Expanding into Android development is a smart move for any mobile company and that includes Smule. Receiving equal parts scrutiny, skepticism and praise, Smule recently announced they would be expanding their previously iPhone-only music apps to the Android platform. Smule is known for their humorous and entertaining music apps based on auto-tune technology made popular by popular hip-hop artist T-Pain. Popular apps include Songify, which lets users record a basic vocal track and hear the finished product in classic vocoder fashion, and “I Am T-Pain,” which, well, makes users sound like T-Pain. Smule also have a few instrument apps including Ocarina, which turns a user’s iPhone into a flute.
Too Smule for school: Why Android expansion is smart business
Foolhardy critics are using strong words like “betrayal” and “foolish” to describe Smule’s expansion into Android territory. Since Smule was an Apple-only developer, expanding into the Android platform is essentially like biting the hand that feeds. The problem with this line of thinking is there’s more than enough evidence to prove the contrary. Smule is simply following in the footsteps of other iPhone-focused developers who saw the obvious benefit into Android market expansion.
Instagram: An Android expansion success story
Instagram started on the iOS platform and expanded into Android territory. Since the popular photo sharing app’s move to Android, it has experienced user growth of nearly 80 percent, according to a recent ComScore report. Between the two platforms, the app boasts upwards of 50 million users worldwide. Smule, like any other app development firm, is simply aiming for user growth.
Behind Smule’s Android expansion
When it comes to business expansion, the math is really hard to argue with. Understanding where Smule is coming from involves taking even a cursory look at the Android platform in its current state. In other words, Android is killing it right now. Just last quarter, Android lorded over 68 percent of the entire smartphone market. In quarter two, more than 100 million Android devices were shipped. Ignoring such a massive segment of worldwide mobile users would be foolish.
A clear reason for Smule’s expansion is its development platform itself. The Android platform is open and flexible, but it also lets the world’s most talented mobile developers structure apps in a dynamic way to present robust features in a very accessible way.
Another big win for Android is the sheer amount of Android-powered smartphones on the market. While it’s hard to ignore Apple’s massive growth with just a single smartphone, it’s even harder to ignore the diversity aspect of Android development. Building a great app for Android involves a great deal of creativity and ingenuity. Developers have to factor in the processing capabilities and memory limitations of a massive group of smartphones when developing. The good news is Smule has those developers at their fingertips.
The art of navigating mobile development politics can get a little hairy at times, but Smule’s move to Android is further proof they know the market. They’re not willing to compromise their vision to expand their business into new territory. At the very least, they’re actively paying attention to dynamic shifts in the mobile app market. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to bring your popular to app to as many users as humanly possible. Actually, that’s kind of the point.