Pocket lead developer: Developing for Android is "quite enjoyable"

We've all seen those reports from app developers on other platforms, saying how developing for Android is a nightmare, and isn't worthwhile (we file those with the "Android is doomed when the next XXX comes out" reports), so it's refreshing to see the other side of the coin. Max Weiner, lead developer for Pocket., (see our interview with the Weiner brothers here) has let us in a little of what goes one behind the scenes at Pocket, and the short version of how they developed one of the best and most popular Android apps to date.

Starting with the Samsung Fascinate he got on contract for a penny, Max and company have certainly done well despite all the promises that they need hundreds of devices to test with and will face countless headaches developing for Android. It's a great read, and we look forward to seeing the rest of their tips for Android developers as the series continues.

Source: Pocket

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Thank you, AC, for actually posting POSITIVE development for the Android platform. It seems every time I run across an article from an Android dev, it's "OMG THIS IS SO HARD/NO ONE PAYS ME". This is very refreshing.
  • Actually those articles are usually from iPhone devs who try to replicate an iPhone app on Android and think they will get the same results. It's a different animal, you can't just port an iPhone app and expect it to be a best seller.
  • And to say thank you to him -, pocket now resides on my GNote
  • It was on my Nexus for the longest time being unused. Due to this I decided to try and figure out a use case for it.
  • Pocket is a great app with some great developers....devs need to learn from their customer service. If devs would just work with the customer instead of against Apps would be a lot better. Listen and learn from your target audience don't belittle them!
  • Do they have to test on hundreds of devices? Does sound like hell! dont most of the phones have basically same hardware? i mean Low, Medium, high end(Samsung, Snapdragon and TI OMAP)????
  • Read the article, it states they've been able to develop Read It Later / Pocket with just a dozen devices to test with, and they started off with just one (then two, slowly building up on a budget). The article's actually pretty funny, and a lot of what he's saying SOUNDS like total common sense regarding software development, but they're things that completely fly above the head of some other development studios (large AND small). The fact that the Instapaper guy completely outsourced development of the Android app and the fact that he still works on the iOS app mostly by himself speaks volumes about his development theory and approach imo, it says a lot before you even ever read any of the comments he's made regarding Android. Developing in a vacuum and subscribing to the theory that your singular approach is gonna be the most effective for the majority of people can work in some instances, but it's not exactly the kind of mentality Android thrives on. It goes back to principles at the core of Android vs iOS.