While writing my recent post about Android development I meant to point out that big companies, such as Google, Yahoo, EA Sports, Zynga, etc can devote resources to developing on all platforms, whereas individual developers and small companies pretty much have to choose one platform or another.
However, it seems that even the big companies have issues with multi-platform development. For example, yesterday the BBC responded to a complaint that the British broadcaster prioritizes their iPhone app over the Android version. Their response? Yes, we do. And for logical reasons. Their inquiry found that:
It noted that developing for Android was different from developing for iOS; while iOS provides a relatively homogenous environment, Android is fragmented with almost 4000 devices from around 600 manufacturers," the report said.
This is the issue that really intimidates me. When I made the EyeDock iPhone app I had to design for one screen size, and I had to program for a couple versions of the OS. Eventually they made a larger iPhone screen, but you didn't necessarily have to change your app (I actually haven't yet). As time has gone by new versions of iOS have been released, one of which forced me to make some changes for my app to work. It was a pain, and I can't imagine programming for (and providing support for) thousands of devices, all with their little idiosyncrasies.
Android development is complicated and expensive, even for a big company. For an individual, especially one that spends most of his day looking at eyeballs, it's nearly impossible.