Shopify has announced that its point-of-sale (POS) system is now available on Android devices. This development allows merchants to handle transactions without having to worry about specific operating systems.
Since its founding in 2004, Shopify has been centered around building a commerce platform that will let you sell online as well as at physical retail locations. Until today, it had primarily been restricted to the iPhone and iPad. Now, nearly 12 years after its inception, the company has branched out to support Android devices.
When asked why it took so long to reach this point, a company spokesperson said that “the majority of Shopify merchants are on iOS, which is why we focused our efforts on launching Shopify POS for iPhone and iPad first.” She declined to provide any specific data around the platform’s adoption.
For the most part, using Shopify’s POS on Android will be similar to using it on iOS devices, with the exception of the overall design of the interface. You’ll still be able to manage product inventory, sales, and customer records right from the system. You’ll also be able to pull reports that help you understand how to improve your business. It’ll work on any Android device.
However, the question remains whether third-party apps will be available within a Shopify app store. In July, the company launched a marketplace for its iPad POS, but, obviously, since today’s release is on Android, existing apps are not compatible. It’s probably safe to say that Shopify is working with developers to create suitable versions.
The inclusion of Android POS allows Shopify to compete against others that already support the operating system. Toast, for example, raised $30 million for its Android-powered POS system in January. And now that it’s a public company, Shopify needs to show that it can make itself accessible to customers, no matter what their OS preference may be.