This is just a quick state of the union on our android application, due to overwhelming customer demand for some transparency. We hear you, and we are working feverishly to deliver our android application, but just to bring you up to speed on some of the hurdles we have faced and where the state of the project is.
We originally began with the intent of re-using the underlying SIP engine on the iPhone application which we have had an extremely long time to test and tune on and ensure that it plays safe and sane on our network and provides a hopefully seamless and easy VoIP experience. This path we found fraught with difficulty due to platform differences and results were sub-optimal at best; and most importantly held indications that while we could push through the resulting mess would not live up to our standards in the long run; so we tore it down and built a more android friendly voip engine from the ground up. Unfortunately in developing products like this there is the occasional false start, we have certainly had that, and we have taken some extremely valuable lessons away from it.
We have also learned that the Android ecosystem is extremely complex to write for given the tremendous variety of devices, screen resolutions, and firmware permutations one can encounter in the wild; now I know most of you out there in internet-land are thinking “Well duh” to yourselves, and we presumed this going in, but the rabbit hole went much deeper than even we expected and so we have devoted an extreme amount of time to testing a large cross-section of not only the newest devices, but also testing a huge swath of devices that our customers will actually have in their pockets right now. Large touch screen phones, small sliders, tablets, Verizon phones, Sprint phones, ATT phones, you name it. This endeavor again has given us mountains of valuable information on how people actually use their devices, and has lead us to shift some of the UI around, as well as tune for the peculiarities of how each of these carriers actually handle their mobile data.
This whole project has been a herculean effort, which turned out to be orders of magnitude larger than the iPhone application due to open device ecosystem. That being said, I feel we are on track to a closed beta program (if you have told our support team you want to be a part of a beta program, we have you on a list don’t worry, and we will be contacting you) in the coming weeks but I don’t want to promise anything just yet since every time we have tried to provide a timeline the project seemed to go a bit pear-shaped.
Long story short, this is the biggest thing on our minds as of this moment and we are laser-focused on delivering a solid experience, so with that said, I’ll return to our development cave with the motivation stick and a wheelbarrow full of Cheetos and Mountain Dew to continue the effort.
Keep your eyes on the blog and forum for more developments.