TNW Magazine: Publisher says the next issue will be the last build for the Android platform, at least for now
The co-founder of The Next Web has let TNM know that the next issue of their digital magazine, TNW Magazine (iTune link) will be that last built for the Google Play store. The next issue, v0.12, is being produced now, but the following issue, v1.1, will be for iOS only.
“The platform is just less developed,” Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten said, referring to the Android platform. “We did, however, give it a try after getting a lot of requests for it.”
The Android app description states that the app, which is built using the Mag+ platform, “is optimized for the Google Nexus 7. Other Android tablets are supported, use on your own regard.” (sic)
The Android app has been generally well received inside Google Play, though there are only 46 reviews written to date with the main complaint being issues with various Android tablets. There are 167 reviews for the universal iOS version inside the Apple App Store, the vast majority of which are five-star.
“We are seeing one Android reader for every 80 iOS users. We might try again next year when more Android tablets are being sold but right now it seems like an easy market to ignore,” Veldhuijzen van Zanten told TNM.
According to a draft announcement to appear on the TNW website, the website’s co-found says “We tried an Android magazine, and found out it just isn’t worth the effort. Does that mean that Android sucks? Ehm, no, and there is no reason to tell us how cool Android is in the comments, because we understand it is. It just means that with the current state of technology and the way the market is divided we can’t afford to invest in it anymore.”
One of the biggest hang ups, besides download numbers, is the time needed to produce the Android version, 3 to 4 days versus just a couple of hours needed to convert the iPad version into the iPhone edition, according to the publisher.
The TNW Magazine app, being universal, supports not only the two versions of the iPad, but also the iPhone and iPod touch with its two different display sizes. With Android, that means the web property is supporting four different formats with its tablet-only magazine.
With the Mag+ platform the typical cost to produce a single platform app that will have Newsstand support is $399 per month, according to the vendor’s website. There is an added charge of $99 or $199 per month to add support for one or more other devices.
Update: The Next Web’s own story on their decision can be found here. The comments, in particular, are interesting. My only question would be this, though: if all these Android users didn’t know TNW even had a tablet-magazine for the Android platform, why are they upset now that TNW won’t be building one for Android anymore?