Android team 1-ups Apple by giving social support to developers using Google+

Jan 31

Earlier this month, the Android team launched a style guide to help developers build prettier apps on its platform.

Today, the team is taking another step to attract more quality apps by making its support more social by using Google+. In a post this morning, the team shared its plans for the page, by making itself available during office hours to answer questions and give tips:

• Add us to your circles to get info and updates directly from the Android team and join in on conversations around upcoming releases for Android Developer tools, SDKs, Hangouts, and training material.
• Join hangouts with members of the Android developer relations, product, engineering, and design teams. Ask your development questions, and get the inside scoop on the latest APIs and platform features.
• Join hangouts with other Android developers; share your app development stories and see how others have created awesome Android apps.
• See video and pics from Android developer events around the world and +1 or comment on posts to let us know what you think.

While it’s difficult to get a hold of someone at Apple for questions about your apps, the company relies on its Human Interface Guideline and forums to assist the developers on its platform. The only thing about the forums are that you have to be a part of the Apple Developer Program to participate. That’s a bummer for novices who are thinking about developing apps for iOS.

Android is taking a different route with its Google+ page, it’s allowing anyone to participate and it appears to be extremely active, having been circled by 11,520 people so far.

By using Google+ Hangouts and screen-sharing functionality, the Android team can take a real hands-on approach with its developers, rather than sitting back and fielding one out of every thousand questions via email or support forums.

Every Wednesday at 2PM, the Android team will host a live Hangout, where it will field questions and share updates on all of the latest happenings for the platform. Here’s an example from last week’s hour-long session:

When Google says it’s going social, it really means it, as we’ve seen most of the teams at Google interacting with the social network in one way or another, and with this latest Android effort, it sure gives the platform a leg up on the competition. If I’m a developer and wondering which platform to start with first, I’m more than likely to go to the one that will answer my questions and interact with me. Score another one for social, your move Apple.

Android Developers page on Google+

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