Android@3x

A post has been making the rounds today from the BBC iPlayer team where they point out that they have a team triple the size on Android as they do on iOS. Here’s the relevant paragraph:

Prior to delivering mobile downloads, we felt it was critical to put these two building blocks of quality playback and support for larger tablets in place. Today we have an Android development team that is almost 3 times the size of the iOS team. Over the past months this team has made excellent progress building the downloads feature, and with 100% of the team now entirely focused on downloads we’re looking forward to accelerating the delivery and launching asap.

Gruber, the Tweet-o-sphere, and other members of the iOS Echo Chamber have read this to mean that it’s impossible to build an Android app without triple the development team of iOS.

To me, it reads like a delayed project that needs some extra resources on it. Is it not plausible that iPlayer shifted engineers off of their already released and stable iOS project and onto the still baking Android variation?

It’s not dissimilar to what Apple does with iOS and OS X. OS X Leopard was delayed in 2007 as Apple shifted engineers from that project to the iPhone to ensure that it could be released on-time.

I’m not an Android developer beyond reading all of ten chapters of Big Nerd Ranch’s Android Book, and my vibe so far is that it isn’t much more complex of a platform than iOS. Different? Absolutely. But, it’s just programming.

Android is fragmented? I believe it.

There’s a million devices? Sure.

None of them look or function the same? No doubt.

Needing three Android developers for every one on iOS? I don’t buy it.