Posted July 13, 2011 10:59 am by with 3 comments

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Today the WhitePages will be launching its latest app, Localicious. Considering the rate of apps appearing in the marketplace these days that’s not news.

What is interesting, however, is where the app will appear first. Rather than going the ‘traditional’ route of iPhone then Android, the WhitePages have reversed the order and the reason is pretty simple: it’s easier to plan a launch around Android launches versus trying to manage the Apple app approval process.

All Things Digital reports

Apple’s approval process is just too difficult to time a launch around. As evidence, the Seattle company notes that one of its apps, a reverse phone lookup directory, has been in Apple’s hands for the past two months awaiting approval. So, this time around, the company decided to go Android first.

“I think we are going to see a lot of people start to ship Android first,” WhitePages Chief Operating Officer Kevin Nakao told AllThingsD. “You can’t be held hostage.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the WhitePages or any other company is going Android only. That would be ridiculous. But one of the troubles of the Android market (feels like anyone can get an app approved thus making malware and spyware more of a concern) may actually work to the benefit of a trusted brand.

Couple this potential for a shift in how things get done in the mobile space along with the announced improvements in the Android Market and you can see a slight momentum shift. Once again, this is not to say that Android is taking over the app space and Apple is doomed for failure. Alarmist BS like that has no place in the discussion of the mobile app market.

We have seen this in the past where companies seem to get on a roll and seem to hit a stride. Facebook has done it before. Apple has done it on many occasions. Now it seems to be Google’s turn. With Google+ making it through the first line of defense and not getting booed off the stage by the social media glitterati, Google seems to be making the right moves to finally pull together its disparate parts into a much more cohesive suite of products and services. There is a ways to go but the move in that direction becomes more apparent with each passing day.

With marketers constantly trying to keep pace and doing the best they can to get to market with the latest and greatest this news may be of interest. Would it make more sense for a mobile marketer to put together their apps on the Android platform first these days? Now that the adoption of Android devices has evened the playing field of who has the farthest reach in the mobile space, marketers are forced to think differently. Of course, with budgets still being precarious in an economic climate that is teetering on more trouble these decisions will become even more important.

So where do you stand? Can you see the benefits of an Android first approach to app development? Should Apple loosen its grip on the development process? That’s an unlikely scenario because Apple is a company that has its ways and sticks with them. That seems to have worked quite well in the recent past so don’t expect much of a change there.

No matter what approach though, this ‘trend’ is worth watching. Imagine an Android market that is more robust than the Apple App Store. One can dream, can’t one?

  • I’m actually going through this process right now myself. It’s much easier to go Android first and then hit iTunes. If for no other reason it’s much easier to update an Android app just in case there are bugs that slipped through. You don’t want to find some critical bug after it’s in the market and be stuck waiting for Apple to approve the update. Of course I’m building everything using Adobe AIR so there is just one code base for both Android and iPhone.

  • Interesting point. Funny thing is I was in a meeting a few weeks back and we were talking about mobile software for services we provide and it was mentioned support would start with the iPhone. Half the room held phones up saying ‘but we have Android’. The tide is turning…

    • Interesting! The tide is turning and there will be plenty of room for both platforms.