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Android vs. iOS

Mike Thon
Greenhorn

Joined: May 12, 2010
Posts: 6

I would be interested to hear from anyone who is doing development on both Android and iOS any comparisons of the two platforms, both from the development point of view and from a business point of view. From what I've read, it seems easier to sell apps for iOS but easier to develop apps for Android. I guess since this is an android forum the replies to my question will be biased!
Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17249
    
    6

Mike Thon wrote:I would be interested to hear from anyone who is doing development on both Android and iOS any comparisons of the two platforms, both from the development point of view and from a business point of view. From what I've read, it seems easier to sell apps for iOS but easier to develop apps for Android. I guess since this is an android forum the replies to my question will be biased!


I'll try to be unbiased. I am learning Android, however, it is very simple, as a Java developer I can code very rapidly. However, where I have problems in Android is developing the UI. I find the xml or even direct code approach to be difficult because I am designing the UI with text, rather than visually. And even though there is DroidDraw as a visual editor the layouts lead to making that product still difficult to see and get exactly what you want from your UI. For instance creating a Table/List and see how each row will look. Android from a business perspective has a lot more devices out there, so a bigger market. But, from what I have seen, looks like it is very difficult to sell at a price, but easy when free. Most people are getting the free apps. (This is not as true, but still true on the iPhone)

From iOS development perspective, if you have no Objective-c experience then there is a big learning curve, it is very different from Java. You will find that you will write more code in iOS development, and in some cases a little more difficult to follow good OO practices that we know in Java, even though they are all available. Also iOS uses some patterns that we don't use as often in Java. I really enjoy iOS development, but not every Java developer can switch. In some cases, it is easier to develop your UIs in iOS, because it will always have the same size screen so you don't use "layouts" but place things at exact locations, so you have InterfaceBuilder to visual design your UI, and what you draw is what you see. Some people don't like InterfaceBuilder, but I think in most cases they just don't understand it completely. From a business perspective, I believe I will make more money on iOS, but not like thousands more but hundred more, and not like 1 Million dollars versus 1 million and 2 hundred dollars. But say I make $300 last year on my iOS apps, I would expect about maybe $100 in a year as the apps on Android.

Hope that helps.

Mark

Perfect World Programming, LLC - Two Laptop Bag - Tube Organizer
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way FAQ
robi sen
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Posts: 33
Mark,

interesting perspective. A few thoughts from me. Having worked on most platforms I have to say that iOS platform is excellent. It has its issues, like all platforms, but it is very mature and for many people easy to work with. My problem with iOS is Apple. You have to use Apple hardware, you need to meet Apple's opaque evaluation requirements to submit applications, your are not allowed control or access to the lower level of the phone without hacking it and violating EULA's, and the like. Android on the other hand allows you the developer to do everything from making games, all in Flash, to rewriting the Bluetooth drivers. As such it is a developers dream and fits business needs much easier. There are downsides to this but for me it is where I am investing most of my time.

Robi
Pierce Krouse
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 31, 2006
Posts: 3
Thoughtful reply, Mark. One question:
You mentioned (and I am paraphrasing here) that apple app development doesn't need a layout paradigm because the screens are the same size on all devices, so you just place your GUI elements right where you want them.

Is that really true? Granted, the phones screens are *physically* the same size, but the so-called retina display of the iPhone 4 has a much higher resolution than previous models.

Are widget placements pixel-based or measured based on screen location in cm/mm/inches?

If measurement-based, how do you account for ios running on ipads? Their screens are physically larger.

--PK
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60810
    
  65

robi sen wrote:Android on the other hand allows you the developer to do everything from making games, all in Flash, to rewriting the Bluetooth drivers. As such it is a developers dream and fits business needs much easier. There are downsides to this ...


One of them being, of course, that what might be a developer's dream can be a consumer's nightmare. The Android community needs to work hard to make sure that malware doesn't taint the Android market -- something iOS consumers don't need to worry about.


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17249
    
    6

Pierce Krouse wrote:Thoughtful reply, Mark. One question:
You mentioned (and I am paraphrasing here) that apple app development doesn't need a layout paradigm because the screens are the same size on all devices, so you just place your GUI elements right where you want them.

Is that really true? Granted, the phones screens are *physically* the same size, but the so-called retina display of the iPhone 4 has a much higher resolution than previous models.

Are widget placements pixel-based or measured based on screen location in cm/mm/inches?

If measurement-based, how do you account for ios running on ipads? Their screens are physically larger.

--PK


I don't have to change or design a second UI to support retina display or not.

In regards to iPad and iPhones, you will create two different UIs. One for iPhone and one for iPad, they are two different paradigms anyway. But you can write a universal app where you seperate the UIs based on device, but what is common you only have one version of that. My TubeOrganizer app is a Universal app, so 35% of my code is shared, where UI and ViewControllers are seperate. But some ViewControllers like TableViewController code is shared.

As far as Apple. I actually look at those constraints in a positive light. All apps have the same feel to them, so there is consistency. Apple also makes sure that good running apps, ones that don't corrupt your phone or apps that break all the time don't get through. But I haven't ever had any issues with the approval process except for the time it takes. The most I have waited was 2 weeks for approval. The thing to me that always separates apps running on Apple devices is that they spent a lot of time making the user experience exceptional, how animations look to UI components to a standardized UI approach that is subtle, but really stands out. With Android I find the user experience to be a little choppy or awkward. Not terrible, just different.

Mark
Michael Rivera
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 31, 2007
Posts: 118

1. Carrier - Independent
2. Broad range of devices
3. Open-source
4. Flash capabilities
5.Fully Hackable:


So many things to do so little time !!!
@mikedroid myLinkedIn
Pratik Goswami
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 02, 2009
Posts: 136

I love when someone compares Android & iOS platforms.
Both platforms have their unique features.

Android
  • Open Source
  • Multiple Screen support
  • Customizable
  • Multi Market approach


  • iOS -
  • Notifications
  • Purchase inside application itself
  • Air Print/Air Play
  • Well defined process for distribution


  • I have read a very nice on anddev - Android - Your imagination is your limitations.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Pratik Goswami

    iOS * Android Developer
    Hussein Baghdadi
    clojure forum advocate
    Bartender

    Joined: Nov 08, 2003
    Posts: 3476

    Although I'm Java developer in the heart but I can't stand Android development.
    We are in 2011 and I have to build Android app UI by editing XML by hand?!
    And as if the fragmentation isn't annoying enough, Google released Android Honeycomb for tablets which means more headaches for us as developers.
    With iOS you don't have to suffer this way, one OS that runs on multiple breeds of devices.
    What I really like about iOS SDK is consistency, you feel that the whole SDK is written by single genius developer.
    Very clean APIs, coherent structure and very powerful frameworks (Core Data, Core Motion, Core Animation, Cocoa Touch ...)
    I don't know about Android now but when it was at 1.6 version, the SDK was really messy.
    Some APIs were really good and others are awful, you feel that APIs are written by different teams that don't communicate all and have different backgrounds.

    Maybe Apple policies are annoying for us (the developers), but they are very valuable and appreciated by the end users which it is why iOS development is profitable.
    Ulf Dittmer
    Marshal

    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 41155
        
      45
    John Todd wrote:We are in 2011 and I have to build Android app UI by editing XML by hand?

    You don't have to - GUI builders do exist for Android.

    iOS development is profitable.

    How is that different from Android?


    Ping & DNS - my free Android networking tools app
    Hussein Baghdadi
    clojure forum advocate
    Bartender

    Joined: Nov 08, 2003
    Posts: 3476

    The difference is in the mindset I think.
    It is a common culture for iOS (and for any commercial OS like Windows and OS X) users to buy apps
    On the other hand I noticed that users of open source and free systems (like Android and Linux) tend to prefer the free applications, it is not common for them to buy applications (not generalizing of course).
    I never read and heard about an individual or a company that made a lot of money by selling Android app (this is my personal observation and I may be wrong).

    Would you please refer me to some GUI builders for Android to evaluate them?
    Mark Spritzler
    ranger
    Sheriff

    Joined: Feb 05, 2001
    Posts: 17249
        
        6

    Ulf Dittmer wrote:
    John Todd wrote:We are in 2011 and I have to build Android app UI by editing XML by hand?

    You don't have to - GUI builders do exist for Android.


    If you want to call them that you can, but I have tried DroidDraw and the one that comes with the Eclipse Plugins, and they aren't GUI builders, they are extremely difficult to draw your UI on it. If your UI is really really simple, yeah it is easy, but if you want it to really look nice, with background images, tables, easy layouts, those builders are terrible for that.

    Mark
    Mark Spritzler
    ranger
    Sheriff

    Joined: Feb 05, 2001
    Posts: 17249
        
        6

    Michael Rivera wrote:1. Carrier - Independent
    2. Broad range of devices
    3. Open-source
    4. Flash capabilities
    5.Fully Hackable:


    iPhone is fully hackable too. Not that that should be a selling point on either side.

    And as far as #4, I think that is a positive towards iOS. Flash is slow and a memory waster, I don't want Flash on my device, there is no purpose for it for me, kind of like I don't need a DVD Player on my computer anymore. ;)

    Mark
    Hussein Baghdadi
    clojure forum advocate
    Bartender

    Joined: Nov 08, 2003
    Posts: 3476

    Pratik Goswami wrote:

    Android
  • Open Source
  • Multiple Screen support
  • Customizable
  • Multi Market approach



  • So iOS doesn't support multiple screens?
    I don't think having many markets is a good thing.
    If I'm a user, should I check a couple of markets to get an app?
    And If I'm a developer, should I publish my app to all existing markets to ensure the maximum reachability?
    Mark Spritzler
    ranger
    Sheriff

    Joined: Feb 05, 2001
    Posts: 17249
        
        6

    John Todd wrote:
    So iOS doesn't support multiple screens?


    It doesn't have to, there is the iPhone screen and the iPad screen, that is all. You build either just an iPhone app or just an iPad app or an universal app. With universal app, you share code, but you create two UIs one for the phone and one for the iPad. You can just run your iPhone app on the iPad and it will display looking like the iPhone, but you really don't want an iPhone app on an iPad, the two devices are really used for different purposes for the user.

    Mark
    Ulf Dittmer
    Marshal

    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 41155
        
      45
    John Todd wrote:So iOS doesn't support multiple screens?

    Few phones or tablets do :-) What is meant is screen sizes - Android devices come in any number of shapes and sizes, whereas all iPhones have the same screen size. If Apple wants to keep things simple, then that's probably going to be true for the iPad as well.

    I don't think having many markets is a good thing. If I'm a user, should I check a couple of markets to get an app? And If I'm a developer, should I publish my app to all existing markets to ensure the maximum reachability?

    Although most Android devices have access to the Android Market, some manufactures (and carriers) opt out of licensing the Google Apps (which include the Android Market app). On the other hand, developers could strike deals with particular carriers or manufacturers to have an app distributed only over their respective market - thus providing an incentive for consumers to choose that manufacturer/carrier. With respect to the iOS model of a single market -which undoubtedly makes things simpler for the user- note the many voices that are critical either of Apple's payment model or of their restrictive policies. So there are pros and cons on both sides.
    Hauke Ingmar Schmidt
    Rancher

    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 433
        
        2
    Ulf Dittmer wrote:
    iOS development is profitable.

    How is that different from Android?


    It is easier to earn money and gain attention with iOs apps so its more profitable.

    The early adopters of Android devices were not especially keen on paying for apps so they used ways around the market (i.e. copied). Maybe this changes with a broader user base and better DRM mechanisms. Multiple markets cost time (and thus money) for developers - different legal situations, different payment channels, different return policies. The Android market is not available on all Android devices so you need to have another way of distribution if you want to be able to reach all customers (and you should, otherwise you make it easier for competition to gain a user base). Device and OS version fragmentation / testing costs. The Android market is only available in around 35 countries. You can only pay by credit card - iTunes credits can be bought by teenagers in every supermarket (carrier based billing is in it's earlies stages).

    You are in a completely different legal situation when offering apps via Android market compared to iTunes. On iTunes Apple sells and has the burden of legal issues and taxes in different markets. Using Android market Google acts as an agent, the developer himself is selling.
    Ulf Dittmer
    Marshal

    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 41155
        
      45
    Hauke Ingmar Schmidt wrote:It is easier to earn money and gain attention with iOs apps so its more profitable.

    I agree, but my statement was in response to "iOS development is profitable." which makes it sound as if Android development is not profitable, and that's plainly not true.
    Hauke Ingmar Schmidt
    Rancher

    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 433
        
        2
    Ulf Dittmer wrote:
    Hauke Ingmar Schmidt wrote:It is easier to earn money and gain attention with iOs apps so its more profitable.

    I agree, but my statement was in response to "iOS development is profitable." which makes it sound as if Android development is not profitable, and that's plainly not true.


    Ok, you are right. But there are some circumstances that make it easier to develop for iOS, which can mean that a business case is more likely to work when developing for it (if you don't get one of the big bloggers to talk about your app because they mainly focus on iOS, it may be "unfair" in some ethical way - but it still means that the very same app could be a hit on one platform while setting dust on another).
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
    subject: Android vs. iOS
     
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