iOS vs. Android Development

When developers are asked to create an app, there are many factors to consider, the main one being whether to develop for iOS, Android, or both. Although the decision largely depends on the client’s preferences, the differences in developing for iOS or Android should also be taken into consideration. Today’s blog post will mention a couple of those differences.

Environment

iOS: Apple has an integrated development environment known as Xcode. It’s modern, fast, and improvements are always being implemented for developers to have a great experience. One of the features of Xcode includes an interface builder that is built in, so you can design and test user interface without writing any code. It’s also quite fast.  Another feature includes three different editing tools (source, assistant and version) that each have unique functions to make editing a breeze. There are many additional features that make developing apps a pleasant experience.

Android: For a long while, Eclipse, customized with Android plugins, was the only IDE being used for developing Android apps. There have been many ups and downs with Eclipse. Instead of being easily accessed with everything developers need at their fingertips, Android uses plugins that the developer installs according to his or her preferences. Complaints of it being too complex compared to Xcode led to another IDE for Android, known as Android Studio. Android Studio provides new features and improvements over Eclipse. It’s still not fully ready, but users can still download, preview and use its main features. Once it has been perfected, it will takeover Eclipse and be the official Android IDE. Below is a chart comparing the new and improved Android Studio to Eclipse.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 8.20.45 AM
UX Design

iOS: As mentioned previously, Apple has an interface builder that is very sleek and simple way to put great user interfaces together quickly. Although it’s excellent for simple things, as time goes by and apps start to evolve, the simple things turn into more complex and unnecessary things. For example, Apple added multi-screen storyboards a year and a half ago, and they’ve received some mixed reviews. But there is also three screen size views for each of Apple’s platforms, making development for iPhones, iPads and Macs much more pleasing. iOS also has default visual elements such as popup menus and messages that are visually attractive for developers.

Android: Although Android has a comparable visual tool to Apple’s, developers have to go through the process of writing XML files for layout guidelines. This renders apps on the various devices and screen sizes out there. Since they don’t provide you with screen layouts like Apple, it can cause some frustration. Unlike iOS, Android does have an icon pack for developers to use, which is a drag and drop tool to use for designing layouts for apps.

Programming Language

iOS: The native apps are written in Objective-C. There are a couple advantages to Objective-C. It has blocks, which is a section of code written together. It also has categories, which you can add to any existing class to add functionality to make it easier to do something.

Android: These apps use Java, which is a class-based, object-oriented language. It’s one of the most in-demand programming languages out there. It’s also the set standard for enterprise software- web-based content, games and mobile apps.

Stay tuned for more differences in future blog posts!