Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 17:35 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Ian G. Clifton: "Early on, iOS did a lot to push mobile devices forward and helped set bars in a lot of areas for other platforms to meet. Unfortunately, iOS has not changed much lately and in some ways hurts Android when used as the 'golden standard' due to its limitations. A lot of the harm isn't realized by consumers, but Android developers encounter it constantly when something has to be done 'the iOS way' or an Android feature is not even considered because iOS cannot do the same."
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"Developers! Developers! Developers!"
by Tony Swash on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 18:17 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Couldn't resist the Ballmer quote.

Doesn't this issue of an unwelcome (for some) tendency of iOS to set the framework or motif for Android app development simply reflect the general level of focus by developers on the two platforms. iOS seems to loom larger to developers which in turn is the result of the fact that developers can make (in general) much more money on iOS compared to Android which in turn reflects the fact that iOS seems to function better at being a platform that attracts paying customers.

It reminds of the darkest days of the Windows hegemony when software often came to the Mac platform second and when it did come to the Mac it was all too often wrapped in ugly Windows UI design. That was deeply irritating but I sort of understood even at the time that developers on the whole would ultimately just follow the money and back then the money flowed through Windows. Now the money mostly flows through iOS.

Reply Score: 8

There's a reason
by bowkota on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 18:17 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

You can argue about which is easier to use or more polished, but at the end of the day, iOS does not have as many features as Android and that means it should not be used as the “golden standard” that all apps are targeted for. Take advantage of the features and capabilities of a given device


First, iOS has less features partly by choice. Adding on features without thinking about the repercussions is easy.

Second, these are two different platforms. You can easily build each app catered to each platform.

Developers however are on average more profitable on iOS and this is partly why the second point doesn't happen.

One thing the author is forgetting is that Android is highly fragmented and it takes a long time for users to move to the newer versions. Again, it's not profitable for developers to target a smaller portion of Android, when they're not as eager to spend money in the first place.

Nevertheless, some good points but the developers are mostly not at fault here.

Reply Score: 4

RE: There's a reason
by WorknMan on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 20:29 UTC in reply to "There's a reason"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

This reminds me of the gaming situation on PCs/consoles. PCs are much more powerful than current-gen consoles, but most games are neutered on PCs in order to make them easier to port. I think the iOS/Android app situation is the same way. Android has a lot more functionality than does iOS, but we get stuck a lot of times with half-assed iOS ports, because it's easier to do a straight-up port than to tweak apps to suit each platform's strengths.

Fortunately for Android users, I think the iOS train has just about run its course. When Jesus Jobs was still alive, all I heard from the tech media and elsewhere is how wonderful iOS was and how there was no competition. But now that the reality distortion field is wearing off, people are starting to see iOS for the turd that it is, and so we're now hearing things like 'iOS is getting boring'. If Apple doesn't do something to radically re-define iOS soon, it's probably gonna end up a distant second, just like Macs on the desktop.

And with Jobs out of the picture, I don't think they've got anyone with the kind of vision its going to take to put iOS back on top. If nothing else, Jobs was a master snake oil salesman - putting features in the OS that the competition had for years, convincing people that it was 'Magical', and having them lined up around the block when the new model went on sale. And it's kind of hard for anyone to replace him in that regard.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: There's a reason
by Tony Swash on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE: There's a reason"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Fortunately for Android users, I think the iOS train has just about run its course. When Jesus Jobs was still alive, all I heard from the tech media and elsewhere is how wonderful iOS was and how there was no competition. But now that the reality distortion field is wearing off, people are starting to see iOS for the turd that it is, and so we're now hearing things like 'iOS is getting boring'. If Apple doesn't do something to radically re-define iOS soon, it's probably gonna end up a distant second, just like Macs on the desktop.

And with Jobs out of the picture, I don't think they've got anyone with the kind of vision its going to take to put iOS back on top. If nothing else, Jobs was a master snake oil salesman - putting features in the OS that the competition had for years, convincing people that it was 'Magical', and having them lined up around the block when the new model went on sale. And it's kind of hard for anyone to replace him in that regard.


I think that is a widely held, and no doubt reassuring, set of beliefs amongst keen techie Android fans and those who are not smitten by Apple. However I do think it is mistaken, primarily because it is founded on a misunderstanding of what happened in the PC platform wars. The key misunderstanding I think is the confusion of market share, which is a proxy indicator of platform strength, with the actual thing of interest which is platform strength itself. Back in the PC days market share was quite a good proxy measure for platform strength but in the mobile device era it seems a much weaker indicator of platform strength. Using a wide range of obvious metrics for platform performance measured by a very high number of independent surveyors it is clear that iOS out performs Android as platform on a per capita basis by a big margin. What that means is that in order to just achieve parity with iOS platform performance Android would probably have to establish an installed base of several times the iOS installed base, and bear in mind that the iOS installed base is around 500 million now and will probably creep towards a billion over the next couple of years.

What this means is that it is almost certain that the larger market share of Android will never result in platform disincentives to mobile device customers, no potential buyer is going to be put off buying an iOS device in the foreseeable future because of an inferior platform offering resulting from a minority market share and no Android buyer is likely to see a superior platform offering resulting from a greater market share.

A secondary reason why the the Android space is not like the PC space is that Google does not manage it as Microsoft managed the PC space. Microsoft was a very heavy handed policer of the Windows PC ecosystem in terms of ensuring hardware and software compatibilities in a way that Google does not do in relation to Android. So we have a situation where a large number of 'dumb' Android smart phones and tablets are sold in places like China but which in terms of ecosystems hardly connects with say the US or European Android ecosystem. This too reduces the per capita platform effect of Android.

Personally I think both Android and iOS will thrive in the coming decade. The interesting issue is how Google plans to reset the Android project (if that is indeed what it is planning) in the post Rubins era.

I would like to write more on this fascinating topic but it's late and I am tired.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: There's a reason
by WorknMan on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 23:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: There's a reason"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I think that is a widely held, and no doubt reassuring, set of beliefs amongst keen techie Android fans and those who are not smitten by Apple.


Nope, Android fans have been saying iOS was an ass burger from the very beginning ;) Now I'm starting to see articles from admitted Apple lovers making the switch. Even MG Siegler (one of the most rabid iOS fanboys I've seen in the tech media) has come far enough along to admit that Android is now a real contender:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/08/nexus-4-review-finally

What that means is that in order to just achieve parity with iOS platform performance Android would probably have to establish an installed base of several times the iOS installed base


Probably so, but unless Apple pulls a rabit out of its hat, I wouldn't be surprised to see that happen. iOS has gotten stale, and people are noticing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: There's a reason
by Nelson on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 01:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: There's a reason"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I don't think Apple is exactly sitting still either. I also don't think it'd be that difficult of a feat for them to refresh iOS enough to keep people interested.

I think the very same people who say that others fell into Steve Job's RDF are the ones who attribute this weird company-saving attribute exclusively to him.

Steve set Apple on a prosperity trip that will last into the next decade, but it doesn't mean he's the only one who can do so. By all accounts, Tim Cook, who ran the show a lot of the time, is doing a fine job.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: There's a reason
by WorknMan on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 05:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: There's a reason"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I don't think Apple is exactly sitting still either.


Nah, they're busy implementing features that Android has had for years ;) Turn-by-turn directions, anyone?

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: There's a reason
by henderson101 on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 09:16 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: There's a reason"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Cut and paste?... oh, wait... Android copied that didn't they....

Seriously, if we need a laundry list of features iOS might have stolen from X and Android may have stolen from Y, we could fill a large tome. Suffice to say, nothing is absolutely original, certainly not Android, nor iOS.

Reply Score: 6

RE[6]: There's a reason
by phoudoin on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 09:23 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: There's a reason"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

Oh, please, who want a turn-by-turn directions to a misplaced destination!?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: There's a reason
by Nelson on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 15:36 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: There's a reason"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

"I don't think Apple is exactly sitting still either.


Nah, they're busy implementing features that Android has had for years ;) Turn-by-turn directions, anyone?
"

Maybe. But it wouldn't be smart of them, and I don't think Apple is a dumb company. They're stupid successful with their current trajectory without having to become someone else.

My point is that a lot of the calls for Apple to change course or do some dramatic shift or something are made without merit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: There's a reason
by WorknMan on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: There's a reason"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

They're stupid successful with their current trajectory without having to become someone else.


In 2007, when the iPhone was first introduced, Jobs said they were 5 years ahead of the competition. Even assuming that were true, their 5 years are up, and iOS is lagging behind.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: There's a reason
by moondevil on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 06:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: There's a reason"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

The thing is that there are many old timers like myself (using computers since 1986), that remember the old Apple and how it performed without Steve.

Contrary to all the hipster kids that love Apple, we know how proprietary it was, the crazy prices only possible for rich families, how they failed (twice) to develop in-house a successor to Mac OS and so on.

Many of those things happened while Steve was away.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: There's a reason
by Brunis on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 07:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: There's a reason"
Brunis Member since:
2005-11-01

The thing is that there are many old timers like myself (using computers since 1986), that remember the old Apple and how it performed without Steve.

Contrary to all the hipster kids that love Apple, we know how proprietary it was, the crazy prices only possible for rich families, how they failed (twice) to develop in-house a successor to Mac OS and so on.

Many of those things happened while Steve was away.


I knew it would come back to this after Steve passed away, i just didn't expect the impact to be so huge and happen so fast. Seems they are running around like headless chickens without him. I recommended my friends to sell their Apple stock immediately after he passed and the ones that listened are glad they did.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: There's a reason
by Nelson on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 15:40 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: There's a reason"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Many of those things happened while Steve was away.


But that doesn't mean they'll happen because he's gone now. The motivating factors behind Apple's missteps of the past have likely been removed from the company under SJs watch.

Steve Jobs left the ship in the right direction, and in many ways, their current situation is a lot more secure than it was the last time Steve Jobs left.

That, and the characters running the show today at Apple are the same ones who basically ran it while he was sick.

To me its not a given that Apple will falter without Steve, its just used by others to exaggerate a point.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: There's a reason
by Janvl on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 08:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: There's a reason"
Janvl Member since:
2007-02-20

Dear mr. Swash. Why write more? Using even more words does not hide that you are an apple fanboy.
Remember why IBM allowed PC-clones and what happened.

Edited 2013-04-03 08:42 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: There's a reason
by phoudoin on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 09:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: There's a reason"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

So we have a situation where a large number of 'dumb' Android smart phones and tablets are sold in places like China but which in terms of ecosystems hardly connects with say the US or European Android ecosystem.


Hum? How comes a 'dumb' Android device sold in Asia can't run an android app available worldwide, even if this app's target in mind is more US/EU ecosystem?

Please, don't underestimate the non-US/EU android apps market. There is a lot more than one occidental would think. And all them contribute to the Android platform market share. Ask Apple about iOS app market share in China, South Korean, India or even African countries.

Being cheap and dumb is what helped PC/Windows couple to gain #1 market share. Being expensive and smart is fine, but it reduce your worlwide per capita simply because not all worldwide people can afford it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: There's a reason
by twitterfire on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 09:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: There's a reason"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11


Using a wide range of obvious metrics for platform performance measured by a very high number of independent surveyors it is clear that iOS out performs Android as platform on a per capita basis by a big margin.

What do you mean by platform performance? Revenue? I'm sure Apple and IBM had a better profit margin per device sold back in the '80s. That doesn't mean they didn't lost.


Microsoft was a very heavy handed policer of the Windows PC ecosystem in terms of ensuring hardware and software compatibilities in a way that Google does not do in relation to Android.

I've developed some small Android apps just to get accustomed with Android development. I can assure you that as long as the CPU uses the same instruction set, the app is pretty much compatible. Vast majority of CPUs in Android devices are ARM using ARMv7 instruction set. Even if you want to target ARMv6 or x86, recompiling is easy.


So we have a situation where a large number of 'dumb' Android smart phones and tablets are sold in places like China but which in terms of ecosystems hardly connects with say the US or European Android ecosystem.

I didn't know there's an US Android ecosystem, an EU Android ecosystem, a chinese Android ecosystem and a kenyan Android ecosystem. That's so bad Android doesn't have a global ecosystem like iOS has...

Edited 2013-04-03 09:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: There's a reason
by twitterfire on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 09:21 UTC in reply to "RE: There's a reason"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

If Apple doesn't do something to radically re-define iOS soon, it's probably gonna end up a distant second, just like Macs on the desktop.


iOS will end up being a distant second or third no matter what Apple does. IBM lost the battle with IBM PC clones and MS, Apple lost the battle with IBM PC clones and MS.

I don't see any reason why iOS will win the battle with Android and hundreds of phone and tablet manufacturers.

I would sell Apple shares if I had any, now that the price is still high. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: There's a reason
by darknexus on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE: There's a reason"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Fortunately for Android users, I think the iOS train has just about run its course.

I wouldn't count on that, nor would I want that. I don't think we'd be any better off with a Google monoculture than an Apple one. What a lot of us geeks see as iOS' largest weakness (the fact that it's locked down, boring and minimalistic) is actually seen by a lot of users as a strength. Remember that most people aren't tech enthusiasts. Their tablets, computers, etc are tools to them. iOS is locked down and that annoys people like us but, what it means in turn is far less maintenance for the average user that doesn't want to deal with it. App installation is easy, most of the apps work, and there's little that can go wrong as is. Not everything works perfectly of course (the recent CoreData syncing issues come to mind) but, by and large, it works well enough and stays working well enough to satisfy those who just want to get stuff done and forget about it. The same cannot always be said of Android. It's much easier to break for those who don't know what they're doing, and sometimes harder to recover.
Personally, I think there's room for both. I don't buy into the premice of this article: that iOS hurts Android. If we're to believe everything posted on OSNews, I don't think iOS is doing Android much harm. What is hurting the Android ecosystem now is developer laziness coupled with some fragmentation, pure and simple. Lazy developers don't have a magic fix and, while Android's fragmentation issues are somewhat minor, they do exist. Take dealing with audio on a Samsung phone versus a Google phone, where the APIs don't quite behave the same. Developers do have to take issues such as this into account, and it adds to their work load. Lazy developers don't do either platform any good, and I've seen iOS versions of apps be buggy and more limited than their Android versions. This sword cuts both ways, and when the two problems meet, the results aren't good.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: There's a reason
by MOS6510 on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: There's a reason"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I'm a geeky nerd, but I don't mind my iPhone being "locked down". Phones don't really interest me. They need to work and be easy to operate.

In no way am I interested in "rooting" or "jailbreaking". So I don't and my phone always works.

Should my iMac ever get locked down I might get upset or at least put another computer next to it that isn't restricted.

Reply Score: 2

RE: There's a reason
by bowkota on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 22:46 UTC in reply to "There's a reason"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

Here's a another interesting article focused on gaming.

http://www.techhive.com/article/2032740/game-developers-still-not-s...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: There's a reason
by JAlexoid on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 13:02 UTC in reply to "RE: There's a reason"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Do you know what platform lacks games? WP, not Android.
Yes, some game devs lack the interest(for all he right and wrong reasons). Yet there is a ton that don't. And there are a fair number that are Android first.

Reply Score: 3

RE: There's a reason
by phoudoin on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 09:06 UTC in reply to "There's a reason"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

One thing the author is forgetting is that Android is highly fragmented and it takes a long time for users to move to the newer versions.


While I agree with your others points, I disagree here: most if not all the Android's features underused by iOS porters are presents since first versions of Android. Multitasking, sharing, instant view switching, icons guide, syncing are not Android features that comes at a framentation cost.

Only widgets and custom notifications are available only on Android > 2.x IIRC.

Reply Score: 5

RE: There's a reason
by JAlexoid on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 13:06 UTC in reply to "There's a reason"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Nevertheless, some good points but the developers are mostly not at fault here.

Developers(I mean as organisations, not individuals) are definitely at fault. Underusing the features that make Android what it is, is definitely their fault. Most of the underused features are not even subject of fragmentation(like generic sharing). And mostly result in less code, less testing and less integration points.

Edited 2013-04-03 13:07 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Love this!
by phoudoin on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 09:00 UTC
phoudoin
Member since:
2006-06-09

"The great thing about this is that all the app icons look the same and you have a very uniform appearance. The problem with this is that all the app icons look the same and you have a very uniform appearance."

Nothing to add.

Reply Score: 4