Pixable, the iPhone app that aggregates the photos and videos shared by friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, is now arriving on Android. But how it got there is something of an interesting story. Instead of designing and building the Android version in-house, as is typical, the company instead “acq-hired” an independent developer who crushed out his own Pixable Android app in just three weeks.
Juan Carlos Viota of Spain, the winner of the 2009 Global Android Developer Challenge (and Pixable fan, obviously), had previously requested access to Pixable’s private API to build an independent Android version. When the app was complete a few weeks later, the Pixable team liked it so much they gave him a job and made his creation the new official Pixable Android app.
But before any of you budding developers get crazy ideas about how to land a job at your favorite tech company, you should know that Viota was already a widely respected Android developer. As noted above, he not only took home the top prize of $250,000 in the Android Developer Challenge, he had been a finalist the year before, too.
“We’ve been focused on iOS since the beginning, but when you’re given the opportunity to have your Android application developed by one of the best developers in the world, you go for it,” said Pixable co-founder Inaki Berenguer of the news.
Building for the Android audience (while still not developers’ first choice, apparently) made sense in this case, as the company was already seeing 20% of its traffic coming from Android users who were visiting the mobile web version at m.pixable.com.
The new Android app (technically still a “beta”) is faster than the web version and takes advantage of native Android features, while also still allowing users to flip through photos sorted in “photofeeds” like “Top Photos of the Day,” “Shared Videos,” “New Profile Pics,” and more.
Pixable now has 3 million users on iPhone and mobile web (after a bump from getting featured by Apple). Its users swipe through over 2,000 photos per minute, and open up the app 11 times per month.
Pixable for Android is available from the Android Market here.