a big audience, and it maybe being easier to develop. They liked the fact that they could submit a new version of the app every day. This is a trend that I see and I think it is going to accelerate.”

In other words, the staff members at Facebook tasked with promoting Facebook to Android developers have, unsurprisingly, been talking to Android developers. And it turns out that many Android developers prefer to develop for Android first.

If there’s actually a trend toward Android-first, this story isn’t showing any evidence of it.

The likely truth is that there is no noticeably shifting trend of developers choosing Android first because of its market share, or choosing iOS first because of its profit share, because that’s not how developers choose. Most developers with the authority to choose their platform will choose whichever one they use and like best.

If there was really a shift occurring toward Android-first, a significant number of iOS developers would be switching teams, developing for Android first and probably switching to Android as their carry OS. But of every iOS developer I know — and I know a lot — only one is choosing that path.

And the number of successful startups that launch on Android exclusively, or even first, remains far smaller than the number that start on iOS first.2

Maybe someday this will change, but it would require far more talented mobile developers and startup founders to switch to Android themselves. Find that story first, and the apps will follow.

  1. At the time of writing, these distractions include an ad for denture glue, a newsletter sign-up solicitation, a Facebook sharing solicitation, a LinkedIn sharing solicitation, a Twitter sharing solicitation, a Google+ sharing solicitation, a “Print” solicitation despite most web browsers including a print feature, an email sharing solicitation, a huge ad for Dropbox, clipart stolen from Flickr, a Facebook stock ticker, a generic stock ticker labeled “Your Money” that doesn’t actually represent my money as far as I can tell, banners for articles including “A ‘Sexist’ Ad From UK Newspaper The Sun Offering A Date With A Topless Model Has Been Banned” (with a photo of five women wearing bikinis and promoting unattainable body images), “The 6 Types Of Killers Who Use Facebook To Connect With Their Victims”, “Here’s What Happens When You Eat Olive Garden For 7 Weeks Straight”, “6 Scientifically Proven Things Men Can Do To Be More Attractive”, “Scientists Have Figured Out What Makes Women Attractive”, “How To Get A Dancer’s Body”, “Women Are Going Crazy Over These No-Underwear Yoga Pants”, a repeated sharing-solicitation bar at the bottom of the article with every aforementioned option except the already redundant “Print”, links and banners to 31 (!) more garbage articles, and Tynt to taint your copy-and-pasted text. ↩︎

  2. I know of zero. I’m sure it’s not that bad, but I bet it’s not great. ↩︎