With over 10 million users, despite an invite-only approach to marketing, Clubhouse is still iOS-only. The question on everyone’s mind, of course, is “when will we have the Clubhouse app on Android?”.
Let’s discuss the need behind this question, address the rumors of a security breach via an already developed app, and some stiff competition heading Clubhouse’s way.
First things first: the security breach.
3rd Party developer creates an Android ‘Clubhouse’ app
As it so happens, the security breach was genuine. It came in the form of some open-source code that an unidentified programmer from China provided. This app would allow Android users to access Clubhouse sessions, many of which were private, with no invite required to listen in. So, technically, Clubhouse on Android has already been achieved – just not officially.
While this has now been blocked, it was also confirmed that another 3rd party user was able to broadcast stream feeds from many rooms by reverse-engineering Clubhouse code. While Clubhouse was able to identify what occurred and upgrade security to help close this breach from being exploited in the future, many have worried that there might be similar issues regarding a new release of Clubhouse on Android.
Will Clubhouse be on Android soon?
The 3rd party app was not an authorized ‘Clubhouse on Android’ build, so you will have to wait for an official Android release. Clubhouse app on Android has been confirmed to be in development, with Mopewa Ogundipe being added to the development team in late February. Ogundipe has been creating Android apps since the ‘Gingerbread OS’ days, and her LinkedIn profile shows that she has worked for Industry giants such as Medium and Instagram.
Still, we do not have a release date yet, and there are some further potential problems for Clubhouse app on Android. Notably, Twitter has recently beta-launched their competing software called ‘Spaces’ in an effort to beat Clubhouse on Android to the punch.
Will this push for a faster development of Clubhouse app on Android? Most likely, as they’ve certainly got the funding, with over $100 million already invested in creating an Android version of the popular app.
Twitter ‘Spaces’ beta-launch their own Android’ Clubhouse’ competitor
On March the 2nd, Twitter posted a Tweet that has garnered a lot of attention. It reads as follows:
“Android folks, our beta is growing! Starting today, you will be able to join and talk in any Space. SOON you’ll be able to create your own, but we’re still working out some things. keep your 👀 out for live Spaces above your home tl
— Spaces (@TwitterSpaces) March 2, 2021″
For users who have wanted to use Clubhouse-style software on Android, this is excellent news, though the founders of Clubhouse are probably not as enthusiastic as the rest of us about it. While it is not Clubhouse app on Android, Twitter ‘Spaces’ has quite similar concepts. Users will see a ‘purple aura’ indicating that they can join a Twitter space, and while they cannot yet make their rooms, Twitter user’s on Android can listen in.
As with Clubhouse, this is an audio-only forum, and while it has only been made available for a handful of users at this time, things are expected to move very quickly.
A sneak peek at how the two apps compare
While Clubhouse app on Android has not been released, we can tell you how the current Clubhouse app compares with Twitter’s Spaces app. To start with, it is built-in to Twitter, so no additional apps will be required for the install to use Spaces. Developers of Spaces have been paying attention to feedback on Clubhouse, as they have added the following innovations in their beta:
- Emoji incorporation – As a way to show appreciation of a speaker, Clubhouse users started rapidly turning their microphones on and off. Twitter Spaces lets you show appreciation now with a basic set of Emojis.
- Sharing Tweets in Spaces –Tweets may be shared within Spaces to users who are enjoying the audio as a way of furthering the discussion. If this will enrich the experience waits to be seen, but we won’t know until further into the Spaces beta.
- Live transcripts are available – Live transcripts are available with some Spaces at this time.
- Following users is simplified – Following a user on Twitter is simply a matter of clicking them. While you may link a Twitter or Instagram profile in Clubhouse, you still have to exit the app for a proper add. Whether this will be an issue in the Clubhouse for Android is unknown at this time.
Clubhouse for Android: What does the future hold?
With Twitter jumping into the market with their offering, it will be exciting to see the innovations waiting to be released in Clubhouse for iOS and the much anticipated Android version. Competition, of course, drives innovation, but Clubhouse is arguably the most appealing in its current state. It is the simplicity of the medium and the real-time, no-transcript-or-recordings design that has captured many users’ attention, so what will be in the Android build is going to be anyone’s guess.
Twitter isn’t the only competitor for Clubhouse at this time, either, with apps such as Discord which allows for audio-only if you like and incorporates a chatroom and Riff, which enables users to post ‘riffs’ to carry on a conversation that is not carried out in real-time.
As far as who is going to win, we’re still going with Apple, which has always been noted for style and innovation. We just hope that they will be releasing Clubhouse for Android soon. They’ve got the developers working, the necessary funding, and the interest is definitely there, so keep a watch on the Google Play store.
With competitors looking to steal their thunder, Clubhouse app on Android is very likely to hit the market soon.