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Nowadays you hear the word Android even from your mom (as a big feature of her new-bought cell phone), and you see its ads on many websites.

I'm a web developer, from Windows application development background, working on ASP.NET MVC mainly, backed by SQL Server. Yeah, right now, I can be considered a Microsoft guy.

However, I'm just starting to feel a little uncomfortable as to be really unfamiliar with this new giant. I just want to know if at all I should learn it or not? What I miss from not learning anything about Android?

Is it going to shape our future? Should we bother thinking about it?

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@Downvoter, would you please mind at least letting us why? –  Saeed Neamati Sep 21 '11 at 17:57
I was the downvoter. I think its a bad question on several levels, the first I already alluded to in that you are completely mis-characterizing (new word) this "new Giant". Then there is the false equivalence implied between your PC development stack and mobile development. Then you wrap it up with some unanswerable and subjective questions. All in all it just seems like a scattered question from a misinformed pov. –  user29776 Sep 21 '11 at 18:15
Why not change this question to all of mobile? iOS, WP7 and the various other OSes that have market share. The answers shouldn't be too different. –  Jetti Sep 21 '11 at 18:21
@tuckfard Android.SE is for Android users ala Super User –  World Engineer Sep 21 '11 at 19:16
I disagree with the downvotes. It's actually a good question because there are a number of Android-specific answers and insight to be gained. –  Paperjam Sep 21 '11 at 19:20
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closed as not constructive by Caleb, Robert Harvey, ChrisF Sep 21 '11 at 19:18

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4 Answers

Any answer will just be speculation. Technology changes so fast and unpredictably its impossible to guess accurately. Android is big at the moment and for good reason but who knows if Windows phone or iphone or some new technology will surpass it.

As for if you should learn it, yes. Programming for phones is great fun. Have a look at windows phone 7 too if your a MS developer.

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"who knows if Windows phone...will surpass it." Do you know of anyone, even at Microsoft that thinks this is even a vague possibility? And iphone is not playing catch up, wtf. –  user29776 Sep 21 '11 at 17:39
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It probably won't take you long to learn how to be a reasonably competent Android developer, and really who needs free time?

It's definitely worth looking into, there's not much money on the direct store front sales from what I've heard from friends who do it, but there's plenty money doing it for clients directly.

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Who knows... Android is basically Linux, and is supposed to be fun... Then again, it's locked up, so you have to root the phone to do anything remotely interesting. Which in some cases, like, for example, Wildfire S is not even possible without extra hardware.

Then the platform is quite limited, low power, small displays, A6, A7 revisions of CPUs. There are few apps that sell well, I guess, and if you can come up with a revolutionary idea, then you might earn something.

But you really have to think of something cool, because all you do, is mostly small apps, so no-one will want to spend 50$+ on them.

Then there is all that "malware market" stuff. You either use Google app market, or you're stuck with weirdo markets you cannot trust. Most software houses don't provide APKs directly.

And the whole platform is a privacy nightmare...

I have an Android, and from one point of view, I'm interested in programming something for it, but from another, it's really limited, and I have no idea if there is even a way to get money out of products you develop.

Then again, I'm not a teen that only plays with his phone, so I treat it as an emergency internet source and a phone. I guess teens might use all those fancy apps, but then again, it's a market segment with limited funds to spend on software.

Hard to say...

Metro will be available in next Windows phone if I'm not mistaken, but so far, Windows phone seems like a total disaster from what I heard. And Android is also taking over iPhone from where I see.

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There are some apps that are useful, but it seems like the big money in games. –  Jetti Sep 21 '11 at 18:22
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You should really be asking, "what am I missing from not diving into the mobile world?" Mobile is blowing up. Check out this talk from Luke Wroblewski. Developers should be constantly learning new technologies and challenging themselves so jump in the game and learn anything mobile. Win, iOS, Android, whatever, just start learning. You don't have to become an expert or actually write code that anyone will ever see/use, just get in there and get your hands dirty and learn how other technologies work and their capabilities. It will only help you in the future.

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