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Big Dev's Being Driven To iOS Due to Android Fragmentation Issues

According to the BBC Android is a lot more costly to develop for and less engaging for users than its counterpart, iOS. This comes after a complaint was made saying that the company favored iOS development as it was adding new features to its on demand iPlayer on iOS devices and not to Android devices.

fragmentacao android
Android 's fragmentation issues! / © Developers Android


The BBC trust rejected this complaint by saying that they found many logical reasons as to why the updates where not made to the android iPlayer.

Some of the reasons that they put forward as to why they were adding features to the iOS devices before they were added to the Android was that the Android platform was fragmented, costly and complex to develop for.

The BBC also mentions that engagement levels are also higher on iOS devices and this seems to make sense because why develop for users who are not going to use the product quite as much. The BBC also has limits on budgets that they can work with and because the Apple's mobile platform is a lot more homogenous, it is a lot cheaper and easier to develop for it. Android on the other hand has hundreds of different manufacturers with thousands of different devices which have different capabilities, running different versions of Android and having different screen sizes.

Google still has a lot of work to do

The situation proves that Google still has quite a bit of work to do when it comes to making sure that the Android platform is more attractive to developers. It seems that its quite difficult for developers to ensure that Android users are gettting a consistent experience on their mobile devices with really breaking the bank.

What do you think of the BBC's decision to introduce new features to iOS first before Android?

Source: Computer World


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  • ljhaye Jun 2, 2013 Link to comment

    BBC iPlayer or the Nike FUEL band make iOS a priority for development because open doesn't always equal profitable ( Motorola, HTC, etc.). I'm an app developer and we only code for iOS because it is profitable android is not. Android getting better isn't the issue the issue is changing their user's habits in order for developers to make money from them. Android is free so the expectation is for the apps to be free. Apple wants developers to make money and not worry about their work being stolen ( piracy). Apple posts real numbers regarding sales and usage metrics while Android OEMs and Amazon refuse to report that data. Even google number of activations is BS because it doesn't say what counts as an activation and one phone can be activated many times. Google also doesn't share Play Store data but Apple shares it App Store data.

    We have noticed developers beginning to target the Samsung Galaxy line specifically for Android Apps, further making Android synomous with Samsung. Which makes sense due to the fragmentation of non selling phones. Samsung is selling the most phones and so it's cheaper to code for them and increase the chance to make money.

    Open beats closed but when it comes to sharing detailed information about the financial health and viability of a platform Apple crushes Google and its OEM partners!

  • The BBC really makes me angry with things like this, it is very simple just develop for the last 2 versions of Android, that's over 50% of all Android users which is probably the equivalent or close to the numbers of iOS user. The problem is that you will probably find as Facebook did that most of the staff use Apple products thus no incentive. Yet as usual they will alienate most of their users who pay their wages. It is standard practice for industry to leave behind old OS's, Microsoft no longer supports XP for example, yet Windows 7 is just a derivative.

  • You're definitely spot on there. Apple have done a good job in that regard whilst android still has a long way to go. Developers might stick with android because of the market share that it has though.

  • It's true. Android was built to dominate market share to ensure Apple didn't monopolise the, new, smart phone market it made. Minimal consideration was made for developers and it's now hurting them. I've been saying this for a very long time to many developers and it's good to see this a blog focused on Android.

    From what I've seen from google I/O I believe they're releasing some very very very nice dev tools that'll help developers tackle the fragmentation issues but it's still going to cost developers time, meaning money, to test their apps on all devices.

    As closed as Apple is they're still proving the best customer experience and the usage stats show this clearly. Ofcourwse, this will change over time when android dev's and oem's mature and understand how to create this experience.

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