Apr 01 AT 6:23 PM Dustin Earley 33 Comments

Read this: How iOS is still creating a negative impact on Android

android-apple Image via: laihiu with Creative Commons

When iOS was first released, there’s no denying it was a revolutionary product. Since then, in terms of features and flexibility, Android has eclipsed iOS three times over. Yet many Android apps still function at a lower capacity. Despite having a clear advantage in overall market share, iOS leads the pack in mind share. Companies still develop for iOS first, and that can have a negative impact on Android.

Ian G. Clifton, Android developer and Director of User Experience at ARO in Seattle, has taken to his more, “technical” blog, to express his thoughts and ideas on the subject. Despite its popularity, Android still suffers because of iOS’ limitations, and the perception that iOS apps should be the, “golden standard.”

Clifton covers everything from app icons and widgets, to sharing and notifications. He shares personal stories on how iOS apps negatively influence their Android counterparts, and provides a handful of technical details as well. Most Android power-users are well aware of how limited iOS sharing is, and iOS users are well aware that their device’s home screen can turn into a sea of blue icons in no time, but Clifton brings up some interesting and valid points on both subjects in an elegant, easy to understand fashion.

Head on over to the source link, give it a read, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below.

Source: A Dash of Mobile Developement

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • redraider133

    It makes sense and sadly most normal consumers have no idea otherwise. More needs to be said about the limitations of IOS and how comparing their apps to android apples is like comparing apples to oranges( no pun intended)

    • muii

      I’m not a fan of Apple and iPhones (for the least I can say), but one domain where Android is years behind iOS is all the music creation domain. On Android it litteraly sucks. On iOS you can have wathever app you dreamed of to make music.
      And dev can’t do a thing about it, it’s the way the whole Android sound system is implemented that makes it having a lot of latency (so dev won’t bother trying to develop knowing there will be crappy results).
      Sad to say but that’s just something that will lead me to an iDevice one day or another even if I hate it.

      • Agret

        As of JellyBean they have reworked the audio subsystem to reduce audio latency:


        They have made it even better in 4.2, should upgrade your phone and see for yourself.

        • muii

          I agree the audio subsystem has been reworked, and latency greatly improved.
          Before JB latency was a joke, and now it’s not just even what was reached on the iPhone 3G. So it’s still laughable and still not usuable to be acceptable (considering all the different Hardwares Android run on).
          My phone is already upgraded to the lastest CM10.1 thanks.
          But anyway Google neglect this part for too long and the harm is done, if you want to do some music with a tablet or phone you HAVE TO buy an iThing. Sad but true. And this is not going to change in the near future (read in the next 5 years)

      • Jimmy_Jo

        Our mobile devices are not for music creation. That’s what you use a laptop/desktop for. The fact that there aren’t many music creation apps (which is true) should not be considered as an issue. They need to get to the point where apps are released simultaneously.

        • muii

          Our mobile devices are certainly not for music creation, that’s exactly my point Jimmy !
          I’m on Android since the 1.6, and saw the potential, and that exploded in the five past years, I can say Android beats iOS in almost every ways, but I’m so frustrated it never get serious about music, I’m waiting this for years but now that all professionnals and dev turned to the iSide we’re doomed in this area.
          I have to say this article is right, except for the music creation part where Apple leads far ahead (and I’m so ashamed not to be able to have things like an iRig on Android).

        • Andrew Goodwin

          I agree, I almost feel asleep while reading that comment. I am an average user, and I didn’t even understand what he meant. That means that most people won’t. mobile phone market isn’t a niche market, its about appealing to the mob.

  • jesse

    Maybe developers don’t put as much effort into Android apps because they don’t make as much money from them. Check out this comment by Michael Ruhlman about his app, Ratio (which is an amazing app, despite some usability issues): http://ruhlman.com/2013/02/crepes-and-the-power-of-ratios/comment-page-1/#comment-112697. It’s a shame because I’d love to buy his other apps, but he clearly has no incentive to develop Android versions.

  • Prince77

    What this says is that many people aren’t really paying attention to what’s inside the phone, they are just worried about the name, PERIOD!!! I work with a girl who purchased an iPhone 4 or 4S. and didn’t understand nothing about it, she came to me ( I don’t even like Apple products), cause someone told her I’m good with phones. She couldn’t even tell me what she did and I was like why you get this?? She says I’m thinking about taking it back, but never did. So to this day she still doesn’t know what she is doing with the phone. That shows me that she was just all about the name instead of getting something that she would be able to understand and get use to.

    • brady

      she just might not be that into technology.. she prolly would have been equally clueless about an android-based phone. … but you do have a point … ppl will buy stuff based on fads and name brands rather than hands-on enjoyment or purpose.

  • vforvortex

    I agree with the article. App Developers need to make full use of Androids flexibility and not just make an app good enough that works well on both and limit their imagination. Develop for Android, dont regret it by betting on the wrong fruit.

    – Larry Page lives by the gospel of 10x. Most companies would be happy to improve a product by 10 percent, a 10 percent improvement means that you’re basically doing the same thing as everybody else. You probably won’t fail spectacularly, but you are guaranteed not to succeed wildly. That’s why Page expects his employees to create products and services that are 10 times better than the competition. –

  • aranea

    I didn’t know that. I’ll try to make this appear on ios devices of my friends. {Insert evil laugh!!!]

    “One of the most annoying aspects of iOS apps that leaks over to Android is splash screens. Android loads apps extremely quickly, but iOS can take some time, so iOS uses a bit of trickery to give the illusion that it is very responsive. Apps load an image immediately and then replace that with the UI when it’s ready. You can see it when switching between apps too because the default behavior is to take a screenshot when you leave an app and display that screenshot when you return while the app rebuilds itself. It’s particularly noticeable when the battery level jumps around, the rebuilt UI differs from the screen shot, or when you switch into and out of an app quickly and the screenshot doesn’t complete.”

  • mercado79

    Terrific article, Dustin. Really glad you shared it! I’ll be sure to pass it along as well. :-)

  • Ray Lewis, retired NFL beast & double murderer

    People are just sick of android fragmentation and buggy and sloppy apps (facebook?).
    I switched to iPhone 5 and never looked back. Its soooo much better now and all of my friends say told you – android is crappy

    • Prince77

      And Ray Lewis was never charged with murder…..fool

  • Mikes_phone_and_tab

    I sell phones for a living. The top reasons why people say I want an iPhone is

    1.) Everyone has iPhones,

    2.) My (insert family member’s name here) had an Android and she/he doesn’t like it.

    3.) I have an iPad an I was told I couldn’t sync my phone if I don’t have an iPhone (doesn’t even know what syncing is).

    4.) Droids are too big and won’t fit in my pocket.

    Every reason besides probably the last one are uneducated or superficial. There are some people who legitimately understand the benefits of iOS but the majority of iPhone users don’t even know what iOS is. Most people relate Apple to the iPhone but not Google to an Android, most people call Android Droids because of that whole Verizon thing, most iUsers don’t do any research before buying a device, they just know the iPhone works, most iUsers mistake facetiming for video chatting and retina display for a nice display. I can go on but what I am saying here is for the most part just observation. iUsers tend to be uneducated. Most of the time not all of the time. I think Apple has made things so ridiculously easy and straight forward people are actually beginning to become less aware of how to do basic functions with computers. The iPhone is a good device but it’s it has made people unlearn fundamental facts and replaced them with iTerms that make people confused of what they actually mean.

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      That’s why Samsung doing good is not a bad thing for the current Android ecosystem. Just listen to some of the people who want a Samsung Galaxy phone, and you will reach a conclusion — those are the same kind of people you talk about. They have no clue of anything AT ALL. Telling them the HTC One is every bit as capable as the S4 will make you shake your head off your neck. But, there’s no denial that it raises the image of the Android platform as a whole … as long as we don’t make Samsung to be too big a monster that we can’t control. At this moment, however, we still need Samsung. After all, to beat a bunch of iZombies, you need a bunch of Galaxy Zombies.

  • Nathan D.

    I know where I’m going to pay this article you shared, most of my friends have iphone.

    • Mikes_phone_and_tab

      It’s true. The average consumer who doesn’t scour the web for tech related articles like you and me say those sort of things. This is just from my personal experience and isn’t all encompassing but for the most part it is true.

  • DSaif

    If you port an iOS app with the sane UI & UX, you’re just making a fool out of yourself!

  • Shizz

    Makes a great point and reminds us all that just porting an app doesn’t really do either OS justice. Especially not Android

  • Joel

    Good article. Developers still see iOS as the golden standard eh? I figure it’ll remain that way as long Apple has the US on lock.
    Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t most app developers US based?1

  • donger

    It is true to an extent.

  • Sameer

    Your article make sense as i have gone through this phase, First customer want us to make iOS application then say make exact application for Android. If something can not be done in iPhone (because of it limitation), client surprisingly says us to remove that function from both application.

    This need to be change

  • zacks2art

    I am actually a user of both OS. I find they both have some advantages. Ever since ICS Android has really taken hold as the superior OS IMO, however thats not the only thing that drives the development. One of the things that I think we all love that I have to assume hurts development, is the “open” nature of the droid OS. There are SOOOOOO many devices out there running so many different versions of Android. When it comes to iOS there are 14 (i believe) and most are running a handful of different versions of the OS. I love that fact that there is more competition in android and I think it is the reason that it started so far behind in the race with iOS and is now so far out in front, but when a new phone(mainstream) is released every month and it has new hardware and a different skinned version of droid etc etc etc, its got to be tough to keep up. Android is most certainly the OS for people with even basic level understanding of technology and iOS fits everyone else that doesn’t fall into that category. No arguing iOS is a very clean and simple to use OS (more so then most of us with any tech ability desire).

    This is just my opinion, I was an avid iOS(jailbroken) user for years, but I am making the switch now to Droid. As of ICS I started moving away. I have given my iPad to my 7yr old and moved over to a Transformer Infinity, Nexus 7 and and XYboard (work tab since it has 4GLTE) and then I added a Galaxy Note 2 to my phones, but I still keep my iPhone 5 so I can stay up to date with iOS as well…

  • troysyx

    Really awesome article. Its sad how true it is, and that that smokescreen is so built up that other people dont see it…

  • clay3

    I’m surprised that casual end users choose Android the most and developers choose iOS exclusivity the most. That goes completely against the story that iOS is the simple mainstream choice and Android is the enthusiast choice.

  • jski

    I got to try out the iPhone for two weeks last month before I swapped it back in for the GS3. In all honesty, the apps themselves in iOS have a clear advantage over Android in terms of responsiveness and aesthetics. Even the Google apps, especially Gmail, Search, and G+ are WAY sexier on the iPhone (you gotta see it to believe it). That said, it was the lack of sharing capabilities, widgets, and settings toggles that turned me back to Android. Oh, and my mobile life is on Google’s servers.

  • Ulybu

    Thanks for writing down my frustrations!
    Hardware additional comment:
    Can’t stop thinking about the delay nfc-related technologies development suffers due to its non-presence in the iPhone 5..

  • jamal adam

    The average consumer is clueless about all the important things and only focus on the name of the brand. It’s like they have been brainwashed into thinking that a certain phone is better simply because it says iPhone or Apple rather than HTC or Asus, etc.

    This article is well written and clearly brings to light many issues that are problematic. I find that developers should utilize the OS they are working on to it’s fullest potential rather than just porting from one to the other. Just because one OS doesn’t have a set of feature that another has, doesn’t mean that you should instantly deny those users of the features.

  • roberto

    I too hate those iOS styled apps on android. Cheap way to make apps for both platforms. But more and more apps are getting holothemed. What I never understand is if those app developers ever tried their apps on an android device. Most of the apps are working like shit because you have those small “back” buttons on any edge of the screen. People learn that android has swiping tabs because android screens are normally bigger and there is no need to catch a tiny back button. We have that one in our navigationbar!

  • Derek

    Android has surpassed iOS “three times over”?? Spoken like a true fanboy or biased reviewer.

    Development occurs more on iOS because it’s simply easier to develop for. Apple has a superb SDK for iOS, meanwhile Google doesnt. Google’s SDK isnt even a true SDK, its simply a plugin for a “universal” code editor. I’ve used both and Apple’s is 100 times easier to use. Also, development for Android takes place in Java (haha). While development for iOS is in Obj C. Much more powerful language. It’s native code vs. bytecode. It’s why apps zing away on iOS and they stutter and crawl on Android. It’s also why you need a portable super computer to run Android smoothly and why iOS runs silky smooth on a single core A4 chip in iphone 4.

    As, I’ve stated, I’ve developed some apps for both and Apple is much easier to develop on and end up with a professional looking finished product. Until Google comes out with a TRUE SDK or actually improves their NDK (for native C apps), Apple will truly have the edge.

    My first smartphone was the original iphone 2G, then I had the Samsung Galaxy S & HTC Rezound, and now I have the iphone 5. So, I’d like to think I’ve seen both sides of the smartphone dev debate and am speaking as an honest and neutral point of view.

  • brady

    iPhones are mostly urine.. they need to create some kind of nice software experience. or something. Somebody do SOMETHING.