App makers adopt Android as demand grows for iPhone alternatives from big companies like Woolworths and Domino’s Pizza
While calls for Android versions of apps may have come from a vocal minority until recently, supermarket giant Woolworths has seen that demand come into the mainstream after it was bombarded with calls for an Android version of its popular app.
Domino's Pizza also launched the Android version of its popular app today, part of its plan to have more than 25% of all sales ordered from portable devices.
Lookout Mobile managing director Daniel Kagan told SmartCompany last year the company wasn't seeing enough demand in the Android platform to justify hiring a dedicated developer. But now, he says, the situation has changed.
"There is definitely more demand for Android development. It just used to be iOS, but now it's more Android. We just got so many emails asking where the Android versions are."
"It's taken time to develop a full-scale Android platform, and that's going to help with some commercial opportunities we have coming up."
Woolworths has seen its iPhone app downloaded more than 670,000 times over the past month, sending it to the top of the App Store charts. But after the company was hit with calls on social media outlets to make an Android version, it released one late last week.
Software makers across the world have been releasing apps on different platforms at the same time. It is widely expected now that developers will offer iOS, Android and possibly even Windows versions of apps.
Kagan says the growing number of Android-based phones offered by telcos in a variety of cheap deals has increased penetration. "It's changed in the last three months. It's an obvious shift in the market," he says.
"I think there are just so many handsets now, and it's cheaper. With our numbers as well, I'm seeing a dramatic rise in the number of Android downloads, so it's proof there are more Android handsets out there now than there was before."
Mogeneration chief executive Keith Ahern says in the smartphone realm, there is definitely a shift towards Android.
"With regard to phones, they have reached a critical mass now and we definitely see an interest. It was a vocal minority at first, but now there are genuine numbers behind it."
However, Ahern says the tablet market is still dominated by the iPad, and that is unlikely to change for some time.
"In tablet land, it's just not happening. There are a very small number of devices out, and I think the market situation there is quite different. The interesting thing to consider is whether it will happen the same way it has with phones."
"People want a phone, so they go to the big telcos and get a plan with a lot choice. They don't have the same situation with tablets."