I’ve had this on my mind for a few years now, and was reminded by this article about how Apple will reject Stadia and xCloud from the App Store. I’m a fan of both of those services so far, but my thoughts are tangential to Apple’s locked down platform. The nit I am picking is with search.

There is an almost throwaway line in Apple’s policy about how all the games would need to be reviewed and available in search. In direct relation to this issue, the policy is dumb and will likely fold, either to antitrust inquiries or backdoor handshake deals (or both). It creates a bad user experience (people who want to use the service on iOS cannot) for the sake of a good user interface.

I can’t fault them for it. In my 10 years using smartphones, I was able to switch to iOS for an entire 6 weeks, around the end of 2015. The only thing that still haunts me as an Android user is Spotlight Search.

It underscores the core design difference between the two systems. There is a single iOS which everyone experieces, but users bring along their individual stuff into the walled garden. On Android, you are generally encourged to create your own unique experience, which is rewarding in itself. However, trying to access personal items is a hassle, as search is almost always pointed outward toward the G-shaped hive mind.

I’ve spent several weeks organizing personal notes, experimenting with new tools. The interoperability and longevity of plaintext notes has proven particular alluring, and quite useful in practice. But if I want to perform a mobile search that includes my personal files as well as relevant emails/todos/etc., I am out of luck. The market leader to end all market leaders of internet search fails to accomplish this, and probably on purpose, because again, all search points outward by design.

Anyways, this has been bugging me for years, and won’t get any better because I just got my next Android phone. On a related note, I look forward to Obsidian coming to mobile.

I started a list several months ago of iOS-first applications that had everything to gain from launching on Android but seemingly just decided not to. Far from complete, and probably like the third post I had ever written on anything, but it was a start. Anyways, this morning on All About Android I heard about this guy who tried to elucidate the point in probably the most smug way possible. The tone makes me feel like he would carry hand sanitizer around just in case he accidentally touched an HTC One. So here is my attempt to FJM this whole thing.

photo: Andy Ihnatko via Compfight

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As an Android user, I am sick of developers picking iOS over Android as their initial mobile launch. It may be that I don’t understand the difficulty of porting between OS’es, or that about half of Android users are running a nearly 3-year-old version of it. But when something like Vine, which has the engineering power of Twitter behind it, forgoes the majority of the smartphone market by making an iOS-only application, it irks me. Remember, it was only after Instagram released on Android that it sold for $1 billion.

That is why I am starting this list. It is all the applications that I have seen or tried that don’t bother to cater to my sector of the market. I will try to update it frequently, as I find out about new ones (and there are always new ones).

The Master List