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Why Developers Still Prefer iOS To Android

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the addictive-chemicals-are-my-theory dept.

Android 614

An anonymous reader writes "Google Chariman Eric Schmidt recently addressed an Android user lamenting the fact that that mobile apps are often released on Apple's iOS platform well before they finally reach Android. Schmidt cooly and curiously explained that this dynamic will change in just 6 months. Here's why he's wrong. Though Google brags about the total number of Android users, developers care about certain kinds of users (those that pay for apps). A similar dynamic can be found in television advertising, where advertisers will more money for ad spots on less popular shows in order to reach desirable demographics, even though other programs may have many millions of more viewers."

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Android has many problems (4, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389606)

It's not only on television advertising, it happens with every kind of advertising. Internet, newspapers, magazines, even billboards. That's what makes both Google and Facebook advertising so lucrating and why Google is so desperately wanting to get their own social network - advertisers can directly target users with certain interests. Advertising to people with no interest about such things is useless. For example, Google has many advertisers targeting searches that might get searched only a few times a month, but when they do, advertisers are happy to pay more than $50 per click. They could get standard banner advertising to tens of thousands users at that price, but those are useless to them if it's a very targeted product or service. TV advertising mostly just works for brand names or products that almost anyone has use for. With internet you can target very specific people.

Now the thing is, this targeting translates badly to applications and games. When user plays games, he isn't interested in anything else. It's completely different situation to some where the user is actively looking for something. This is why app developers make better money by selling their apps or games. However, Android users aren't as willing to spend as iOS users. They have even got used to the idea of getting their apps for free with advertising. But because advertising isn't really effective for such, Android app space in general suffers badly. On top of that you have to deal with fragmented devices and Google's ignorance regarding their app store. You can buy gift cards for iTunes, but you cannot for Android store, so you're out of luck if you don't have credit card. So you have an userbase with fragmented market, increased support costs, users without ability to pay for apps even if they had cash and the general culture that expects free apps with ads where ads just don't work.

The funny thing is that even Windows Phone market has comparatively more developers, apps and games. Microsoft has went at great lengths to make app developing for WP7 pleasant experience. They provide great tools, XNA, Silverlight and you can code with .NET. It is relative easy to port your games between Windows, XBOX360 and WP7. The same services are used for all platforms. And while the amount of users as large as Android or iOS, the users are paying for apps and is exactly the kind of crowd developers want. You also have less competition, so you can earn more easily.

Re:Android has many problems (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389678)

$50 per click? Citation please, because my bullshit alert is going off. We sell very high ticket items and have for over 2 decades, and have been a part of Overture (now yahoo), and Google since their inception. $1 a click is pretty high dollar, and we put up to twice that at times, but usually less. I would love to hear who pays fifty bucks a click.

Re:Android has many problems (5, Informative)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389816)

Here's one article that shows most expensive categories http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/18/most-expensive-google-adwords-keywords/ [techcrunch.com]

I also remember that some years ago there was lawyers paying really high clicks for some really specific cases. I think it was targeting some people who got major health problems as result of some company. They paid for those clicks really much because the amount of money they got from settlements etc was so good.

Re:Android has many problems (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38389824)

First page ads for "Electronic Medical Records" seems to be going around $20+ these days.

Re:Android has many problems (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390298)

Heh. Want to stick it to the man? Search for "Electronic Medical Records", open all the ads in new tabs.

Re:Android has many problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390314)

Haha, your bullshit sensor is faulty...

Re:Android has many problems (3, Interesting)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390010)

Does this explain why, when you lay an iOS and an Android app side by side, the iPhone one almost always appears more polished?

Usually the function is the same, but the one on iOS will show screen wipes graphically smooth, the animation is smooth, the interface is simpler because you don't rely on users to know they need to check the "menu" button for a bunch of options and suboptions.

In some cases (like with Yahoo's fantasy offerings) the iOS app is pretty good, and the android one is just a link to a mobile site basically. I've always wondered why these things are.

Re:Android has many problems (4, Interesting)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390114)

It's a combination of non-GPU-accelerated interfaces on many Android devices and the fact that Android doesn't provide as robust or helpful a GUI API (transitions, effects, widgets, events, GUI management in general) as iOS.

It simply takes more work to make an app look good on Android, and even then it'll still "feel" worse because everything's being rendered in the CPU.

Re:Android has many problems (5, Interesting)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390162)

Not to mention that Android runs interface on normal priority, compared to iOS's high priority. I have no idea why they choose to do it so, because interface speed matters a lot to overall look and feel of the device.

Re:Android has many problems (3, Informative)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390214)

Apple has strict requirements on apps going into the app store. One of those is that at no time may the app make the UI look sluggish or out of place. Android as far as I know doesn't have those requirements. That might be the reason the iOS apps are prettier, because they have to be that way in order to make it into the store at all.

Re:Android has many problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390150)

That is well over 140 Bytes.

Re:Android has many problems (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390538)

Windows Phone market has comparatively more developers, apps and games.

False.

And while the amount of users as large as Android or iOS

False.

(I won't even bother with references, because it is literally 10 seconds away in Google. Sapienti sat.)

Mod topic as flamebait? (1, Insightful)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389660)

If I had posted the OP verbatim, it would be -1 flamebait faster than you can say "troll."

Ah well... should be an interesting thread.

Re:Mod topic as flamebait? (2, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390094)

It's not flamebait. It's based on a study by Flurry Analytics [flurry.com] showing that Android developer share has declined by more than one-third in the last year. Apparently, refuting the Eric Schmidt with hard numbers is now "flamebait" because happens to be negative news about Android.

Re:Mod topic as flamebait? (1, Insightful)

Laxori666 (748529) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390410)

Hah, I find it funny that this post is modded flamebait.

Re:Mod topic as flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390360)

Yeah and the article is that way too. Quoting numbers from that stupid Android fragmentation article by Michael Degusta where he called minor releases major releases just to boost his phoney statistics. It's clear Yoni Heisler [pcworld.com] is more than just a fanboi.

Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389672)

Why Developers Still Prefer iOS To Android

Is there something inherently better with iOS development? Is the API better written? Is there some technological inferiority to Android? Is it cheaper to buy the development tools for iOS?

Oh, I see. What you meant to say is:

Why Publishers Still Prefer iOS To Android

And even that's sort of not very accurate. I mean, there are plenty of apps that are free and are on both Android and iOS like advertising based apps that want you to read some website's stories. And they just want to target the most users, not the most users who shell out money. So maybe it should be:

Why Revenue Seekers Still Prefer iOS To Android

Not everyone developing apps depends on that as their revenue stream.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (5, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389890)

Is there something inherently better with iOS development? Is the API better written? Is there some technological inferiority to Android? Is it cheaper to buy the development tools for iOS?

FTFA

Unfortunately for Google, this is just the tip of the iceberg with respect to the uphill battle they face in the fight for developers. Clunkier development tools for Android have been on ongoing problem, and let's not forget about the vast number of scamware, crapware and malware apps that permeate through the Android Marketplace. The lack of an approval process for apps on Android certainly has its benefits, but letâ(TM)s not forget thereâ(TM)s also a downside to being open.

So you mean I get to use lousier development tools, potentially have my app hijacked by scammers looking to repackage my app as malware AND deal with fragmentation?

SIGN ME UP!

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (4, Interesting)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390052)

Yeah, repackaging with malware or scamming users seems to be a major problem with Android. There's trojans and all kinds of nasty stuff, like this trojan [f-secure.com] repackages popular games and apps, says it's free version and scams the user by sending premium rate SMS to the malware author. Google isn't even really trying to do anything about it, they remove them afterwards when news get out and by then thousands of users have been scammed already. Stuff like that isn't happening on neither Apple's or Microsoft's store.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390606)

Most people have the opposite view as you.

Windows PC vs Macintosh. The more open platform won.
Android vs iOS. The same is happening here with the Android platform having a significantly larger userbase.

Give it a couple more years. Apple will be a fading memory.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38389950)

> Is there something inherently better with iOS development? Is the API better written? Is there some technological inferiority to Android? Is it cheaper to buy the development tools for iOS?

Yes, yes, and yes.

Xcode is a wonderful IDE, and with things like CLANG/LLVM and LLDB it's only getting better. Cocoa and Cocoa Touch are insanely great APIs and Objective C kicks the shit out of Java in terms of readability and performance. The development experience for iOS is much, much more streamlined and defined then Android.

I'm not even sure if it's worth mentioning the fact that Google (and it's associates) actively brag about a new Android device every week now- with different specs, hardware, and screen resolutions. Trying to support a moving target like Android is a nightmare, so you might as well pick the top 5 phones and make sure your stuff works on those- and forget about the five thousand other devices out there (which may or may not work).

Comparing iOS to Android is like comparing the Xbox 360 to a PC. You get a stable and well defined platform with one, and a crapshoot with the other.

-AC

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (5, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389976)

Screw the language. Interface builder rocks. Using XML files with no WYSIWYG editor? Screw that.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (2)

Mullen (14656) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390030)

Spot on! I have been learning Xcode 4.2 and it's a joy to use! Objective C is fairly simple and Interface Builder is a snap to use. Why anyone would bother with hand editing XML files is beyond me.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390248)

Using XML files with no WYSIWYG editor?

I can't compare iOS development to Android development because I've only done Android development, but I'm not sure where the above statement comes from, as I personally use a WYSIWYG editor for Android development. It's part of the SDK.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (4, Interesting)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389982)

Why Developers Still Prefer iOS To Android

Is there something inherently better with iOS development?

Yes. iOS has an integrated development environment including debugging tools that allow on the fly changes to the code while debugging.

Is the API better written?

Yes. The iOS API is more feature rich and provides things like low latency audio.

Is there some technological inferiority to Android? Is it cheaper to buy the development tools for iOS?

Yes, as mentioned above, there is no low latency audio support and the interface has a normal priority instead of high priority which is one of the major reasons why the UI on android phones feels sluggish at times.

Android did not even have a native SDK until recently and you were forced to write everything against the Dalvik JVM.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (5, Informative)

bstarrfield (761726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390484)

Most of the iOS APIs are derivatives of the very well tested, designed, and readable NS (NextStep) APIs that have been in production for over twenty years. Apple adds new APIs with every release, yet they still follow the design patterns and methodologies of the older application interfaces, making learning new ones quite easy.

With Objective C finally receiving easier memory management (yes, it was never terribly hard but it was at times frustrating), new developers, especially Java developers, can start rolling out code relatively quickly. As a point of history, Java's developers apparently did look at Objective-C as one of their primary influences. Personally, I find Objective-C much easier to code in then Java, and the clear nature of Apple's APIs combined with very, very strong development tools makes me much prefer iOS development over Android

There's an added benefit of iOS development which isn't commonly mentioned - it's relatively easy to port iOS code over to Mac OS X, allowing you to reach a broad and lucrative environment, leveraging your previous work.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390656)

As a point of history, Java's developers apparently did look at Objective-C as one of their primary influences.

The OpenStep specification was actually a collaboration between NeXT and SUN to make a platform independent NeXTStep. Sun had a beta OpenStep running on Solaris but then they caught java fever and the only cure was more java.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390580)

Android did not even have a native SDK until recently

It's been 2.5 years by now.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390054)

You can state that not everyone developing apps depends on that revenue stream, but the fact that, according to Flurry Analytics, Android developer share has actually declined over the course of the year suggests most do.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (1)

meloneg (101248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390228)

Um, circular logic there. What you're saying is that people who use a service designed to help optimize the revenue stream tend to be developers looking to optimize the revenue stream.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390204)

Well as things even out, more and more developers will gravitate towards the thing that gives them their share.

I recall reading a while back an article about why Enterprise Software was often so complicated... especially before 'cloud computing'. It's often not that there wasn't a better way to configure and deploy the software. It's that the people who would actually deploy the systems were consultants or administrators who naturally didn't want to lose their cut.

Why would a consulting firm recommend a simpler/better product that would basically put them out of business? The software company had to leave enough complex work for the consultants to do to get them to push the software out in the field.

This is much like how mutual funds often paid financial advisers with fees for them to 'push' their funds.

Now of course disruptive technologies or methods can occur. ETFs and online brokerages came along and have cut into the easy money many financial advisers got used to.

Similarly the 'cloud' disrupts the software sales process by allowing companies to sign up easily for online services. You don't need to pay consultants to push and install your software.

Now, developers of applications are actually the ones doing real work. They're not just middle men as in the case of financial advisers. At the end of the day they would like to be paid. A platform that doesn't pay attention to that will not get the most attention.

Assuming that is the case that Apple has done something right with their platform/marketing that makes it more likely that users will pay up, then yeah... I'd probably target Apple as well.

Everyone contributing must their cut.

Now sure, if you're a developer who doesn't care about being paid that way... then you won't. But if we take the report as accurate, a lot of developers are targeting IOS for that reason. And maybe Android should pay attention. Because if Android is always seen as non-revenue stream, eventually the money folks will say... why bother making an app for it.

Now as you rightfully point out, ad based apps might not be affected. But there are plenty of specialized apps out there from enterprise application to medical devices...

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (3, Interesting)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390224)

Is there something inherently better with iOS development? Is the API better written? Is there some technological inferiority to Android? Is it cheaper to buy the development tools for iOS?

Others have already answered this, but I feel it needs to be said again:

YES.

Maybe not exactly yes to the last bit, but it is cheaper to develop non-trivial commercial apps for iOS than Android, more often than not. The Apple developer fee is so tiny as not to be worth considering when compared with developer time. The extra testing necessary for Android would alone pay the developer fee many times over, and that's if development itself didn't generally take longer (and it most certainly does).

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390242)

Is it cheaper to buy the development tools for iOS?

AFAIK (And someone please correct me if wrong) you don't HAVE to pay to get the dev tools for either iOS or Android. But the iOS dev tools are much better, IMO. Very nice and polished.

Re:Really Has Nothing to Do with Development (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390328)

I'm not sure why you think Developers are different than Revenue Seekers. Most people are in it for the money. Yes, there are some that aren't. They're the exception.

More business model than development (2)

alispguru (72689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390370)

If you plan to make money on your app via:

* Advertising
* Demographic data collection

you'll lean toward Android - more users, more support from Google, no interference from Apple.

If you plan to make money from people who pay for software, you'll go for iOS.

Schmidt may be right - "free" has a definite mass appeal.

Not surprising (4, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389682)

It's not surprising why app developers are betting on iOS over Android. According to the Flurry Analytics study, they make four times as much money on iOS [flurry.com] . Developers are also concerned about fragmentation, the lack of store curation, and lower penetration of Google Checkout among Android users compared to iOS users, who are always payment enabled through their iTunes accounts.

Android's target demographic is hardcore techies combined with budget buyers unconcerned with smartphone quality. It actually makes very little money for Google, while iOS is generating obscene profits for Apple. Slashdot still fetishes marketshare as if it's the only metric that matters, but Android is actually like a whole bunch of operating systems with different capabilities.

Re:Not surprising (2, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389946)

It actually makes very little money for Google, while iOS is generating obscene profits for Apple.

The funny thing is that Android probably makes Microsoft more money than for Google. Microsoft gets something like $444 million annually from Android and they don't even need to develop it.

Re:Not surprising (2, Insightful)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390028)

It actually makes very little money for Google, while iOS is generating obscene profits for Apple.

This has nothing to do with Google giving the OS away for free. Obv.

-GiH

Re:Not surprising (0)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390118)

It actually makes very little money for Google, while iOS is generating obscene profits for Apple.

This has nothing to do with Google giving the OS away for free. Obv.

-GiH

They don't, Google actually charges quite a lot from manufacturers who want to join the alliance. If you're selling devices you pretty much have to join it.

Re:Not surprising (4, Insightful)

Rennt (582550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390546)

I'm so sick of people getting this wrong. Android is completely free (as in beer). If you want to ship Google Apps you need to certify your device which costs money, but that don't stop the likes of Amazon from shipping millions of devices without paying a dime to Google.

Re:Not surprising (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390604)

How much is "a lot"?

Hey hold on there... (-1, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390168)

Android's target demographic is hardcore techies combined with budget buyers unconcerned with smartphone quality.

Where did you get this statement from, or are you just trolling? Did you forget those folks like me who treasure freedom to do as I please [with my gadget], not as some pundit at Apple thinks I should do?

It actually makes very little money for Google, while iOS is generating obscene profits for Apple.

Here we go again...Do products like Chrome or Gmail make Google any cash? Why do [uninformed] people like you always think Google must make cash from Android in a particular way like Apple does from its iOS? Has Google ever put a number on how much it makes from its advertising? From Android, Google makes cash indirectly...through advertising and its doing quite well. In fact better than iOS.

Slashdot still fetishes marketshare as if it's the only metric that matters, but Android is actually like a whole bunch of operating systems with different capabilities.

There's one thing you forget...Sooner or later, the persistent man will finally eat your lunch. At this rate, I do not see Apple being more than a niche player. That's why you saw the lawsuits in earlier months from Apple.

Stay tuned.

Re:Hey hold on there... (4, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390340)

Where did you get this statement from, or are you just trolling? Did you forget those folks like me who treasure freedom to do as I please [with my gadget], not as some pundit at Apple thinks I should do?

Pretty sure I included you when I mentioned the hardcore techies. Folks like you are the only ones who "treasure freedom" and lash out angrily at Apple for daring to put constraints on your beloved software tweaking habits. You represent a minority of Android's demographic, with the rest coming from budget smartphone buyers.

Here we go again...Do products like Chrome or Gmail make Google any cash? Why do [uninformed] people like you always think Google must make cash from Android in a particular way like Apple does from its iOS?

Because that's how a business works?

Has Google ever put a number on how much it makes from its advertising?

Of course. Google shares those figures annually. Advertising is about 97% of their revenue, which is over $8 billion.

From Android, Google makes cash indirectly...through advertising and its doing quite well. In fact better than iOS.

No, Google makes relatively little money from Android, and that's according to Google. I have no where you're getting the idea that they're making more money than Apple is from iOS, because that contradicts every hard number available.

Re:Hey hold on there... (-1, Troll)

Rennt (582550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390666)

Pretty sure I included you when I mentioned the hardcore techies. Folks like you are the only ones who "treasure freedom" and lash out angrily at Apple for daring to put constraints on your beloved software tweaking habits. You represent a minority of Android's demographic, with the rest coming from budget smartphone buyers.

That supposition is not backup up by reality. The Galaxy S II was the best selling device last round - even outselling the iPhone 4S. The majority of Android buyers get the 'super phone' of the current generation (which is usually about a generation ahead of iPhone in terms of hardware to begin with).

Re:Hey hold on there... (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390506)

There's one thing you forget...Sooner or later, the persistent man will finally eat your lunch. At this rate, I do not see Apple being more than a niche player. That's why you saw the lawsuits in earlier months from Apple.

Stay tuned.

I forgot to respond to this doozy. I don't know what the reasons are for your tribalist attachment to one smartphone operating system over another (surely an important thing to fret over in life), nor do I know why you're referring to me as if I represent Apple. You seem to have some kind of chip on your shoulder against a segment of the population, and frankly, you represent a type of annoying Android fan that has arisen in the last twelve months to become even more annoying than the stereotypical Apple fan.

As dramatic and dire as your prediction is, I can't help but point out that if the persistent man isn't making any money, it doesn't matter how long they stick around. Microsoft has proven this with countless floundering projects, from Bing to Windows Phone. Companies that make money last regardless of marketshare and even influence their industries, such as Nintendo.

You're seeing lawsuits from Apple because a large part of Samsung's business model relies on copying popular hardware and software designs to exploit customer confusion, as is obvious from a cursory glance between products, and low-quality products being confused with Apple products can end up damaging their brand in the long run. I'm not surprised at all that they'd file lawsuits--any reasonable company would.

I'll go ahead and let you "stay tuned," worrying about these things, while I just use what I like and get on with the business of living.

Re:Hey hold on there... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390640)

You're seeing lawsuits from Apple because a large part of Samsung's business model relies on copying popular hardware and software designs to exploit customer confusion, as is obvious from a cursory glance between products, and low-quality products being confused with Apple products can end up damaging their brand in the long run. I'm not surprised at all that they'd file lawsuits--any reasonable company would.

You appear to have forgotten that suits arising from the alleged copying by Sammy were dismissed. In fact, pundits were quoted as having said Apple were given a taste of their gravy, by a dress-down.

Please address this. I am interested.

Re:Not surprising (3, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390234)

Android's target demographic is hardcore techies combined with budget buyers unconcerned with smartphone quality.

Which will quickly massively outnumber Apple's demographic. Apple will be a major player for a while yet, but they're pursuing a dead end, I think. Don't know if it's a year or a couple years before they lose their perception as market leader, but it's clearly going to happen.

I don't mean this as trolling against Apple; they've done some amazing stuff. I just think they have no realistic hope of outcompeting Android at this point. You can't occupy 'high end' and 'numerically dominant' niches at the same time...

The Desktop Mirror (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390634)

Android's target demographic is hardcore techies combined with budget buyers unconcerned with smartphone quality.

Which will quickly massively outnumber Apple's demographic.

What would you base that assessment on? If that were true why would lInux, which had exactly the same combination of possible buyers (techies plus people seeking really budget computers) not have beaten Windows long ago?

It's amazing to me that so many computer literate people here are utterly unwilling to see the impact that software has on the platforms people chose to use.

Re:Not surprising (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390624)

It actually makes very little money for Google, while iOS is generating obscene profits for Apple.

How do you compute iOS profits for Apple? I mean, they sell actual devices, not OS licenses, so any profit is for the hardware+iOS combo, and it's not at all obvious how to split it between the two. With Google it's clear-cut - you just look at how much money they get from phone manufacturers.

Rich Users (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38389702)

Apple user's are rich yuppies with lots of disposable income. Them and "artists" who spend $20 on a pencil at an art store.

Re:Rich Users (-1, Troll)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390060)

Ah -- you mean 1D10Ts

Re:Rich Users (4, Insightful)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390302)

You scoff at them spending $20 on a pencil at an art store, they scoff at IT people spending $300 on a "server grade" hard drive they can get for $65 at TigerDirect.

Re:Rich Users (-1, Flamebait)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390568)

Do you really want to play the game of stupid stereotypes? Here goes. Android users are bitter neckbeards with Asperger's Syndrome who have nothing better to do but spend six hours configuring things and pretending they're freedom fighters leading a revolution, even as the world doesn't care.

Qt (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38389708)

Google should buy Qt from Nokia and use that toolkit as the basis for Android apps. It is already efficient as hell on smartphones (Meego and Symbian), and uses C++ as its programming language. No more worries about Oracle lawsuits, excellent programming environment. Mod this up.

Re:Qt (4, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390672)

You shouldn't say "mod this up" in your own post. You actually have an excellent idea, and people who might otherwise mod it up without you telling them to do so will be less inclined to because nobody likes to be told what to do.

In-app advertising (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38389818)

This article doesn't discuss developers earning revenue from placing ads inside their applications.

And therefore, even if its conclusion is correct, its analysis is completely invalid.

Android is not a viable proposition (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38389822)

For developers, that is. Android is a one size fits all approach, but not all Android phones can run all games, some are too weak. This causes developers headaches, bad reviews on their games, etc. And Android Market is not secure like iTunes, the apps don't go through a vetting process before they are put on the market, like iTunes does for their apps. So malicious apps are out there. Unlike iOS. Android is the new Windows... Sure it'll sell well, but Apple can give assurances on security, and the corporate sector will never adopt Android so it will remain the poor man's iPhone and the domain of geeks who can't face the fact that iOS is actually very good.

Now... flame away :)

Re:Android is not a viable proposition (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390056)

It's true that often on Android games you'll see ratings all very high or very low, and the very low ones are usually "It didn't run well on my phone". with iOS there are no such worries about hardware (and OS) fragmentation.

It's the same advantage Apple has always had, they know what hardware everyone has in advance.

Re:Android is not a viable proposition (1)

froggymana (1896008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390252)

It's true that often on Android games you'll see ratings all very high or very low, and the very low ones are usually "It didn't run well on my phone". with iOS there are no such worries about hardware (and OS) fragmentation.

It's the same advantage Apple has always had, they know what hardware everyone has in advance.

Developers can disable certain phones from even being able to view an app on the market (from their phone). The problem is that most developers don't have access to every single android device available to be able to say for certain what phones their app will and will not run on.

Re:Android is not a viable proposition (1, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390632)

It's interesting watching the moderation on your post. Slashdot is heavily pro-Android and pro-Google, but the fact is that even developers agree with the points you made, according to the study cited in the article. We all saw the result of constant fragmentation and configurability when it came to Linux on the desktop--it never arrived. Now, the same is happening with Android, and it's leading to what is practically a bunch of different Android operating systems all getting lumped together to trumpet a marketshare figure but not really compatible with each other. Developers are the ones most aware of this because they see the hardware and software at a low level.

As for the corporate sector, I actually think Microsoft may make headway there due to historical relations with the enterprise and a willingness to cater to them. But certainly Apple has a chance as well.

Out of interest (1)

multiben (1916126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389918)

I had a go at writing both iOS and Android apps purely out of curiosity. Although it was not difficult to program for Android, I have to say that writing for iOS was one of the easiest things I've ever done on a computer. If I were to seriously go into app writing for mobile platforms I would need a very compelling reason not to bet on Apple.

Re:Out of interest (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390004)

why was writing for iOS so much easier than Android? I'm just asking out of curiosity, since I've done neither.

Is Objective-C that much easier than Java? I thought it would be the other way around.

Re:Out of interest (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390306)

It doesn't really have to do with the language. Objective C at first (from someone coming from a Java/C background) is actually rather awkward to work with until you get used to the little differences. It's the seamless integration of the API and the Interface Builder that makes developing for iOS easy. Note that I've never developed for Android. Not because I didn't want to, but because it was a lot easier to download the xcode package and install it then to figure out how to build the Android toolchain.

Re:Out of interest (3, Interesting)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390456)

The API. There's a ton of shit you can one-line in iOS that you'll have to write yourself in Android, or drag in 3rd party libraries.

Once you get past development, every stage after that's easier too. Testing? Easier. Putting it in the store? Easier (only one to worry about rather than several). Push messaging? Well-supported through a single vendor (Apple) rather than poorly supported through several. Want to add in-app purchasing? No problem.

For professional developers Android is, frankly, a pain in the ass. The only way it's better is if you're a hobbyist, and even then... I think I'd rather pay the $100.

Re:Out of interest (2)

multiben (1916126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390488)

No, actually Objective-C was the worst part of it. Most of the code I wrote was in C++ and I only used Obj-c for the necessary API interaction. It is as Bucky24 says, the integration of their interface builder with the development process. Like I said, writing for Android was not bad, but IMO Apple have a clear edge.

Ditch "Java which is not Java" (0)

iamacat (583406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389944)

Android allows zero code and knowledge reuse, and no visual development tools. iOS and Windows Mobile at least allow plain C/C++ code. If you go with Java, implement a superset of J2SE (and get Oracle off your back). Nobody says that all classes need to be installed on the device until applications use them.

Re:Ditch "Java which is not Java" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390218)

You are a moron. It is a superset of J2SE.

Re:Ditch "Java which is not Java" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390238)

Android allows zero code and knowledge reuse...

False. I have a couple of apps sharing code with each other also with another J2EE program.

Re:Ditch "Java which is not Java" (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390668)

Android allows zero code and knowledge reuse, and no visual development tools. iOS and Windows Mobile at least allow plain C/C++ code.

you might not like java, but there's a hell of a lot of devs that know it. you know that android uses the java language and you can use most of the same libraries available to the JVM right?

and android does allow native C applications (now, it didn't in the past).

Fragmentation (3, Interesting)

Moof123 (1292134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389960)

Phones are still sold with version 2.2 of android, 4.0 is now shipping. Faced with that, what could go wrong for developers?

Re:Fragmentation (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390068)

Gee, if they had only called ICS version 5.0, your point would be even crazier, huh?

Why I only do iOS (4, Insightful)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389966)

It's real simple for me, Android is an awful platform to develop for (as are all the lowest common denominator cross platform API's). I have fun developing for iOS and really like the native API and developer tools. It's important for me to actually enjoy what I'm doing. I've definitely lost some projects because I don't offer an Android, but it's not really mattered since I have more work than I know what to do with anyway. Even after culling Android and only taking projects that really interest me, I still have to turn down projects because I'm already booked up.

Android is just not my cup of tea, if it's yours, then more power to you.

Re:Why I only do iOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390486)

XCode is probably the worst development tool I've ever been forced to used; it hides things in random files and generates random code using an irritating spinoff language.

Re:Why I only do iOS (1)

mhh91 (1784516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390630)

Care to elaborate on why Android is an awful platform?

Oh, and Android is NOT a cross platform API, Android apps only work on Android, unless you mean that the SDK and tools are cross platform.

Many reasons why devs did iOS first... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38389988)

You know you're doing something wrong when RIM can claim (unchallenged) that the Blackberry App World is the #2 app store in terms of paid apps. #1 is, of course, Apple's App Store, but to have the #2 service be one from the #4 player is just... pathetic. (Windows Phone 7 is platform #3 after Android (#1) and iOS (#2)).

There are many reasons for this.

First, Google Checkout sucks. Yes, it does. When Android first came out, very few countries could access paid apps. As such, if you wanted to sell in the Google marketplace, you had to have free apps. The situation's better now, but you're still suffering from the fact that people found alternative ways to get paid apps for free. Google APKTor or the open-source counterpart.

Second is that it's too easy to pirate apps. Google's APKs aren't DRM'd, so what people do is they buy apps, rip them, then return them. 15 minutes is enough time for this, and if it wasn't, they can always return and try again later. Given that there are almost daily "New Paid Apps" torrents on your favorite torrent sites... After all, the iPad was dinged as "cannot run pirate apps".

Then Android users really don't want to pay for apps. I've seen some hardcore Linux users saying they'll never pay for apps - it should be FREE. Apparently, iOS users pay for 3-4 apps a month on average - Android stats are sketchier (C'mon Google - you just had 10B apps downloaded - how many of those were paid apps? Especially with the 10 cent deal?).

Third, well, the fact you have to use your phone is a major drawback. iTunes sucks, but at least you can download your app on your PC first then sync it over rather than have to leave your phone alone while it downloads hundreds of megabytes of apps. Many apps use SD cards (and full SD permissions) to get around this by having a downloader app go and download all the game assets and such.

Finally - fragmentation. Different screen sizes, different OS versions (a year after Gingerbread is released, it's on 50% of the devices. Which means roughly 100,000,000 out of the 200,000,000 Android devices run the what was latest and greatest OS. ALl the others run Froyo or prior (yikes). iOS has similar issues, but the number of people stuck at iOS 3 (only iPhone and iPhone 3G (iOS 4 doesn't run well so I'm not going to count it)) is fewer than those capable of running iOS 4/5, plus a number are upgrading. Ice Cream Sandwich will resolve this (Google's words), and maybe by tihs time next year we'll have 50% of Androids running ICS.

Then there's the black sheep - AOSP. Without access to the market, it has to use alternative marketplaces, bringing us back to piracy.

IMHO nothing to do with users. (1)

musikit (716987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38389992)

lets see... i have to use eclipse which is god aweful slow, and i still cant figure out how to get functionality to work even after reading the documentation and support forums. i.e. reverting to previous versions of a file. undo buffer is too small.
i cant debug C++ code at all.
often the adb manager loses connection with the phone
often the adb manager wont print out log messages from the phone to eclipse.
i have to use cygwin (dont mind since i typically install it anyway) but really it seems they couldnt do this without linux/unix.
i need a new usb driver from every manufactuer in order to use that device with windows.

thats off the top of my head....

Strawman Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38389996)

They start off with:

From Schmidt’s perspective, it’s nothing more than a numbers game.

Nice strawman that they construct and then proceed to tear down, rubbish journalism.

The REAL reason (5, Funny)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390008)

Come on, we all know that the REAL reason devs prefer to code for iOS is because it's the only way we can convince the wife that we NEED that shiny overpriced MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

The Wife Acceptance Factor.

Bah, humbug.. (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390082)

I have both iOS and Android devices. The simple reason why I've purchased more apps on iOS is because the free equivalents weren't available as they are in the Android App Market. My daughter uses the iOS device (an iPod Touch) and I have a Droid2 and a Samsung Transformer. When she gets her phone it will be an Android device, likely a Samsung Nexus and she'll inherit the Transformer. So far I've spent about $100 in apps for the Android and that will likely grow because the tablets have proven to be quite useful.

As a dev: more paid download on iOS (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390180)

My understanding is that there have been about 15 billion download under iOS and 10 billion under Android. However the more important number is that under iOS 2/3 of those are paid apps while under Android only 1/3 are paid apps.

As a developer [perpenso.com] I plan to support both iOS and Android. I design things to separate UI and core code, and the later is written in a highly portable manner using C/C++ to make additional platforms easier to target. However things like the above tell me to target iOS first.

I understand the "walled garden" concerns many Android users have but from a developer's perspective an unfragmented distribution channel (a single app store) is also attractive.

All mostly valid points......... (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390184)

Although I might add that the hardcore android users are much more likely to view their phone as a tool rather than a toy, resulting in a lot fewer apps bought on a whim.

I'm the opposite (5, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390202)

I'm the exact opposite. My game engine and various libraries (lua, box2d, etc) are all written in C++ / C, thus I have a single codebase that I build for both iOS and Android (and Windows and OSX). 99.9% of the code is shared - there are literally a few dozen lines of Javascript / Objective C that tie events at the app level into my game engine.

I greatly prefer to release for Android first, and I can't imagine why anyone would want to release for iOS version first. I can patch bugs and have a new Android build online and rolled out to my users within an hour or so. I can throw a new build straight to a user via a URL or email that they can upgrade to directly to check the fix (which is, for all intents and purposes, not an option with iOS having to deal with getting the user's device ID, generating a mobileprovision file, using one of my 100 device slots, etc, etc) With iOS my app has to go through the entire approval process again, adding at least a 1 week minimum delay before the bug fixes reach the users. It's far better allowing the Android users to give the game a thorough thrashing for several days to make sure there aren't any obscure or hard to trigger bugs, then roll out to the iOS folks.

Re:I'm the opposite (5, Interesting)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390366)

Sounds like an argument for why end users "feel" that iOS apps are more polished. End users tend to loathe updates. As a developer I completly see the value in your statement, but I can also see the point of view of people who don't want updates.

Re:I'm the opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390492)

Wow. That's a point of view I've never heard before. My wife seems to think the far more frequent updates on Kubuntu versus Windows are a good sign; it gives her more confidence in the system.

Re:I'm the opposite (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390596)

I do remember a time when software was actually tested before being published. Now it seems everyone insists on public, paying betatesting.

Re:I'm the opposite (1)

notKevinJohn (2218940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390540)

I couldn't agree more. In terms of ease of development, Android blows iOS out of the water. I also think its a much better platform for entry level developers to learn on.

Re:I'm the opposite (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390664)

So you use Android consumers as beta testers while you iron out the bugs in a rushed, poorly tested product?

I know I'm going to be modded troll but, sorry, that's what your "interesting" post sounds like - you prefer to release to Android first because you can quickly and rapidly fix problems rather than taking the time to properly build and test your app before releasing it into the market.

I'm even going to go one step further in my near-trollish commentary: you're one of the reasons that Android users are less inclined to actually spend money on an app because developers likely rush them out whereas iOS developers take extra time to make sure it's "just right" before putting it out because it's such a headache to fix problems. iOS users are more confident in a reliable app while Android users are faced with buggy initial releases. I don't know, call me crazy (or a troll, as you wish), but I wouldn't rush out to spend money on an Android app if your view is indicative of the majority of Android developers....

Benefits of a hardware monoculture (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390270)

One of the primary reasons is ease of development, because the screen size and resolution of every iOS device is a know quantity. The primary thing that will be boosting Android development is Amazon's tablet, especially once it's user base exceeds the iPad's user base.

I'm guessing the following... (5, Insightful)

RanceJustice (2028040) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390308)

If I was going to totally through ethics out the window for the pursuit of profit as an "App" developer, I'd easily choose the Apple monoculture. Lets face it, Apple users are used to being free with their money; these people were, in a year that wasn't prefixed by "199", paying $40-60 for a bloody unzipping program. Now, these same people have paid a bloody fortune for a locked down phone and again for a locked down tablet which are both predicated on an "it just works, so long as you make sure you always buy the new one" monoculture, and attached their credit card they use for impulse purchases to it That's PT Barnum-level temptation right there!

So long as one doesn't mind paying for dev access and isn't interested in making programs that strain social mores and/or step on Apple's toes, once you've made it past the gate the walled garden I'm sure appears glorious. You don't have to worry about multiple hardware/software platforms outside the well-documented and very limited iSphere, you are assured your userbase has someone's money to spend, and so long as you abide by The Apple Way For Developers (tm) and kowtow properly to cocoa and objective C, you'll probably watch the dollars roll in.

Re:I'm guessing the following... (4, Insightful)

wilson_c (322811) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390524)

The best thing about being inside the walled garden is that it muffles the sound of all the sanctimonious twits whining endlessly because they attach ethical judgements to to the most tedious of consumer choices.

I only "paid" for 10 cent Minecraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390372)

On my android devices, my iOS devices on the other hand have plenty of purchases, easily over a hundred dollars. Yes even smurfberries. Apple is right about the competition being "flummoxed", there is simply more software worth buying on iOS. Android has the hardware (I love my HTC Sensation), iOS has the Apps.

I agree with Google on this one (4, Interesting)

Thorizdin (456032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390380)

We publish on both iOS and Android and I can say without a doubt its a MUCH bigger pain in the ass to publish with Apple. Their processes for vetting applications, even updates, takes several days and they certainly don't work on weekends. It also took significantly (over a month) longer to get setup with an Apple developer account and the requirements in terms of legal documents are significant, to the point that my company had to go to the office of our Secretary of State to get some documents filed that we hadn't needed in more than 20 years of existence. In short, I can't see anyone who does freemimum or truly free apps preferring Apple and its certainly NOT a friendly environment for start ups. Interestingly the Amazon market is kind of a middle ground between the almost too open Android market and Apple's too closed (IMO) approach.

Re:I agree with Google on this one (2)

multiben (1916126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390636)

The reason that releasing for Apple is a pain, is the exact same reason why the majority of the non-techy world prefer to own Apple. It alleviates the need for them to do the vetting and testing themselves. They know that if the app is on the store then it has already gone through an approval process which gives them peace of mind. Most people aren't interested in the politics of open/closed and all the associated crap that we techies carry on with. They want something that works and they don't want to spend time getting it working. And at the end of the day, having an entire deployment, merchant and marketing infrastructure at your disposal is worth waiting for a few days here and there IMO.

Someone hire this guy a proofreader (1)

fiordhraoi (1097731) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390412)

I know it's mostly off-topic, but
"Google Chariman"
"where advertisers will more money"
"And as for more Android smartphones released more recently"
etc, etc. And that's just what I caught at a glance.

The short answer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38390470)

Android users are cheaper bastards than the cheapest of iOS users.

Pay to develop? (1)

stevenfuzz (2510476) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390520)

Seriously, you have to pay to develop with iOS? Has to be on a Mac? Do I have all this right? Do they make you pay for the IDE as well? I am a developer by trade, recently taught myself android 3.2 dev. Code wise, I have to say I do enjoy java coding (I get sick of bs web dev). Tool wise, it's pretty good in Eclipse. It's free. Maybe, since I am developing android as a hobby, I guess it just blows my mind that they don't open development on iOS to everyone, on any platform. Can I develop iOS in Linux, or do I have to use that scratch and sniff (Spring fart smell) Mac OS? Maybe Google should only allow android dev on Linux under a monthly subscription plan. Apparently boxing everything in and constantly charging, re-charging, and over-charging your user base (including development talent) is the recipe for success.

one word: consistency (5, Informative)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390526)

I'm developing on both Android and IPhone; started out on Android and now have extended my repetoire to IPhone.

The advantage but also disadvantage with Android is that it's very open-ended. Often you want to get a specific thing done and you end up alot of time bending the API to your will. (Oh tabview, why art though so...) Or bump into the limitations of your architecture and need to rework some things to get it running.(why does it crash on device x when I have two nested frameviews to have this design? Why doesn't it scale well on device y?)

The IPhone API takes more knowledge (how does that delegate call again and what object is stored where and how do I get a refernce to this?) but it's consistent. And the look is consistent. (which shaves up alot of time thinking about the GUI when trying to implement it.)

I'm an avid Android lover but I can appreciate the IPhone API as well.

Money, money, money... (0, Troll)

KZigurs (638781) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390642)

It's all about the fact that casual purchase on iOS takes ... 20 seconds? Casual purchase on Android takes ... 20 minutes? I've timed them.

And sometimes I'm a casual user. Anybody who has any experience on what mobile apps industry used to look like 10 years ago* (and don't be mistaken - there was one and really powerful one) simply cannot ignore the simplicity Apple ecosystem has brought to table.

*Remember Siemens SL45? That little thing with J2ME and MP3...

Fictional Truth (0)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38390674)

Which imaginary developers are these that thing the hassle and expense of XCode and iOS programming is better than the free one-file setup of Eclipse and Android programming?

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