Angry Birds lead touches on iOS and Android development
Angry Birds is one of the biggest success stories of the year, with both the iOS and Android versions of the bird-flinging game constantly sitting atop the list of most popular apps on each platform. Because of this popularity, the Angry Birds developers know a bit about both Apple and Google's OSes and what makes them tick. In a recent interview, Peter Vesterbacka, Angry Birds development lead and "Mighty Eagle" at Rovio, put his two cents in on the two platforms and all of the Android fragmentation chatter. When it comes to iOS v. Android, Vesterbacka thinks that Apple will have the top platform for some time because "they have gotten so many things right" and "they know what they are doing." Android, says Vesterbacka, is growing, but the ecosystem is fragmenting thanks to all of the "different models" and "the carriers messing with the experience." "Paid content just doesn't work on Android," he said, which could explain why Angry Birds for Android is free while the iOS version isn't.
As Android progresses and major updates slowed, we've seen the purported fragmentation problem disappear. Vesterbacka touched more on fragmentation, saying that device fragmentation isn't a problem for Android, but that Google's OS is more challenging to work with. Still, he says, devs will find a way to get things done.
Vesterbacka says that there isn't really one superior model and that "Apple is Apple and Google is Google," and I tend to agree with him. There are ways for devs to succeed on both platforms, and it just depends on whether you'd prefer people to pay for an ad-free version of your app or if you'd rather release an ad-supported, free app. While there are successful ad-free and ad-supported apps on both platforms, you tend to see free apps do better on Android, which Vesterbacka agrees with. Which model do you all prefer? Would you rather pay for an app without ads or get an ad-supported app for free?