Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 15th Dec 2013 11:05 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

PhoneArena's Micheal H. addresses an article at Forbes:

The conclusion may sound redundant at this point, but it is fairly simple: if you want to have a discussion about Android and iOS (and there are plenty of incredibly interesting discussions to be had), think about the issues you want to cover, and break each down on their own terms. Trying to bundle arguments under and umbrella term like "fragmentation" is just lazy and it holds very little meaning at this point.

At the end of the day, I always get the feeling that the people yelling the loudest about "fragmentation" are people on the sidelines, who've never coded for Android at all. That's not to say it's not a problem at all - it's just to say that it's an area where the competition does a better job. Android's device diversity certainly creates additional challenges for Android developers, much in the same way that Apple's inconsistent App Store policies creates additional challenges for iOS developers.

Each platform has its weaknesses, but none have been as aggressively made larger than it really seems to be than Android's supposed fragmentation. Unravelling this positive feedback loop among these bloggers should make for fascinating material.

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RE[2]: Not a developer indeed
by kristoph on Sun 15th Dec 2013 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Not a developer indeed"
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

I am sorry to burst your bias bubble but you have to look at the economics of development, rather that random factoids.

The reality of Android development is that it is significantly more costly then iOS development if you want to offer a good experience for the majority of Android users.

It's not just a function of the different Android version it's also different screens, different device performance, storage, and so on. The testing alone is several times more resource intensive on Android then it is on iOS.

Apple's App Store policies don't impact 99.9% of developers and for most skilled C/C++/Java developers the learning curve of Objective C is dwarfed by the time it takes to develop a level of competence with the SDK as a whole ( on either Android or iOS ).

What Android does have going for it is the superior integration with Google's services; the Android SDK's for those are much more mature and full featured ( compare, for example, the YouTube iOS SDK to the Android one ).

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The reality of Android development is that it is significantly more costly then iOS development if you want to offer a good experience for the majority of Android users.


Got science to back that up?

Reply Parent Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

It would be obvious if you have done any sort reasonably well managed software project.

Edited 2013-12-16 08:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Not a developer indeed
by majipoor on Mon 16th Dec 2013 09:02 in reply to "RE[3]: Not a developer indeed"
majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

"The reality of Android development is that it is significantly more costly then iOS development if you want to offer a good experience for the majority of Android users.


Got science to back that up?
"

I am working for a company which develop control access solutions for TV companies worldwide.

A team is currently working on a video streaming solution for PC and mobile devices. They target both iOS and Android obviously.

What I can tell you is that while it is not always easy to make thing work on iOS platform, the Android platform is a nightmare for the team, mostly due to hardware and OS fragmentation and different behavior depending on the hardware model you use. While testing the iOS solution on a handful of devices is sufficient, it is practically impossible to test the Android solution thoroughly because of the lack of predictability of the platform.

Now, you can argue that is is mostly a matter of hardware fragmentation and not OS fragmentation and it would be probably correct, but as a platform, Android fragmentation is not a thing made up by Apple fanboys.

This is only a use case and a single example and you are free to think that it is an exception.

Edited 2013-12-16 09:03 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[4]: Not a developer indeed
by kristoph on Mon 16th Dec 2013 18:43 in reply to "RE[3]: Not a developer indeed"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

Let's just look at testing alone.

On iOS we test on two devices formally ( iPhone 5s, iPhone 4 ) and a third on cursorily ( iPhone 3 ). On Android we test on 8 devices formally and 4 devices cursorily.

Now consider that the reason that we test is because there will be behavioral variations and we'll need developers to fix them. Truth be told we don't actually fix everything, in some cases we just detect the specific device/os limitation and we disable the feature.

You can appreciate the sum total incremental cost here, right? This is the 'cost' of OS/device fragmentation to developers.

Reply Parent Score: 2

oskeladden Member since:
2009-08-05

"The reality of Android development is that it is significantly more costly then iOS development if you want to offer a good experience for the majority of Android users.


Got science to back that up?
"

The BBC's Android development team for its iPlayer App is almost thrice the size of its iOs team: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/posts/Video-on-Android-Devices-...

A team around thrice the size does suggest significantly higher costs.

Note that this has little to do with OS fragmentation - it's because of the complexity of having to develop for a wildly different range of hardware configurations. But that is part of the challenge of developing media-heavy apps for Android.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Not a developer indeed
by SlackerD on Wed 18th Dec 2013 19:04 in reply to "RE[3]: Not a developer indeed"
SlackerD Member since:
2012-01-16

Science to back it up:

http://xkcd.com/54/

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Not a developer indeed
by JAlexoid on Mon 16th Dec 2013 18:23 in reply to "RE[2]: Not a developer indeed"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

The reality of Android development is that it is significantly more costly then iOS development if you want to offer a good experience for the majority of Android users.

The majority of Android users are on a stable ICS API that is mostly unchanged up-to KitKat.

It's not just a function of the different Android version it's also different screens, different device performance, storage, and so on. The testing alone is several times more resource intensive on Android then it is on iOS.

That is not true. iPhone is no less ridiculous in those cases. iPhone3GS, iPhone4, iPhone4S, 5 and 5S perform differently. Don't be so surprised to know that there are a lot of 3GS users out there still...
iOS SDK is easier and the development platform is cleaner, but in the end you still code less than you tinker here and there. You don't tinker on Android any more than you would on iOS. But that's the dirty truth about all and any platform, language or hardware... for all we bicker which language is better to develop in it's all basically the same.

Reply Parent Score: 4