Android Apps in 2012

As many of you know I’ve been a loyal & active iPhone users since the beginning.

For the past 10 days, I’ve been using the Galaxy Nexus as my main device.

I’ve gotten a feel for Android 4.0 and it is a nice improvement for sure.

But the main thing I’ve noticing are 3rd party apps. 

It’s been a surprise but in my experience Android third party apps look and feel awesome. Especially the ones I use frequently like: Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Kik, Google Voice, Maps, Dropbox, Evernote, Sonos, Runkeeper, exfm, Rdio, Path, Cardcase, Uber (and I’m sure I’m leaving stuff out).

It wasn’t long ago that the state of the Android apps suffered from a double whammy – apps didn’t exist or the ones that did exist sucked compared to their iOS counterpart.

The latter isn’t true anymore. And in 2012, I think we will see most apps exist on iOS & Android. Although my guess is that Instapaper won’t see the light of day on Android (by founder’s choice). 

In fact in my experience, the apps that need the most improvement are Google’s own apps. The browser needs improvement. So does the address book. Gmail is good but needs polish (e.g. I want to be able to easily add someone from mail to my address book, move someone from to: to cc:, the list goes on). 

As a user, the huge jump in quality of Android third party apps is exciting news and should serve as an inspiration to those developers sitting on the fence. 

As a VC, Android’s success brings a slightly mixed bag. The exiting news is that the growing user base with iOS and Android is awesome and continues to justify a mobile first experience. 

However it does mean that to support multiple platform out of the gate, startups will need to raise more money. When we participated in Tumblr’s first round of financing, they only needed two people for a long time – David and Marco. They were 100% focused on the web. They didn’t have to deal with iphone, ipad, and android. The first round was in a pre-app world. It was capital efficient and a different task than startups today.

I’ll bring this post home with my friend Andy Rubin’s tweet the other day. 


The future for Android apps in 2012 couldn’t look better.