I’m an Android user, and have been for about a year. Historically, that means that I usually get the hottest apps after they’ve already been available to iPhone users (Angry Birds is a great example). While Android’s market share is on a sharp rise, there are still many apps that hit the iPhone first, like the Hulu Plus app. Hulu Plus has been available to iPhone and iPad users for a while, but will now be coming to Android very soon, according to the official Hulu blog.
Part of the reason iPhones get a lot of apps before Android devices is the fact that Apple’s iPhone launched a good year or two before Android devices became commonplace… so the user base was bigger and deserved more attention. Part of it, though, is surely due to the Android’s infamous fragmentation problem–all iPhones are largely the same, whereas there are myriad Android devices… each with it’s own unique hardware, and each running a different version of Android. This results in a bit of a challenge for app developers, who end up having to release multiple versions of an app in order to ensure it works fine across the board.
My guess–and that’s all it is, at this point, is a guess–is that Hulu simply needed more time to make sure their Hulu Plus app would work similarly across all brands and versions of the various Android devices that are out there. But after a Samsung presentation at CES appeared to indicate the existence of a Hulu Plus app for Android, the company has officially confirmed the news:
“Hulu Plus will be available on select Android mobile phones in coming months; we’ll announce further details as soon as we have an official launch date and complete list of Hulu Plus-enabled Android phones. We hope you’re as excited as we are!”
There you have it folks… the Android version of the app is “coming soon”:
That’s not a lot of detail, I know. But it’s nice to get official confirmation of the Android app, even if you’d think there’d be more information available than simply “in the coming months.”
Remember when Google TV was announced, and just a few short days later it was discovered that Hulu was blocking the devices from accessing their website? And the company claimed to be working on a way to let Android users access their shows and movies? Yeah, this Hulu Plus app for Android is the company’s answer… you will soon be able to access Hulu from your Google TV device, but only if you’re a Plus subscriber.
So… the real question is this: How many of you out there are both Android users and Hulu Plus customers? And of that group… how many of you would find this app useful? I have to admit, the idea of watching television episodes and films on my phone is very appealing to me. Sure, when I’m at home, I watch as much entertainment as possible on my television or laptop. But there are an awful lot of occasions where I find myself out of the house, with some time to kill–waiting at the doctor’s office, in between periods at a hockey game, or just hanging around while my wife shops for shoes. In times like these, the Hulu Plus app would be a lifesaver… if I were a subscriber. See, it turns out the real problem with the Hulu Plus app for Android isn’t the app… but the core Plus service itself. Which has yet to add the premium level content (quality and quantity) to make the $7.99 a month worth it in my eyes.