Prior to the arrival of Android and Windows Phone, Apple was the dominant player in the mobile space, rivaled only by Nokia and BlackBerry. With the emergence of new mobile platforms, it has become more and more important to ask yourself which platform is best suited for you. In spite of Apple’s head start in 2007, Android has surpassed iOS in market share. What does that mean for iOS? Is it still a platform worth developing for? It sure is. There are many great reasons to get started with iOS development.
Strong Financial Incentives: People spend more money on Apple’s App Store than on any other mobile platform. Despite the fact that Android has become the dominant player in the mobile space, the iOS platform remains more lucrative for developers.
Walled Garden: Even though Apple’s App Store has received a lot of criticism from developers and customers, especially Apple’s review process, it is clear that this policy has led to an App Store in which the quality of the average application is higher than in any other mobile store. Customers also tend to feel much safer when purchasing applications from the App Store than they do on other more open platforms, such as Google Play.
Community and Support: The iOS developer community is a great community to be part of. There is an almost unlimited supply of articles, tutorials, and documentation to help you out when you find yourself stuck with a problem. In addition, Apple’s documentation of the iOS SDK is superb, not to mention the hundreds of WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) videos available to every registered iOS developer.
People often forget or don’t know that Android and iOS are very different platforms. Even though both platforms were designed for the mobile space, the iOS ecosystem differs in many respects from Google’s Android ecosystem. From a development perspective, most people seem to find it easier to develop for the iOS platform than for the Android platform. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not referring to the technology stack that each platform uses nor am I referring to the available tools for each platform. Two reasons are at the foundation of the chasm between iOS and Android, fragmentation and adoption rate.
One of Android’s core strengths is at the same time one of its principal weaknesses. As most of you know, the Android operating system is released as an open source project and can therefore be used and modified. Numerous hardware manufacturers saw the potential of Android, especially as it was backed by Google. Android quickly gained in popularity as a result. The problem is that each hardware manufacturer has modified Android to fit their needs and a wide variety of form factors have emerged since Android’s introduction.
Even though Android’s market share may seem like a big pot of honey, it’s a pain to create software that runs on each Android version currently available. Due to the thousands of different devices that run Android, testing software on hardware is no trivial task either. As you can imagine, support and compatibility become a real challenge.
Traditionally, in many countries, the wireless market is under tight control by cellular carriers. From the very beginning, Apple knew it needed to be in control of its mobile devices to provide the best user experience possible. The result is that customers can upgrade their iOS devices to the latest version of iOS the same day it is released to the public. This is a major advantage of the iOS platform and he result is substantial. Less than three months after the release of iOS 7, over 74% of iOS devices had been upgraded to iOS 7.
Let’s compare this with Android. In December 2013, less than 55% of Android users had upgraded their devices to Jelly Bean (released in July 2012) and 1.1% had upgraded to KitKat (released in October 2013).
The reason for bringing up these numbers is not to downplay the Android platform or any other mobile platform. What I want to emphasize is the impact the adoption rate has on the application ecosystem of these platforms. The slower users adopt a new release of an operating system, the longer developers are forced to support older versions of the operating system and it becomes less appealing to adopt new technologies, which can only be used on a fraction of the Android devices.
Even though Android is catching up, iOS is still by far the best platform in terms of monetization. During Apple’s most recent event, Tim Cook announced that customers had downloaded more than 60 billion applications and that Apple had paid more than $ 13 billion to iOS developers. In September 2013, during Apple’s annual iPhone event, Tim Cook announced that the company had sold more than 700 million iOS devices. If you are thinking about developing for a mobile platform, then iOS is an excellent choice and the financial incentive for doing so is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Web Applications: A web application is your first option and this was in fact the only option prior to the introduction of the native iOS SDK in 2008. The upside of web applications is that they don’t have to deal with the App Store or Apple’s review process. Why is that? A web application is a fancy name for a website that acts and behaves like an application. All you need is a browser, such as Mobile Safari or Google Chrome.
Web applications have clear advantages. They are cross-platform by default since the application runs in a browser. Another advantage is the learning curve to create web applications. If you are familiar with web development, then you will be up and running in no time.
Even though mobile development frameworks might seem like the holy grail for mobile development, there are a number of downsides that need to be considered. The most important downside is that your application depends on a third party framework. In other words, your entire code base becomes dependent on the company that provides the cross-platform solution. If that company goes broke or is slow to implement changes made to the native SDK, you could be forced to start over from scratch. That’s a risk that shouldn’t be ignored.
iOS SDK: Choosing to develop with the native SDK is the best choice if you want to create applications that stand out and take full advantage of the device’s capabilities. Opting for a native application also means that you will work in a robust development environment and that you can rely on Apple’s development tools, utilities, and support.
Over at Tekslate IOS Training you can learn IOS Technology in-depth.
Visit http://tekslate.com/ios-development-training/ for more information on IOS