Develop for the platform please

I have been tweeting recently a post which Sam tweeted a while back.

Reading it, reminds me of a quite major company asking me to try out their newly created Android app because they don’t actually have any designers or developers who ran Android regularly. Ok this was a good 3 years ago but still how the heck can you expect to create a Android app with no real understanding what your building for?

Worst still there were so many classic mistakes which clearly pointed to iOS developers just porting the app to Android. Simple things like pressing the menu button did nothing. The back button would take you right to start of the app again instead of a logical back step. There was no sharing button or option just a email this or post to FB/Twitter. The splash screen seemed to take forever and I always thought it was weird and out of place, all the other apps which have splash screens you can disable using a preference if they had one at all.

Syncing wasn’t a big deal in this case because it didn’t do anything so fancy but (if it did this little rant would count) boy oh boy the app went back to the developers and designers with a massive list of wtf’s…

I hate to say it but they lived up to the stereotype of designers being stuck in a bubble, this bubble was the iOS bubble.

As the writer writes…

You can argue about which is easier to use or more polished, but at the end of the day, iOS does not have as many features as Android and that means it should not be used as the “golden standard” that all apps are targeted for. Take advantage of the features and capabilities of a given device. If iOS has a better WebView, use it; if Android has better sharing support, use it. Don’t let a desire for the lowest common denominator harm your app.

In total agreement, yes I know its more expensive and requires more time, etc… but do a proper job otherwise your userbase will tell you exactly what they think by not installing your app. I think I said it before but developers this isn’t good enough sorry.

Shocking to think it was the BBC News app!

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.