iOS and Android are very clearly the dominate mobile platforms at the moment. Many companies develop apps for both, but some companies still release apps on one platform first then expand the reach of successful apps. But how do companies decide which OS to tackle first?
Damien McFerran of Know Your Mobile reached out to app developer Jude Vern (who develops for both Android and iOS) to find out what draws developers to either operating system. Here’s a recap of the pros and cons identified by Jude for each OS.
‘There are mature APIs (application programming interface) in place which are well designed and debugged, and actually date back to NeXT system in the early ‘90s. These are complemented by good documentation, a decent dev community and lots of good quality open source code.’
‘There’s also a comprehensive tool chain which is easy to get started with, and a relatively quick code-compile-run turnaround when using the Simulator, all of which makes development faster.’
‘… The App Store review process is unpredictable and inconsistent.’
‘Getting apps onto test devices can also be complicated at first, but third party tools are starting to make this simpler. Also, developer accounts are limited to 99 test devices a year, which can become a problem when you release multiple apps under one account.’
‘There are definitely more inter-app integration possibilities,’ he explains. ‘You have fewer restrictions on what your app is allowed to do, but it’s a double-edged sword, as this can open the door to malware.’
‘[With Android] it’s much easier to get your app on devices and far easier to publish app to Google Play store.’
The sheer number of Android devices out there in the field makes testing on all of them virtually impossible,’ laments Venn.
‘Dev tools are clunky and painfully slow to use – sometimes it can actually be quicker to deploy your app to a device rather than to the Android dev emulator, which is ironic when you consider that it’s there to make testing easier.’
‘To cap it all off, uptake of new OS versions has been very slow so far. This leads to frustrating incompatibility issues across different devices.’
Android 4.1 – also known as Jelly Bean – is the latest iteration of Google’s OS, yet it’s a long, long way off being the dominant version
Read the full article at Know Your Mobile >>>
It’s clear that each platform presents its own development and testing challenges. If you want a more in depth view of mobile app testing, check out these free resources:
- The Essential Guide to iOS Testing
- 8 Tips for Android App Testing
- The Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing
What are some particular challenges you’ve faced when developing for Android or iOS? Do you have a preference for one or the other?