I’ve had a lot of people Tweet and ask why there isn’t an Android version of the Wherespresso iPhone app.
Mobile Development is Expensive!
Mobile app development is expensive – mobile apps cost a lot of money to make. Think in order of $3,000-$5000 for a product you will essentially give away. On top of that, adding another platform means any changes to the site then have to be rolled out to two mobile platforms which makes things doubly expensive.
The feature roadmap for Wherespresso over the next 6-12 months is so strong and intense, that I would prefer to implement these features and get everything to where I want it to be, then implement an Android (and pure mobile) version. These development priorities will drive revenue, so they naturally crowd out a significant investment in a product that won’t directly drive revenue (yet).
Android Marketplace a Bit Flakey
Compared to Apple’s closed garden environment, the Android marketplace isn’t as clean and cohesive for users and developers (for those interested, I encourage you to read this article about the problems with Android).
Whilst this obviously is a result of Google’s choice to have a more open marketplace, it contrasts with Apple’s decision to concentrate on user experience above all else.
When the Android marketplace and the app ecosystem becomes a little cleaner, it will help the decision immensely.
Android Still on the Roadmap
Having said that, I definitely have an Android version on the roadmap, so I encourage Android users to show their support by signing up to the “Please Give Us an Android Version” mailing list here. By signing up, I’ll get a clear indication of the level of support for the Android version.
At the end of the day, Wherespresso has a clear revenue model that will see the iPhone app remain free forever and an almost total lack of monetisation through advertising – because really, when you think of features you’d like to see on a site, do you really say “I want more advertising!”? No way. So the planned features will help drive revenue, which will help support the rest of the site in a sustainable manner, which will see it grow for years to come, so we all win.