Do you think Android has much future?

This is sort of a reflection topic.

I once had the dream of making apps for a living in sites like oDesk, but with the existence of India that is impossible. (jk, I have indian friends and they’re great programmers btw)

With low-cost outsourcing expanding each year, the dream of a freelancer life becomes more and more impossible because there will always be someone willing to do the job for less money.
Nowadays it is possible to make some money with Android, and maintain a freelancer life, but will it always be like this
I opened this topic so we could talk about expectations, stability, and what do you hope for in the next few years.

Well, I think Android is becoming a monopoly like Windows and it will stay with us for long. Making money of it might get harder in time.

  1. Since Android is based on Java and Java is so popular in India, its cake walk to learn android programming.
  2. As of today one can make a living from apps/games but yes it will be difficult in 1-2 years. Its like website business where thousands of websites have been built for the same niche and are competing for the top spot using various SEO techniques.
  3. And on top of that if some other company launches better OS/technology as a replacement, android will get buried. I always wonder why can’t I use my shoes/shirt/ring for doing all the things for which I have to carry extra 200g-300g thing in my pocket.

@javaexp, but the entry level for doing apps is slightly higher than level for making simple websites. Don’t you agree?

entry level is really getting lower. plus chance of making money from simple app is higher than simple website.

example scenario:

get unity free, buy a source code for $10 (example only). and publish.

total cost is very low, no coding required. I guess with time it only gets easier to publish.

I share Magnesus opinion, monopoly but tougher to get money.

The only risk for Android is the whole Patent War. With 50%+ market share it already is the de facto “Windows of Mobile world” and with such position - you are safe to bet it will be still “significant enough” in 3 years from not.

Very true about the buying code and publishing - as some developers have mentioned. HOWEVER, to stand out, I guess it still requires doing that extra something (in an ideal world).

In reality on Android however, there MAY be exceptions where something simple becomes huge - while nearly same things not. So there maybe a marketing angle to it perhaps - how well the app was launched etc. - or some complex series of events or whatever (simple test of this is when people on this forum have commented on new apps posted here and said “hey I think this will be a hit” - and in some cases that has become true - while for others which elicited similar response it maybe less so - so there is a huge difference in “what works or gains traction” vs. what seems like a good app - and there maybe a bit of randomness (as with entrepreneurialship) involved (i.e. or maybe can classify them as the “intangibles” or other factors - i.e. being mentioned by some influential one person or blog or such). However clever marketing probably can do something about that (or improve the odds at least maybe) - which is why they may work with portfolios of apps vs. a single game/app.

The problem with this entrepreneurial approach is that - if there IS such a risk factor, the risks become unacceptable for an individual (say if a game requires they spend 6 months on the game or more). Possibly what may move android development out of the reach of individuals may be this risk factor - i.e. while some percentage will make apps and make a huge return on it - others may make a nearly similar app and not get that traction (which could be purely randomness - but when analyzed could also be some reasonable factor that actually made the difference that “aha so that was the reason the app didn’t work” type of thing).

However, another complexity to the mobile app marketplace is the expectation of developers (esp. new ones coming in from non-gaming or such backgrounds) - who may think making something great is what is going to get good returns. Yet the android marketplace (with the peculiar nature of phone usage and short attention spans - i.e. the proverbial sitting in the dentist’s office and whiling away 5 minutes of time type of thing).

So it could very well be that simpler apps - done with much less effort may (what seems by chance) work better over much complex and beautiful apps. From a programmer point of view that will be very “unfair” - but seen another way it may in fact be very appropriate after all.

So I think there was a comment in some article that while gaming may take off on tablets - i.e. becoming increasingly complex (and taking it away from hands of individual developers - UNLESS I guess they come up with a simple solution which “cuts through the crap” - as not all users want complex rich graphics all the time type of thing).

But on phones there may still be a window open because of the format i.e. short attention spans etc. - which means doable for the individual developer - but again with all the issues of competition (and we are not even getting into whether Google Play search for keyword or whatever algorithms are “fair” or not etc.).