The Top Five Business Benefits of Android

With the 2.0 release newly available, perhaps you’re wondering if the Android platform is right for your business or your project. Here are the top five benefits of Android from a business perspective (primarily for prospective application developers).

Here are the top five benefits of Android from a business perspective (primarily for prospective application developers). #1 Low Barrier to Entry Android has a low barrier to entry. There are no costly licensing fees or development tools. In fact, it is possible to develop applications without spending a dime. The primary costs fall into three categories: development and testing expertise, royalty fees (if you decide to distribute using third party app stores), and test devices. #2 An Ideal Platform for Companies New To Mobile Android applications are written in Java, with a rich set of libraries. Anyone with a working knowledge of Java can get Android applications up and running with relative ease. Java programmers are plentiful in the marketplace (especially in this economy) and the Android platform documentation is very good. There’s never been a better time to attempt the jump into mobile development. Android makes this easy. #3 A Variety of Distribution Mechanisms Unlike other mobile platforms, Android applications can be distributed in a variety of ways. You can use any number of third-party application stores (most notably Google’s Android Market) but you can also create your own distribution channels: for vertical market application purposes, to develop new application stores, and even put it behind corporate walls. If you build it, you can publish it. No more worries that you might build an application and not be able to reach end-users. Sure, third-party application stores can impose their own rules on what they will publish, but because there is not a single, controlled marketplace, you’ve got a number of options. #4 Open and Free Platform License free, royalty free, and open source. That’s Android. No costly licensing fees. Also, since the underlying architecture of the Android SDK is open-source, you can watch upcoming releases and provide feedback to the Android development team. This makes the Android platform very compelling for handset manufacturers and wireless operators… which translates to better opportunities for developers to monetize. Have a vertical market app (or device) that needs extreme customization and tight integration? Android is a choice for these same reasons – the entire platform is available for customization. #5 Best Mobile Platform for Inter-Application Integration The Android platform has is the best mobile platform for inter-application and inter-process architectures. Do you have a suite of applications in mind? Want to integrate them or cross promote them? Android blows the competitive platforms away in this area. Most other platforms allow background processes (at best) but the Android platform is set up to allow for trust relationships between applications for a more tightly knit experience for users. What Do You Think? Although we’ve recently written books on Android development, try to keep in mind that we’ve also developed applications for many other platforms, including iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm, BREW, J2ME, etc. We consider this is to be a fairly unbiased list of what we consider to be the most attractive features of the Android platform. What do you think? Is there something about the Android platform that you consider tempting, interesting or alluring? Let us know!

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.