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Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:12 AM   #1
alksion
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App Development: iOS vs Android - Devs losing faith!

A few years ago, I got my first Android device after being on Windows Mobile for quite some time, painful time may I add. That first Android device was the HTC Hero for sprint. Cool little device at the time and I enjoyed it for what it was.

The day the HTC Evo 4G came out, I went and bought that. Why am I telling you my Android buying history? Well because I find myself a bit confused with something that has happened.

Using the HTC Hero (3.5"), I obviously downloaded a host of apps on what was the Android market at the time. When I got my HTC Evo 4G (4.3"), I again downloaded the same apps that were on my Hero. Each app that I opened had no problems displaying the full screen real estate of the Evo even though I just came from a Hero.

Why is this important? Well, it's because I am pretty confused. I bought the 4S on launch day and enjoyed every second of it. I have always had an iPod Touch and enjoyed the apps on that much more than on my WM or Android devices. Polished to a tee. The UI, optimization and integration, simply unrivaled (at least at the time).

So here's my question and concern, thanks if you stayed with me this far. Why can't the apps for the iPhone 4S and below automatically scale to fit the iPhone 5 resolution without any updates just like it did with my Hero to my Evo? I don't know what difference's there are with Android and iOS SDK's, but obviously there are and I would love to be enlightened on them.

Last but not least, I wanted to add that I have seen the holy grail (app store) of iOS start to slip ever so slightly. Many of my paid apps that I have enjoyed from my first iPod touch have slowly but surely lost more and more support over the years. Recently, I have contacted multiple devs about issues such as retina support (believe it or not), iPhone 5 support, simple bug updates, new OS integration and much more. The replies I have received have been dismal at best. The only thing I can personally take from these devs replies are that they either have lost most of their interest in iOS development or they are losing faith in the Apple ecosystem and/or growth of iOS as a platform itself.

Sorry if all you see is wall text, but I would love to have my one question answered as well as open discussion for my other point. Cheers!
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:14 AM   #2
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When developing for Android, due to the massive array of different devices and screen sizes, we have to make the application scalable, it is built around being able to scale to different screen resolutions. The SDK makes it very easy to make scalable user interfaces and UI objects, so that will be the reason you see Android apps support different screen sizes out of the box.

With iOS however, we had been sitting around with the same screen size for 5 years, there was no need to make scalable user interfaces or UI objects, although it was best practice to do so. Apps that just use basic integrated UI elements such as Twitter, were easily upgradable to the 4-inch standard because the interface objects simply scale easily. More complicated interfaces such as games will take longer to do so, as it is not just a question of how, but also a question of what to do with the larger real estate.

The simple answer is, Android and the SDK were built from the start to support multiple resolutions, where as we did not receive the tools or the ability to do so on iOS until September 2012, it will take time for developers to catch up. I personally was able to upgrade all my apps to support the 4-inch display within a week, but my apps were not games and did not have hugely complicated user interface elements.

Answering your question to devs losing interest, granted there will be a number of dormant apps on the store that won't have even been upgraded to retina standard, but the interest in iOS is still there, it remains the most profitable platform for developers.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:20 AM   #3
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I have heard it mentioned in the past that developers prefer iOS because users are much more willing to pay for apps whereas on Android users on average prefer to download the free versions. I'm sure this has changed in recent times due to market growth. I know certain apps are tested on android because of the outreach. Having come from android myself I have to say some of the same apps I have downloaded on iOS seem a lot more polished and dare I say it, stable.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 06:13 AM   #4
AndyWong
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Your HTC 3.5" and 4.3" have the same screen ratio.
iPhone 4 and 5 have different ratio.

If 4 games are stretch on 5, then many of your game character will look like midgets.

My purely assumption without research.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 08:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Real-Deal82 View Post
I have heard it mentioned in the past that developers prefer iOS because users are much more willing to pay for apps whereas on Android users on average prefer to download the free versions. I'm sure this has changed in recent times due to market growth. I know certain apps are tested on android because of the outreach. Having come from android myself I have to say some of the same apps I have downloaded on iOS seem a lot more polished and dare I say it, stable.
You're right, it has to do with profits and growth. At first, it was all iOS and it still is, but to a much lower extent. Profitability of Android app development is quickly catching up to iOS:

http://m.guardiannews.com/technology/appsblog/2012/dec/04/ios-android-revenues-downloads-country

But, that's not all. It appears that profitability of most apps, regardless of platform, is going down. At first, small developers were making great amounts of money, but now thst the corporations have become involved, this has changed. It now appears that the majority of developer profits is reaching the pockets of only a small group of developers. For the small developers, it's hard to compete with this huge corporations. And with huge corporations dominating these app stores, we're likely to see less personal app support.

http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/05/half-of-revenue-generated-by-ios-and-android-apps-goes-to-just-25-developers/
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:56 PM   #6
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All very interesting replies. One would think that apple would provide developers with the scalable code maybe a year in advanced so that things like this would not happen.

Do any of you feel these are the first signs of iOS becoming somewhat fragmented or am I just looking into this too deeply?
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 01:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by alksion View Post
All very interesting replies. One would think that apple would provide developers with the scalable code maybe a year in advanced so that things like this would not happen.

Do any of you feel these are the first signs of iOS becoming somewhat fragmented or am I just looking into this too deeply?
Between every iPhone, iPod, iPad, and iPad Mini ever released, there are a total of 5 screen resolutions. I'd hardly call that fragmentation.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 02:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alksion View Post
All very interesting replies. One would think that apple would provide developers with the scalable code maybe a year in advanced so that things like this would not happen.

Do any of you feel these are the first signs of iOS becoming somewhat fragmented or am I just looking into this too deeply?
Like already posted it is a change in aspect ratio so scalable code would not work well. Everything would be stretched out of proportion.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vundu View Post
Like already posted it is a change in aspect ratio so scalable code would not work well. Everything would be stretched out of proportion.
That makes sense. Thank you everyone for the valuable information!
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