Android, wherefore art thou?

My apologies to all Android users who are waiting for Audacity to become available on more platforms than just iOS. More importantly, to iPhone users who want to be able to share tasks with Android-using partners (including me!).

I’ve nothing against Android. I love it, and in fact my next car will be the world’s first vehicle to be powered by Android (Google Automotive) – the exciting Polestar 2. Our company also has Android Apps in current use with our corporate customers.

We even began work on an Android Audacity and got quite a long way down the line. But then lockdown struck, and we re-assessed all commitments. Conker, the business behind Audacity, was only marginally impacted by the Covid downturn, but it was definitely time for re-thinking priorities. At that point, Android Audacity was put on the back-burner.

Probably that’s something we should have done sooner, regardless of lockdown. And here’s why.

We’re trying to establish Audacity as the world’s first choice personal To Do list app. It’s a hugely crowded market; dominated by a couple of 800lb gorillas, but with literally dozens of usable apps to choose from. We don’t have big bucks for marketing and PR, so we are largely going for word-of-mouth growth, and the best way to do this is to be free, when most of the competitors charge a premium for features that we regard as basic and essential.

If we are going to offer Audacity free of charge, we need to develop it as efficiently as possible. And it’s clear that our most efficient approach is to get the iOS app to a ‘finished’ state, then to copy it to other platforms. We only develop Native apps, since the experience with frameworks is always a little lacking/constraining, so we can’t take shortcuts.

The plan is for Audacity version 4 to be launched at the end of 2020, a version that will be mature and fully-featured. It might seem like we are already there; however we are planning some new, innovative, productivity features that I’ll blog about in the coming weeks.

At that point we’ll look at the other platforms, and Android is likely to be first to be launched – although Mac OS hopefully won’t be far behind. But in the meantime I hope people can see why it makes sense for us to pause the Android development.

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