back to article Survey: Android set to beat iOS in battle for coder love

Android is set to become the number one choice for mobile application developers in the next 12 months as the Google platform pushes ahead of arch rival Apple, according to the latest research from Ovum. The analyst house interviewed over a hundred developers globally, asking them which platform they preferred and then compared …

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FAIL

" interviewed over a hundred developers globally"

Representiative sampling : They've heard of it.

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Anonymous Coward

A good point since "Number of Active Publishers in the US App Store: 132,604" according to 148Apps.biz, and that's on Apple's app store alone.

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Thing is

to develop for iPhone, you need to have a mac.

So not only do you have to get a developer licence thing, you also have to buy a mac (if you don't have one)

Android can be built on windows/mac/linux so theres an easier adoption right there.

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Stop

"to develop for iPhone, you need to have a mac."

And to develop for other platforms, you need to have a PC of some sort too. What's your point, exactly?

All businesses have to invest money in tools and other paraphernalia. Compared to the cost of actually _doing_ business, the price of a Windows, Linux or Apple computer is negligible: how much money do you expect to make from developing apps per month? If it's more than £2000, that's a top-of-the-line Mac right there. Every month of sales after that is gravy.

Investing in the tools of your trade is something you need to think long and hard about. From personal experience, I would advise strongly against going for the cheapest, nastiest piece of crap computer you can find on eBay and invest in something that's going to last you a while and which comes with excellent after-sales support.

Say what you like about Apple's prices, but I've found their support and customer services to be second to none. And that counts for a lot when you're relying on your computer hardware to pay the bills.

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FAIL

The point made by the poster was that if you want do to IOS then you must have a Mac. This is not the case for Android, ie. statistics favour Android. That said, previous reports have fingered as IOS as the platform from which to make money because fanbois like you are only too happy to hand it over.

As for support options - in many respects Apple is light years behind. Yes, it's great if you live close to an Apple store but otherwise you're fucked as I found out when I had to replace the fan on my MacBook. Twice. And, yes, I was using the machine for work.

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>to develop for iPhone, you need to have a mac.

That's not the worst, the IDE (X-Code) is just horrid, even worse than Objective-C on its right own.

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Anonymous Coward

reading an

Article just released it appears that something like almost 90% of the money made from apps goes to 5% of developers.

Meaning don't give up your day job. App development if you are very lucky and have the right app might give you an income to live on. For the majority its just pin money.

Also the cost of apps keeps coming down so imagine the cost of buying a high end pc, add in the time you spend and statistically you will be one of the 95% of app developers who have a share of 5% of the pot.

Would you work in a job that paid 20 cents an hour?

You'll still be hoping for a break when they re-possess the chair you are sitting on.

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This post has been deleted by its author

FAIL

Apple's legendary customer support..... is an urban myth.

I fell for it and thought it was worth the extra money. But you only find out when you have a problem.

Like any other company, if it is simple and obvious and happens to a hundred other customers, they deal with it. But that pretty much all companies do, some even better than Apple.

Otherwise, they are rubbish. The difference I suppose is the that the "Genius" corporate-drone is in front of you instead of the phone. Not to mention the psychology stunts they play at their stores. For eg. keeping the Genius bar customers at a lower level and potential purchasers at par.

I always want to punch them when they say "I hear what you are saying" when they F&%£ing aren't. Patronising $H!+s.

Next time you have a real problem, count how many times they say this. It is definitely part of their training; I got it from the phone and from the store.

Finally, after threatening legal action, they actually did hear me. I knew it when they stopped saying the catch phrases from their handbook.

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Anonymous Coward

pc pro

#And where is this article you mention?

Or are you LarsG in disguise and that's one of your -probably sexual - fantasies again?#

O r pc advisor unfortunately I don't have a copy to send you!

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@Sean

"And to develop for other platforms, you need to have a PC of some sort too. What's your point, exactly?"

Well, one has tens of thousands of choices at a range of prices. And the other has less than a dozen choices, all available at extortionate prices and from a single manufacturer

Trying to smart-alec developers who know how it is - how the Apple lock-in works - won't win you any friends around here.

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Anonymous Coward

And where is this article

Kevin Partner pc pro issue 209 quotes book by Chris Stevens Appillionaires average income from iPhone app $3,050 per year while the media is $682

'For most developers the rewards are hardly worth the effort'

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Nothing against Objective C

But you are right on the money about xcode being horrid, any time I have do any osx/ios development it's like jumping back in time 10 years. It's hardly a rich development experience, no doubt I'll get loads of down votes from people who have never used anything else, or at least anything recent.

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Anonymous Coward

Applionaires

You do understand that the book "Applionaries" purports to teach you the "secrets" of App Store success?

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Anonymous Coward

@vic

We're comparing two mobile development platforms here, so the relevant question here is how Xcode for iOS development compares to Eclipse + ADT. I still say Xcode trumps it

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@vic 4

Are you sure you're up to date on Xcode? I don't mean this to compare it to Eclipse on the Android side as I really know only Xcode and MSVS; I'm writing just to compare Xcode to the environments of ten years ago.

Xcode features deep integration with the Clang compiler, giving you compiler warnings and errors directly as you type. It has a graphical data schema designer that connects to the runtime system for automatically managing persistent object storage and search by predicate — so you can just draw your storage model. It has a static analyser that can automatically assess your code for errors.

In terms of the other industry standard sort of features: git and SVN are integrated; there's a graphical interface designer that allows you to drag connections from widgets directly to your source code to connect to or to create an action that the widget triggers; autocomplete and in-place documentation are there; the usual sort of shortcuts exist for jumping between implementation/header files and for jumping straight to the definitions of symbols, etc; you can browse by file or by class (including through the inheritance hierarchy); there's an integrated debugger with the usual [optionally conditional] breakpoints and the ability to make method calls to objects while the executable is paused; there's a suite of profiler-style tools that will allow you to locate performance and memory bottlenecks or issues; all debugging and profiler tools work both locally and remotely; the provided compiler can distribute builds if you have a bunch of machines on a network.

I'd suggest that if you really think that's like jumping back in time 10 years then you've failed to challenge your own prejudices when using Xcode.

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Bronze badge

Deleted my reply

As I can't be bothered with the obvious replies.

Lets just say I don't consider a tool chain of semi aware text editor/compiler/debugger/ui designer and a noddy "data design" tool to be a enough for developing professional software in an _efficient_ way.

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dev platforms

Anyone considered giving netbeans + android plugin a try?

I do a bit of android development with that combo and it feels a whole lot better than using Eclipse.

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@vic 4

If you'd bothered to argue your point, perhaps the replies wouldn't have been so obvious. "It's bad because I don't like it because it's bad" doesn't articulate much of anything at all.

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@ThomH Xcode is still missing plenty of features

.. that I would like . BTW, I use xcode at least a few hours a week. Unless you are knocking together a few apps in your spare time for fun or some pocket money, you are not going to be as productive as you could be if you had a better integrated tool chain.

The things you mention are essentials, all it provides is the core tools, some UI design tools, coding, building and debugging tools. A tool chain is much more than a text editor/compiler/debugger if you want to be cost effective, and ideally every part of that chain should be swappable.

ADT is based on eclipse for a reason. ADT may not provide much beyond the core stuff for developing, but through eclipse it is immediately integrated with a rich eco structure.

Where is the integration from Jira/Trac/whatever my client is using, not forgetting my own trac instance.

Where is the rich support for unit tests and code coverage, eclipse will run unit tests for modified code in the background, telling me about failures or execution paths not exercised.

Refactoring? How many core refactoring patterns are there in xcode, you can't even rename a method/message name, never mind say turning the selected lines of code into a method or extracting a delegate and interface from existing code?

Drawing a few data structures hardly is up there for real useable data design. Do you really want your underlying data definition to be a diagram in a propriety tool only available on one platform? How can I put this into client facing documents, generate code from, create a database schema, generate entities/daos/early binding data models/user documentation, never mind reusing that in non apple apps.

Oh yeah, and eclipse/adt is not a 2-3Gb download every month to stay up to date and no need to repair your project settings every time you upgrade.

Feel free to down vote, sure plenty will do, but they probably stick a "Made with Notepad" sign on their web sites.

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MAYBE IN REALITY

it is a lot harder to pass the Apple quality control, not just because you have to have a Mac.

If you go the path of least resistance and choose the alternative, it's quicker though quality can suffer.

The downside is being told what you can and cannot have on your phone by someone who thinks he knows what is good for you.

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Coffee/keyboard

Quality Control?!

I haven't laughed so much in ages! You owe me a new keyboard!!

Apple quality control? There are plenty of sh*** apps out there where it's obvious Apple haven't taken the shortest of looks at. It's just an excuse to ban anything that might eat into their own profits.

They can't even get their own house in order half the time, my iPhone 3GS regularly fails to make/receive calls, texts and emails. It gets rebooted several times a week and I would never ever rely on the alarm clock anymore (I used to!).

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Anonymous Coward

re: Quality Control?!

"They can't even get their own house in order half the time, my iPhone 3GS regularly fails to make/receive calls, texts and emails. It gets rebooted several times a week and I would never ever rely on the alarm clock anymore (I used to!)."

And you're *still* using it? Why?

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Wouldn't be surprised

The Android SDK is free, development is available on 3 platforms and there is a one off fee of $25 to register for marketplace. Compare and contrast to other SDKs.

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Apple may charge $99 per year for the App Store...

... but they do a damned sight more than just shovel your app onto it. If your app is good enough—and it is, right? You're not just developing yet another "torch" app, are you?—then Apple may pick it for their App Store's front page billboard areas. That's free advertising, right there, where your potential customers are looking.

What do Google do for your $25?

Curation has advantages for developers too: it means potential customers will assume your app _isn't_ a piece of malware, which remains a psychological advantage iOS has over Android. (No, Apple's curation isn't perfect, but Google's is _non-existent_.)

Finally, Apple's iOS SDK _is_ free. You can develop apps for as long as you like while you're learning the ropes. It's only when you get to the point where you want to sell it that you have to pay, but Xcode is right there in the App Store. And it costs precisely nada.

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Weird reasoning

"What do Google do for your $25?"

They do their bloody job and list your app in a prompt and timely fashion and allow the market to decide if it floats or sinks. From the time you hit upload in the developer console it takes about 5 minutes for app to be listed and up.

Apple's "curation" has little to do with quality and everything to do with control. There are more than enough horror stories of apps being banned for arbitrary, petty reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with whether the app is any good or not. The annual fee also serves to discourage developers from listing useful but non money making apps, e.g. GPL ports.

And Apple's SDK is free assuming you buy a Mac. Meaning it's hardly free at all for the majority of developers who own a PC.

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when was the last time you looked at the android market place? they do just as much billboarding as apple do, with large front page displays, banner headlines and collections such as "editor's pick" and "new releases"

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Exactly

The Marketplace app runs promotions, lists the top rated / selling apps, has free and pay sections and so on. Google's attitude is to list everything and let the cream float to the top, without the bullshit pretense that they need to charge developers money to "curate" their apps.

My experience with it as a developer has been excellent. App updates appear in minutes. My experience with Amazon's Market app (also for Android) is not so excellent. It can take days for apps to be updated which is a real pain in the arse when you need a fast turnaround on a bug fix.

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Anonymous Coward

porn

If apple had quality porn apps I'd get myself an iPhone.

Deep down the little boy in every coder wants to code the ultimate porn app. He just won't get one past the Church of Apple.

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not so

you can create a porn app for the iPhone easily. just offer a homepage shortcut icon for your porn website.

sorry for the lack of capitalisation, but my right hand is otherwise engaged.

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Anonymous Coward

"sorry for the lack of capitalisation, but my right hand is otherwise engaged."

in my day, we could operate the shift key while typing and umm... being otherwise engaged - i said in my day, not now1

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"in my day, we could operate the shift key while typing and umm... being otherwise engaged"

old enough to know better and stil jacking off to tech websites? come on man, try banging the secretary or something.

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Anonymous Coward

"old enough to know better and stil jacking off to tech websites? come on man, try banging the secretary or something."

You've heard of cause and effect right? The secretary is the reason I'm still jacking off to tech websites :D

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Anonymous Coward

hmm

#If apple had quality porn apps I'd get myself an iPhone.#

Lowers the tone, but you have a point.

Praise be.

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Anonymous Coward

do

They still make those pens that when you write the clothes slide off to reveal the naked woman?

Why not an iPhone screen home screen like that, it rings you pick up and hey presto you are talking to her*********

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Anonymous Coward

News from 2010?

"“There is starting to be overall a larger installed base of devices on Android than iOS in the coming years."

Android already has a WAY bigger marketshare than iOS, and has done for quite some time. Anyone that doesn't target Android above iOS is frankly a braindead idiot.

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Anonymous Coward

a braindead idiot...

or someone who wants to make money.

Its been shown time and again that iOS apps make more money than Android as..

1) Apple owners tend to spend more money.. i.e. the owner of a £400 smart phone is more likely to buy apps than your mum whos been given a free Droid phone by Phones4U.

2) Apple provide a simple and trustworthy means of buying apps

3) High end Droid owners are generally freetards so expect to get everything for free so won't buy your app.

4) Targeting every iOS devices is a damn sight easier than targeting the 4000 variations of device and OS that Droid has. Are you really going to support every one? If not then that market share drops rapidly.

Market share means jack if the market won't spend money or can't run your app.

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Anonymous Coward

What good is larger marketshare if you get paid peanuts and you have the deal with the crazy fragmentation on to of that?

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Anonymous Coward

...plus you have to contend with piracy. Current estimates suggest for every 1 legimate application sold there are 4 pirate copies.

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Joke

Marketshare braindead idiot

Hey AC bit narrow minded are we, not everyone is working in the malware market...

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Anonymous Coward

"Android already has a WAY bigger marketshare than iOS, and has done for quite some time"

They are talking about "devices" not smart phones. They're both around the 250 million at the moment.

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Stop

no

I don't buy that statistic. For one it seems to be merely based on the assumptions of a few developers and secondly it seems to show very little understanding of the ownership of android devices. Whilst there may be more Android devices available on the market and increasing I suspect the number of people actually interested in apps is significantly lower than with iOS. I wouldn't be surprised if less than 50% of people who have acquired an android based have actually accessed the internet in one form or another on their phone, let alone thought of installing an app, instead treating it more as a "dumb" phone than a smart phone. This generally applies to the huge numbers of cheap and budget android devices out there, and in particular Pay & Go customers who usually have to pay through the nose for any data plans. This already removes a huge chunk of potential app purchasers, who are unlikely to install anything more than a free copy of angry birds. Of those that are left, a large number are savy enough to access the market place or app store offered by their network or phone manufacturer and download the free version of an app, but few of them are actually aware you can download apps from the internet directly. This leaves a very thin layer of tech savy android users who are aware of pirated apps and where to get them and even less of which are willing to risk their device to do so. I suspect the number of people willing and able to use pirated android apps is probably as large as the number of iOS jailbreakers who are just as likely to pirate.

Sure piracy is a problem, and should be challenged and eradicated, but to blame it on the current lack of sales is utter nonsense.

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Anonymous Coward

Fragmentation. LOL.

Someone else that believed that crap that Jobs spouted about Android fragmentation.

Apple's market fragmentation is just as bad, if not worse.

I have several apps (15k+ downloads) and have no problems supporting smartphones running Android 1.5+, Honeycomb Holo and ICS4.0 in a single APK without any problems whatsoever.

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Downvoted!

Can't believe this was down voted. Someone stating they don't have problems with fragmentation, what is the problem there.

Was it "Apple's market fragmentation is just as bad, if not worse", that is true, if you want to use something new in the latest iOs you have to choose to ignore customers who can't/don't want to upgrade. I have "old" apple products that I can't get anything for nowadays.

And how many ios apps only work well on an ipad, ignoring iphones/ipods and vice versa.

Differing API versions and screen sizes, both issues on apple and android devices.

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Anonymous Coward

£ Euros $?

Just 15000, or is that 15360, out of many million potential customers? Over what time period? Were they sold or free? Did you even cover the cost of your kit, network charges, refreshments, test devices etc? You must have a lot to cover all the formats and os versions. That last part alone must make development dearer than for three iphones and an ipad. Do you provide support and updates or just throw them out of the door and forget about them? What do they do? Anything useful? Or are you just trolling? I presume you have got a "day job" or unemployment pay.

I happen to know someone in a firm (of many employees, product mangers and so forth) whose business is apps for Android, Symbian and Windows (no IOS at all!). It seems the Android developers find the APIs sufficiently unstable, let alone the plethora for output formats, to make extensive trial and error a painful necesiity.

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Anonymous Coward

Fragmentation

If you're a serious developer the fragmentation of the Android platform is a real problem.

Between ARMv6 and v7 and different versions of OpenGL, not to mention wildly different resolutions you'll find it a big - and expensive - chore to produce an app that runs everywhere.

Of course that's not an issue for fart apps (or given the more permissive nature of the Android market, the <insert expletive here> apps)

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Anonymous Coward

@Vic 4

I down voted the fragmentation issue post, because his anedoctal evidence doesn't support his claim that fragmentation is a non-issue to the point of calling it "crap".

In a study that asked Android developers if they thought fragmentation was a problem, 86% replied yes, with 56% saying it's a huge or meaningful problem. See http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/04/04/android-is-a-mess-say-developers/

It gets especially worse once you get down into - for various reasons - the Android NDK (and code outside the Dalvik VM). Apple may have its flaws, but they offer a much more consistent development path.

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@Vic 4, AC

I downvoted 'Fragmentation. LOL' because it makes the false jump from the observation that there is fragmentation within the iOS market to claiming that it is as bad as or worse than Android.

Fragmentation is often used as a paper-thin partisan attack and the AC would have been right to say that it's nothing like the issue often claimed but his attempt to claim that the ecosystem in which a grand total of three models of phone have been available for the last two years has a worse fragmentation problem than the ecosystem in which hundreds of devices — including at least a dozen high quality, high profile handsets — have been available in the same time frame comes across as unrealistically biased.

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