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  1. #1
    SitePoint Mentor NightStalker-DNS's Avatar
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    Android vs iPhone

    Hey guys

    From a development point of view, which would you rather develop apps for? iPhone or Android?

    And why said platform?

    I am leaning towards android, as it is fast growing, open source and quite easy to get up and running. Development is also easy.

    Whereas iPhone is a very closed platform, with tons of restrictions and of course you need to have Mac to code on, use their bad IDE. Pay money for a development license to test on a device and it takes about 6 months to get your app approved.

    But the reach is a lot more atm compared to Android.

    So, if you could choose 1 platform, which would it be and why?

    Thanks for any feedback

  2. #2
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I would "rather" develop apps for the iPhone (as it has the dedicated user-base) but the restrictions on how you can contribute would make me more likely to develop for the Android. Though saying that, I wouldn't consider producing an app unless I tried to cover as many platforms as possible (iPhone / Android / WinMo / Blackberry) to ensure the user-base can make use of whichever device they prefer. I guess the best option is to skip all of the hassle and make the application web based and make it ubiquitous (non platform dependant). Creating applications for mobile devices is far too much hassle and time consuming for my liking.

  3. #3
    Now available in Orange Tijmen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightStalker-DNS View Post
    Whereas iPhone is a very closed platform, with tons of restrictions and of course you need to have Mac to code on, use their bad IDE. Pay money for a development license to test on a device and it takes about 6 months to get your app approved.
    I haven't really build anything serious, but the reason why I would choose Android over the iPhone is the same reason as yours.

    I found phonegap a while ago, which should make your app work cross-platform. Haven't got it working yet on my pc, but it looks promising.
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Mentor NightStalker-DNS's Avatar
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    Yea, I saw phonegap. The only problem is you still need a mac for the iPhone. I think I am going to start with Android and then go to iPhone. I just feel and if Android has a more powerfull platform to code on with more access

  5. #5
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    I hate the rigidness of Apple and right now they are making alot of bad choices IMO.

    I own the Motorola Droid phone. I love it. I want to learn how to develop apps for Droid mainly and i would also like to learn how to make web apps that use HTML5 / JS / CSS3. I would love to learn more about Adobe AIR since that will widely available on the Android platform. If i play my cards right, i can make 1 app for PC/MAC + Android. AIR is the only solution going right now for that from what i've seen.

    I'm a big Google fan. I use everythihng they have to offer from analytics to adwords to adsense to maps to docs. Its all great!
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  6. #6
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    You'll probably be pleased to see this: http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/

    I'm with Alex in that ideally we'd be able to create cross platform apps that are essentially web apps, but from what I've seen so far with regards to client demand for mobile development, the vast majority of them are looking for presence within an app store and an icon on the phone desktop (and 'add favourite->add to home' isn't sufficient for them) even when the app spec is just a glorified web view.

    I've been loath to expend substantial effort on learning obj-c for what is essentially only one output, particularly in light of Apple's fairly obtuse and unpredictable shifting of goalposts. Because cross platform mobile frameworks or IDE's generally reuse existing web skills or at least make the effort more worthwhile in other areas, these make a lot more sense to me. Recent sales growth for android phones is extremely high, so to be able to output for it using the same codebase is definitely worthwhile in my view.

    Some other frameworks/IDEs other than phonegap that are worth checking out (mostly commercial) are appcelerator titanium, rhomobile, openplug elips, unity3d and ansca corona.

  7. #7
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    Well , i tried to develop on both platforms.
    I don't have a mac so i tried on an hacked version on my laptop, everything ran well but it was ilegal also i didnt got on the right foot with objective C.

    I tried to develop with Eclipse some android apps with help from developer.android.com, everything went smooth and i find it quite easy to develop for android.

    Now you have to think well about the pros and cons:

    Android Pros:

    -It's a growing platform, the user base is growing all the time.
    -Easier to publish, less expensive and faster to have your app online on the store
    -It's open source, you can check lots of projects for some ideas
    -The operating system is more open than apple's so you can develop some apps that you can't on iphone
    -to start your development it will cost you nothing you only need your pc and time the development software is free and it works on any platform

    Android Cons:

    -Google might say otherwise but there is a market fragmentation not only because of the software version on androids but also because of devices capabilities (diferent resolutions on different devices)

    -That's all i can remember for now =)

    You need to do the same that i did for iphone and check what might be better for you needs, choose a project make some goals and check in each platform you project will be more successfull.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Mentor NightStalker-DNS's Avatar
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    I do not really think fragmentation is much of an issue:

    http://arstechnica.com/open-source/n...gmentation.ars

    very interesting read.

    The only thing to really contend with is screen size. As iPhone also has some degree of fragmentation, as appz are not backwards compatiable or even forwards compatable in some cases. But yes, iOS is easier to manage, as android devices also might have some extra hardware in, which is not in all devices

  9. #9
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieGoD View Post
    I hate the rigidness of Apple and right now they are making alot of bad choices IMO.
    I think the decision to dump Flash was a fantastic move, it's done more for the progression of web standards than anything I've encountered. While I am not a Flash hater (I know it can be used well), the decisions many lazy people were making in respect to being Flash dependant has caused all those who failed to degrade gracefully to get shot in the foot (a good wake-up call for the slacker generation of web professionals)

    Quote Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post
    You'll probably be pleased to see this: http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/

    I'm with Alex in that ideally we'd be able to create cross platform apps that are essentially web apps, but from what I've seen so far with regards to client demand for mobile development, the vast majority of them are looking for presence within an app store and an icon on the phone desktop (and 'add favourite->add to home' isn't sufficient for them) even when the app spec is just a glorified web view.
    What an interesting URL! Though I have to say that the best way to make web applications in my view is to simply go the web route. You can make web applications cross device compatible (even though they require Internet access) with fairly little problems. Don't get me wrong, I understand the benefits of localized apps, but it may just be easier until the mobile device wars have finished to simply build in the cloud and customize the UI to match that of the device being used.

    PS: I think there are fragmentation issues on Android... the API has changed so much that you may have real issues letting an app run from 1.x upward.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Mentor NightStalker-DNS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I think the decision to dump Flash was a fantastic move, it's done more for the progression of web standards than anything I've encountered. While I am not a Flash hater (I know it can be used well), the decisions many lazy people were making in respect to being Flash dependant has caused all those who failed to degrade gracefully to get shot in the foot (a good wake-up call for the slacker generation of web professionals)



    What an interesting URL! Though I have to say that the best way to make web applications in my view is to simply go the web route. You can make web applications cross device compatible (even though they require Internet access) with fairly little problems. Don't get me wrong, I understand the benefits of localized apps, but it may just be easier until the mobile device wars have finished to simply build in the cloud and customize the UI to match that of the device being used.

    PS: I think there are fragmentation issues on Android... the API has changed so much that you may have real issues letting an app run from 1.x upward.
    I tend to agree with the not supporting flash a good idea, but not entirely. As some things would need flash, but over all, I am happy not using it at all.

    I also agree and would rather do a web/html 5 app for the phones than an actual ondeck application. I would only do something on-deck if it needs filesystem or other hardware type functionality. Which is very rare.

    The fragmentation however is not an issue for me. When you create an Android application, it asks you which is the minumn api you want to support. So if I choose 1.6 for eg. I can do anything that would work an v1.6, but nothing more. So if I want my app to use something specific that is only in 2.1 and up, then I will choose that and only support 2.1+. It is the same with apple. If you code in iOS4, you cannot use it on the older versions. So it is the exact same thing, just slightly less versions

  11. #11
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    Choose Apple for Now. They have 40 percent share in mobile browsing. Nokia is probably developing their own browser that will be as good as Opera, hopefully.

    Android has WebKit, which is coming up, as you said. For now, design for Safari.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Mentor NightStalker-DNS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Star Ent. View Post
    Choose Apple for Now. They have 40 percent share in mobile browsing. Nokia is probably developing their own browser that will be as good as Opera, hopefully.

    Android has WebKit, which is coming up, as you said. For now, design for Safari.
    Hi Blue Star

    Thanks for the input. But this thread is more focused on on-deck applications. Not mobile browsers

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    Arrow

    Hello,

    In that case I would say Nokia ( Symbian ). They are selling over 500,000,000
    phones this year. Apple is somewhere under 90,000,000. Android
    is outselling Apple iOS4 by about nine percent also.


    Google claims 200,000 units a day are being sold with Android on it.
    I tend to believe it. That means every five days another million new Android
    OSīs hit the world.

    RIM is most popular in the USA for now, but may fall soon.



    Quote Originally Posted by NightStalker-DNS View Post
    Hi Blue Star

    Thanks for the input. But this thread is more focused on on-deck applications. Not mobile browsers

  14. #14
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    It's rather interesting that you cite Nokia, while they may have a solid market share, their overall dominance has been going downhill ever since Apple and Android came onto the market. Not only that, if you look at independently sourced statistics Nokia and Symbian barely even appears on the radar in terms of web users, their far behind Blackberry, Apple and the Android platform (by a statistically significant amount), both in terms of web usage and app sales.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Member bcouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post
    You'll probably be pleased to see this: http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/
    App Inventor looks promising! Too bad you can't export the code so that you could study it or tweak it using Eclipse or some other Java IDE.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Mentor NightStalker-DNS's Avatar
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    Thanks all for your comments so far. I already have the version of my app for Symbian and j2me. Now I want to port it to a smart phone. And I am being pulled to Android atm. As they have just overtaken iOS in the smartphone market and are just behind RIM atm

  17. #17
    Floridiot joebert's Avatar
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    I'm kind of leery about doing anything for Android until this Oracle / Google lawsuit blows over.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Mentor NightStalker-DNS's Avatar
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    That is a good point, but I am sure not much will come of it. But you right, would be best to wait and hear what happens

  19. #19
    Floridiot joebert's Avatar
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    I've got a few mobile content sites geared towards mostly Apple and Android based devices. The one geared towards Google's Nexus one failed miserably and while my other Android targeting sites outperformed my Apple targeting sites for awhile, the Apple sites have been doing better for between the last one to two months.

    Apple seems to produce longer term interest in a product line, whereas Android devices seem to be almost disposable.

  20. #20
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    Android will definitely be the most popular platform in the long term. But for now, the iphone has a larger market share in developed countries.

  21. #21
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joebert View Post
    Apple seems to produce longer term interest in a product line, whereas Android devices seem to be almost disposable.
    I agree entirely with this which is part of the problem with the Google platform, when the Nexus came out I was so thrilled at the idea that the big G would be establishing themselves with solid hardware specs along with a consistent upgrade policy. What has unfortunately happened is that every week or so, a new Android powered device comes up pushing older models into obscurity and many of the older models never get the firmware upgrades to the latest version of Android. With all the hardware combinations and frequent firmware complications, they have almost become Linux in that there's so many flavours, so many options that most normal consumers have no idea as to what they need and the apps are going to end up buggy and troublesome (like on Windows).

  22. #22
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    according to me andriod 3.0 have more function then iphone4.1

  23. #23
    Non-Member tittbit's Avatar
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    android is more advanced and now more and more companies are adapting android, so go for android

  24. #24
    SitePoint Enthusiast alysha's Avatar
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    I must build an application for Android. It is much better for me

  25. #25
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    IMO, iPhone is much better as compared to Android but Iím not sure about its features because currently Iím using iPhone and I donít want to switch to Android. I have plenty of apps which are saved in my iPhone and there are so many left to install already.


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