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Ios And Android: Understanding The Two Most Popular Development Platforms

By Author: Yancy Marry
Total Articles: 185

iOS or Android? The competition between the two major operating systems is never ending; and while it has been declared that Android has surpassed iOS in terms of popularity and sale, there is still a section of developers & entrepreneurs who trust the brand Apple and its platform. Here we take a look at the technicalities that are part of iOS and Android, in order to understand the two most used app development platforms better.

iOS as a Development Platform

This proprietary operating system of Apple runs on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. The concept of ‘multitouch interaction’ was started by iOS; user input in iOS has always been through actions like tapping, swiping, pulling, or pinching. iOS is primarily a UNIX operating system since it shares the foundation of the Darwin operating system. The Mac OS X software used in iOS provides four abstraction layers for any set of functionality of this major OS platform. They are the Media layer, the Core OS layer, the Cocoa Touch layer, and the Core Services layer.

Mobile app developers working with the iOS platform generally have a lot of control over this operating system. This is because of the fact that the SDK (software development kit) provision was not available to developers for creating native applications till the version iOS 2.0. Though iOS 3.0 and iOS 4.0 were launched in the mobile market after several changes like push notification & core location were introduced, the SDK facilities are limited.

A mobile app developer primarily has to work with the Xcode development environment under the iOS. Xcode comes as a free download from the developer portal of Apple. Every app developer creates an account with iTunes to get access to this portal. If the developer wants to test his/her application on a mobile device before releasing it in the mobile market, an annual fee of $99 has to be paid to Apple to avail the service.

Android as a Development Platform

Android has already been declared as one of the greatest operating systems to have been launched in several surveys conducted amongst people of different age groups. Free development tools and online provision of documentation are the chief causes that have accounted for Android becoming the most popular OS platform. Also, an app developer does not need to register hardware as one of the development devices or purchase special developer phones before using the Android platform for designing mobile applications. The Android SDK is empowered with an extremely functional emulator that nullifies the need to even possess mobile devices that run the Android OS. However, releasing apps in the market without testing can be a risky affair for app developers and that is why they prefer to own devices running on the Android platform.

Another advantage of using Android is that a developer does not require many skills for app creation on this OS platform. There are several guides found on the internet demonstrating the Android development environment as there are JavaScript programs. Apart from the guides & tutorials, the Android Eclipse plugin has a wizard explaining the process of app development to a designer. Moreover, the cost of application development on Android is also very low.

Though the iOS and Android OS platforms have their distinctive properties and advantages, cross platform application is recommended. Use cross platform techniques, a developer can utilize the best of both platforms.

Copper Mobile, a Dallas based enterprise app developer provides mobility consulting solutions to various industry verticals. The team of iPhone app developer, BlackBerry, and Android developers has created more than 300 apps for clients.

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