Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone – The Two Most Popular Platforms for Apps & Their Differences

Did you know that Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone are the two most popular platforms for apps to date? A recent whitepaper delves into the common problem of shifting from one mobile platform to another, in particular, Apple’s iOS to Google’s Android or vice versa. The paper explains in detail about the differences in the hardware of the two, programming languages, multiplatform options and testing applications.
Many apps, like Vopium, are designed for both platforms, with Vopium’s newest versions of its international calling app for the two platforms nearly identical. Both the iPhone and android version enable you to take advantage of regular GSM calling as well as WiFI calling. WiFi calls can make international calling extremely cheap or even free when both parties are on WiFi and Vopium. Both platform versions enable you to check the price of the call before you ring and both feature superb sound quality, not to mention also saving you upwards of 94% on the cost of the call.
The fantastic design and structure of both the iOS and android platforms have made it much easier for application developers like Vopium to create apps for anyone with a smartphone, whether an iPhone or android, to take advantage of thousand of exciting and new opportunities.

Android OS

Google’s android is undoubtedly the rising star these days and it will continue to be so in coming years. It has been predicted that Android will hold almost a quarter of worldwide market share by 2014. The Android OS is the first free, open source and fully customizable mobile platform, based on the modified version of the free and open source Linux kernel. Android offers a full software stack, which includes an operating system, middleware, and key mobile applications. The Android software development kit also provides application programming interfaces and other tools necessary for the developers, facilitating them every step.

Apple’s iOS

Apple originally developed its mobile operating system, iOS, for the iPhone and released it in June 2007. Since then both the iPod Touch and the iPad have included iOS. Apple does not permit third-party hardware to run on its operating system, which means it is proprietary software (except for open-source components).

Features:

If we see the features of the two, Android devices support array of features like push messaging, various media formats, Bluetooth, video calling, multi touch, tethering, various connectivity technologies, multitasking, streaming media etc. iOS features include multi tasking, voice memos, contacts, google maps, safari web browser etc.

App store Vs Android Market

Android’s community of developers is expanding at a rapid pace. The number of applications available for download in the Android Market reached 100,000 in October 2010, roughly two years after the first phones running Android OS hit stores. Where as we have over 300,000 applications in the App Store, which includes thousands of games and entertainment titles. Collectively, the App Store boasts over 10 billion downloads.

Difference in programming languages

Java, one of the most popular web programming languages, is the programming language for the Android platform. In comparison to Objective-C, Java has more robust and mature libraries, allowing for more “plug-and-play” and less custom development. Objective-C is the primary programming language used to develop native applications for Apple’s mobile platform, iOS.

Difference in UI design

Designing for Android is totally different than designing for iPhone. Unlike iOS, which has well-established, documented guidelines, the Android UI team is just beginning to document standards for visual and interaction design across the many devices on the market today. With fewer targeted devices, iOS designers have more room to focus on design and interaction principles. The iOS Reference Library contains information geared to guide developers through the whole application creation process.

Hardware Differences

Android-powered smartphone devices, unlike iOS devices, do not have a plethora of standard hardware specifications. Due to device variations, platform versions, and the openness of the platform, there is only one standard hardware specification: four dedicated navigation buttons (Home, Search, Back, and Menu).Other variable device features include high-megapixel cameras, keyboards, touch screens, accelerometers, GPS, and HDMI ports.
Apple is far stricter in device and iOS platform variation. Apple demonstrated consistency across its devices, adding a set of focused standards for application development. This will not dramatically decrease the cost of development, but it does decrease time spent on deciding which device to develop for, programming, and device testing.

Conclusion:

There are no concrete answers when it comes to the route anyone company or business should take when creating a mobile application. The main factors to consider are: the devices and platforms for the app, whether to create a custom or native app, its primary uses, budget, target audience, and most importantly, the reputation and previous work of the developing firm/team. Each platform lends itself differently to the projects at hand, so it’s important to research the advantages and limitations of each operating system.
What are your comments on the two platforms – Android’s OS and iOS and the mobile application development in both?
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