Boid is over

Below is what I expect to be saying in the coming days; it is not an official statement from Team Boid, yet you should take heed.

At the start of this year (a long, long time ago), Phil and I, in partnership with Aidan and Joe, decided we would endeavour to improve the Twitter app market on Android with the ultimate goal to create the ‘Tweetbot for Android’. This is a target we have been working towards for almost a year now and we have come close. Boid has grown a vast amount over the time we have been working on it and we are proud of what we have achieved. However, if feel that ‘Boid’ is not what we have achieved. Boid was just the tool which aided our achievement.

In the time we have been working on Boid, a lot has changed in the Android ecosystem. When we joined the community as developers (and designers and managers), Android was at an important transition point: Holo apps designed specifically for Android 4 were becoming popular after the launch of the new version of the OS in October of the previous year. It was finally picking up user-adoption and interest, but the Play Store was still lacking bulk. It had a good number of apps, but they weren’t all Holo (in fact, very few of them were) and they didn’t work well on all form factors. With Boid, we aimed to change that for one group of apps - Twitter clients.

We aimed to create an app that was as good as and as popular as Tweetbot on iOS. We succeeded, but that app is not Boid. That app may not even exist yet, but it will form from the sparks of ideas and the innovation and the ashes of the attempts of the many developers which followed our lead in striving to make good Holo apps. To some extent - some hopeful, self-flattering extent - I believe people may have been inspired by our work. “If those teenagers can make a Twitter client, why can’t we?”

It is the generation of apps that followed Boid, with a new-found focus on quality and design, that I think is our real achievement. And, this having been accomplished, I feel like our work is done. We have made the change we intended to and I think the quality of apps available on Android is now at the standard which we’re happy with - a recent example is Falcon Pro by Joaquim Verges which I am extremely impressed by. I personally am now happy that we have achieved our goal, and since Boid has been surpassed (in my opinion), there doesn’t seem to be much incentive to continue development. I think it would be a good idea to stop and open-source Boid; release it to the community which we made it for in the first place.

In my mind, Boid is over. It was a success. And now its job is done.

Written 1 year ago by Graham Macphee.