Today at Mobile First CrunchUp, a panel focused on designing mobile experiences. Present on that panel was Android’s Director of User Experience, Matias Duarte. As it happens every time you put more than one mobile developer in a room, they started to talk about Android vs. iOS.
Since this panel was focused on designing mobile apps, it was just a matter of time before somebody asked, “Why are iPhone applications better looking than Android applications?” Duarte responded, “Why are Sicilians more handsome than other gentleman?” implying that this is just a matter of preference. He later added, “There’s no reason why you can’t have a beautiful Android app or an ugly iPhone app.” And we have to agree. There are lot of Android apps out there that look much better than iOS’ apps.
However, Duarte did admit there’s a slight difference between Android and iOS in terms of app quality. He credited this to the simple fact that Android is younger than iOS. “You need to give people time to develop on it,” he said. In another instance, Jake Mintz from Bump talked about one more reason iOS’ apps might look better than Android’s in general, saying, “I bet if you put 100 designers in a room, more are Mac users and more are iPhone users. It’s reflecting the users of the platform.”
Personally, I can attest to Mintz’s claims that most designers use a Mac. And this is no coincidence. Apart from the fact that Apple’s well-designed products appeal to artists, the company also provides most art schools with Mac computers. Because of taste or habit most art students stick to Mac after college.
That said, everybody at the panel ended up agreeing iOS’ design advantage over Android will eventually disappear. It makes sense, seeing how Android continues to grow at an amazing pace and is already more popular than iOS. It’s just a matter of time before those Mac-using designers turn their attention to Android. And we’re guessing Duarte’s work in Ice Cream Sandwich will certainly help.