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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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 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 Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: There's a reason
by Tony Swash on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 22:44 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: There's a reason
by twitterfire on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 09:21 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 Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: There's a reason
by darknexus on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 13:11 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: There's a reason
by bowkota on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 22:46 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: There's a reason
by JAlexoid on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 13:02 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: There's a reason
by phoudoin on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 09:06 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 Parent Score: 5

RE: There's a reason
by JAlexoid on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 13:06 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 Parent Score: 3