iOS 8 Vs. Android Lollipop – Which one let’s you build better? Here is a quick head to head comparison of the features of both the platforms that developers need to take a look at.
There are more mobile users using the internet than those using fixed internet access lines today, and it comes as no surprise. It’s no longer the question of whether you should have a mobile presence, but rather ‘when?’ Google’s Mobilegeddon update was important for web developers. For app developers, Apple’s introduction of Swift as a programming language was a wake-up call.
Mobile adoption is increasing with a Gartner report stating that users are increasingly satisfied with the current engagement rates. So, does it mean that you need to develop apps for both these OS? That’s one area that many entrepreneurs and developers ponder about. App entrepreneurs and developers are looking to develop apps on both Android and iOS, and are often asking the question, ‘Which one do we look at first’? Here is a quick head to head comparison of the features of both the platforms that developers need to take a look at.
What do you like about the iOS 8 – the new developer friendly features or a smoother performance? iOS 8 has the same design as its predecessor and comes with a number of extensions for developers. With iOS 8, Apple has finally moved away from its policies of not allowing third party extensions to communicate with its operating systems. So, which extensions have come in? Here is a look.
There are other extensions as well. Photo editing extensions allow users to edit photos, right after taking the picture with the phone, without the need to go to the third party app. Storage provider extensions allow users to select cloud services like Dropbox and OneDrive easily.
What makes iOS 8 Special?
We know that iOS 8 boasts of new features – but which ones are the best? There are a host of things that are new to iOS 8. One of them is Continuity, or the ability of Apple users to pick up their work from one Apple device to another Apple device – say you were writing on your Mac and then had to go out – your iPhone could help you finish off your task. Introduction of Swift as a programming language brings in a whole new dimension to app developers. While there is a good learning curve of Swift, Apple promises faster and better app-making with Swift. There are many other features that can be a developers’ paradise – from Family sharing to Health Kit and Home Kit.
Where does it fall short?
Don’t fall in for the iOS 8 as your ultimate choice for app development – there are a number of areas that Apple still needs to address. For instance, Apple didn’t time the release of iOS 8 well, with bugs aplenty leading to missing features for users. Apple had to send in an immediate update to fix the issue.
Apple’s iOS8 isn’t open source like Google’s Android. While that can work to an advantage sometimes, it means that users and developers have to wait for Apple’s acceptance before bringing in something new.
What’s the future like?
The changes by Apple that allows third party app developers to integrate with Apple’s own services, is a positive one. While it opens a new world for developers, users are benefitted as well through increased choice. Apple is expected to work more towards making their OS more developer friendly, with app making becoming easier.
Google’s Android Lollipop
Google has recently unveiled the next Android platform – Android M. The move is a surprising one as Google is yet to fully roll out Android Lollipop for a number of devices. For developers and app publishers, the question often is to choose
Google has made quite a few changes to Lollipop and seems to bring significantly more to the table.
New & Vibrant Google’s Material Design
Lollipop sports a new design, and unlike iOS 8, which is similar in UI to iOS 7, has over 5,000 new API’s for developers. The design, called Google’s Material Design, offers new themes and new widgets that offer complex views and custom shadows and animations with the help of new API’s. Backgrounds and images look sharper than ever and the ‘shadows’ effect is the first to be introduced.
More stable core
Google seems to be doing away with its lagging issue bit by bit. The lollipop promises a more stable core, offering better frame rates and user experience. In fact, Google is investing in Project Volta that is making the cores more energy efficient.
What makes Android Lollipop appeal?
Android is open source and thus has the scope of customization. While Google releases its Android version, most providers customize it. So, there is a different feel to your Samsung Galaxy S 6 than the HTC M9. What the customizations do, is help enhance features and enable developers to expand on device capabilities.
Where does it fall short?
Google is still working on stability. Android still faces the lag issues
What’s the future like?
Google has been experimenting with Android for a long time. It’s time they got it right and the Lollipop was a step in the right direction. Android M, already slated to be released by the year end, will further expand on Android’s capabilities.
Google offers more customizations than Android but a system that still is plagued by lags. iOS offers a lag free system but offers less customizations. Both the companies are looking at enhancing user experience, albeit different ways.
While Apple’s CEO Tim Cook termed Google’s system as vulnerable, Google’s then CEO Larry Page said that there was no real competition to Google. Developers need to understand that both the app ecosystems offer a lot when it comes to exposure and the way out is only to move from one ecosystem to another. As to which ecosystem, works better initially, here’s the deal – Google’s Play Store fares better when it comes to freemium models while Apple is the better way to go first if you’re offering paid apps.
By the end of 2015, the U.K IT and Services market is expected to be worth £43 billion. SaaS model will play a pivotal role in this mammoth growth
Traditional on-premise applications are passé. We have been in the industry for quite a few years and never before has the gap between SaaS and other software delivery models been so wide. Companies that are looking to increase security and drive in productivity aiming to get access to enterprise grade applications.
From helping employees collaborate better with the help of Cloud to coming out with applications to interact with customers, these apps can help increase efficiency and better sales targets.
Having delivered many SaaS and B2B apps in the recent past ourselves, we know that it’s an exciting world out there.
Predicting the trends
So, what does 2015 have in store for us? Going by the current trends, we will see a lot more of Software-as-a-Service this year. Some of the major trends are visible.
For instance, since last year there is a growing demand for vertical SaaS, or solutions to particular industries that mainly include healthcare and financial services. This goes against the traditional norm of growth of horizontal SaaS that were mainly solutions used by sales and HR.
The ACG report corroborates this. The report also states how SaaS models are targeting individual users to form enterprise-wide deals. Here is what happens – SaaS vendors woo in a few employees with what they offer. This in turn leads to potential enterprise deals as employees understand how productivity is affected. The tactic, similar to the freemium model, will see a significant rise this year.
Gartner on its part states that cloud-integration would be a $1.5 billion business soon. SaaS, a type of cloud integration is among them. What works for SaaS is that there are too many avenues still left to be explored. This means that these vendors will be up trying up new tricks up their sleeves, from offering free SaaS to a plethora of on-demand services catered to the audience needs, innovations will be many. SaaS services will be made to focus on specific geographic regions also, to address specific needs of a company. A company in the U.K. can do with a SaaS system that takes into account the U.K. tax structure. You can use the services of a good SaaS app/product development team to design your own SaaS software as well.
There is an increasing need to have these services on mobile devices and that’s what exactly will be happening, with more vendors keen to bring their services to tablets and mobiles. A good app/product team of developers can help you develop your own application that’s available in major app stores too.
The Different Benefits
Most of us have used SalesForce. SalesForce is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and one of the more popular applications out there. SaaS adoption has slowly been picking up, and companies are exploring new avenues to tap into it. Here is why.
Many of these solutions are available on a subscription basis, meaning that you do not have to worry about huge deployment costs. You already have a working API, and do not have to think about creating a website from scratch. You can implement enterprise grade applications as well, that are unique to your organization. There are no costs involved when it comes to installing and maintaining a sales app.
Reduced time to build
The solutions can be built easily and are tailored to suit your organizations’ needs. You can build a site to interact with parents if you’re running a school. You can build a SaaS app to help people book cabs. You can even build apps that can help share thoughts anonymously by users. The possibilities are endless.
Subscription based model
Most SaaS vendors like SalesForce offer a subscription-based model, where you use their services for a particular amount of time. This helps you only to use the services when you need it and adopt newer business strategies quickly, when needed. It doesn’t matter if you create your own SaaS application. Just ensure that you’ve a good SaaS app/product team of developers to help you with issues related to uptime and security and upgrades.
Easy integration and high scalability
Where Software-as-a-Service scores is its easy integration with your company’s systems. Whether it be putting up the company logo or integrating the SaaS software with company systems and company data. Vendors offer API’s that can integrate easily with your company ERP or CRM and even with other providers.
Work on the go
This is perhaps the biggest advantage when it comes to working with a SaaS solution – your employees aren’t restrained by premises and can work when they want, where they want. Is there any urgent project coming up? You can just log the details into the system. Is there a client’s feedback that you need your colleague to check? You can just put it into the system.
If it’s cost effectiveness services that you’re looking for to leverage in business productivity, 2015 can be a great year. Hire a SaaS app development team who can ensure a smooth transition to the SaaS system, without the hiccups.
Much of our day-to-day living would not now be possible without the development of apps. From booking concert tickets and train travel, to changing the heat settings in your home, apps are used today to complete a wide range of everyday tasks.
The complexity of apps today, therefore, means that they have to be designed, constructed and developed in a bulletproof way. There are many ways of doing this, but the rise of cross platform application development frameworks and improvements in native development techniques and customisation means that mobile landscape is now more complicated than ever. It can be tricky to decide which type of development method to use – in this article we will look at both native mobile app development and cross platform app development, weighing up the differences between them and how you can make either work for your app design.
Difference between native and cross platform application development
- Native app development is a platform specific development – designed and built specially for that particular operating system or platform. With the advent of Google’s Material Design, new iOS 7 designs standards and a tendency among many developers to go native, this type of app development is on the rise.
- A cross platform app is developed and designed to work on a number of different platforms in one go- The major advantages of cross-platform tools like PhoneGap, Appcelerator and more is that they support coding in different languages and offer platform independence, thereby cutting development costs.
There are a few good reasons people will choose to use native development for their apps – and some distinct advantages to this way of thinking. These include the code structure – in native code will generally run quicker and be faster to load. In addition to this, new features of the code itself and the general development of the app are far easier integrated into the existing platform – ensuring new features are introduced within the app’s lifecycle.
One other thing to bear in mind is with native development, Android and iOS apps are encouraged to be different. Of course, the UX is different on both platforms, so it goes without saying that with a native app, a developer can tailor the mobile development to suit what users of each operating system would prefer. Styles and different tastes and catered for to a far greater extent using native development.
Native development’s drawbacks, however, are generally concerned with development time and the amount of money required to be invested in initial development.
Cross platform Apps Development
A different way of working is look towards cross platform development – ensuring that users of all operating systems will be able to view your app in the same way. There are many reasons people are drawn to this – from the reduced initial development cost to the relatively minimal coding and simple business logic within the app itself.
If you are developing apps with a broad appeal, , it makes sense to use a cross platform approach to ensure you are reaching a broad spectrum of your audience and you can appeal to people using all types of operating systems. A uniform look and feel, in this instance, is preferred and the fact you don’t necessarily have to create niche marketing messages can reduce costs and time from a promotion point of view, too.
The downside is cross platform development reduces flexibility inherent in today’s operating systems – looking for commonality may undermine the performance and success of your development.
So which is better?
You have to look carefully at your needs when you’re developing an app and choosing how to design and build it. The reality is that both approaches are equally valid – and it may be that the reduced time and cost, as well as the greater reach cross platform development provides, means this may be the way to go.
With this in mind, it’s fair to say that a cross platform approach is better suited to smaller businesses or those who want a lightweight app to fulfill their mobile strategy. Moving on, at possibly a later date, to native, means a greater degree of customisation is possible and it will also provide more adept at handling complex workflows.
Finding a ‘one size fits all’ approach to app development is hard – there may be no easy answer but you should think about the objectives of your app first before you proceed. Researching and understanding your audience and what they’re looking for, is key to the process and you should spend time on this stage before you start design or development stages. You should ensure you contact an app development specialist before you embark on this process if you are unsure as to the steps you should take.