AOL chooses Android

One area where Android has some catching up to do is the attracting of major corporate entities and large, mainstream app developers. We’ve seen an explosion of Android adoption over the last year and the Market is getting more attention and love from developers than it used to, but there’s still something missing: massive mainstream support.

I recently set free an iPhone 4 that I had been testing since launch day for comparison against the season’s Androids. The most impressive thing about the experience, to me, was the quality of apps and the way in which seemingly every niche demographic has been catered to by talented professionals with high-end software.

The other night, I went on a quest to find and Android equivalent of what is, in my opinion, iPhone’s best micro DAW, FourTrack. This little studio in a pocket goes far beyond the idea pad/scratch tape apps I’ve used on Androids, allowing the production of complete tracks suitable for publishing – overdubs, master effects, and all. And the key here is that I’m talking about recording live instruments – not just exporting arranged loops from virtual drum machines and softsynths.

When I sought public assistance, I was met with nothing but the proverbial chirping cricket. Generally, when I ask for Android app suggestions, I am swamped with great titles. But there are certain categories where Android’s selection is sorely inferior to the iPhone’s. Not only that, but iPhone owners often find several apps of a given function to choose from while Android owners are left hoping and waiting.

The FourTrack example represents a host of other categories where iPhone has advantage over Android, and I bring it up only to point out the importance of the news that sits at the end of the post: AOL has chosen Android to launch it’s official app, which will give users rapid access to information from AOL properties, like Engadget, Fanhouse, and of course, AOL Mail.

AOL was the first big name on the Internet. For millions of Americans, AOL was the Internet for over a decade. It still is for some. And for such a massive corporate entity to chose Android as the first target in an app campaign says a lot about the current state of the platform, but even more about where it’s headed. I think this launch could shape the future of Android, in some way.

So far, Android has been second (or fifth) priority for mainstream businesses launching an app. iPhone has always come first, and, when luck strikes, Android follows. I hope this AOL launch signifies a change in the perception of Android to the non-techy masses, and that dropping Android apps will be the hip new thing to do for business owners and managers who have no idea what Android is.

Maybe I’m making more of AOL’s announcement than I should, but I think people are tired of having only one phone option if they need their bank’s quality app, or if they need access to a specific mobile web management suite, or if they want to overdub acoustic guitar tracks in their living room. I know I am. Now where is my C2C?!



Via Android and Me

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