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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    I recently got myself a Nexus 4, my first Android phone, and had been using it as my main phone for the past five days. I come from the iOS world (keen jailbreaker) and my initial reactions were very positive:

    • Love widgets and how convenient they can be
    • Love the extent of customisation
    • Love the big screen and clean UI in general
    • Love the hardware (camera and speed)
    • Love Google service integration (maps, contact, calendar) = just works


    However, there is one aspect that really bothers me and I wanted to hear what other people think.

    APPS.

    1. iOS apps are often more polished than their Android equivalent, in another word they contain less bugs. I find Android apps crash more often and some of the functions dont always work. Example: I found a bug in Skype that the ringing tone continues to sound even after the call is connected. Skype has been around for so many years and yet there is a bug?
      .
    2. Android dont always get the newest or most updated apps because it is easier for developers to create apps on iOS. This can lead to some core function of an apps missing compare to their equivalent on iOS. Example: I have a Synology NAS at home that acts as my media hub, which can be remotely accessed by Synology-made streaming apps on the iOS. On Android, the video app isnt available and the music app is very buggy and lacks some very core functions.
      .
    3. Due to the ever increasing range of Android devices, that is at a pace faster than iOS devices, I feel there is a greater chance of an Android device becoming unsupported by an app than an iOS device. This means potentially one has to upgrade to a new Android device sooner than they can afford or wish to.
      .
    4. There is a greater range of apps, including games, on iOS. Example: I really would like a decent photo editing app, such as Snapseed, on my Android but cant seem to find one that I like. Official Simplenotes app is also unavailable on Android.


    I suspect the defragmentation of the Android ecosystem is, in part, responsible for the problems I mentioned and its something I dont see Google can do much about anytime soon. Therefore, in my mind, the situation is likely to remain the same for a while which makes Android less appealing to me. Understandably, it is a complex and widespread issue that is inherent in the Android world.

    Sorry about my boring post but I have two days left to refund my Nexus 4. Should I keep it or refund it?

    Thanks guys

    I posted this on another forum, just wanted to get as much views as possible from people...
    Thanked by:
    Ry 
  2. #2  

    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Basically agree with everything you said here. As for should you keep it or return it, if you still have your iphone and can afford to keep the Nexus (if there's nothing wrong with it) I'd say keep it this way you can have the best of both worlds. There are many useful features in android OS (like Google core apps such as maps etc.) While I'm waiting for the Nexus 4 to come back to stock I'm reading these forums to help me to decide if i need this phone, most likely if i buy it i'll keep my iphone 4s too.
  3. #3  
    natehoy's Avatar

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    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    I pretty much agree with everything you've mentioned, except #3. The whole point of Nexus devices is to decrease that range, because Nexus devices will (during their approximate 2-year supported lifespan) get the latest Android version.

    But the fragmentation of the overall Android ecosystem does make it more difficult to make an app stable across a broad range of operating system versions AND a wide range of screen resolutions AND a wide range of hardware. That's very true.

    You have to choose what fits your needs the best. If Simplenotes and Synology are absolute deal-breakers for your use case, then you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Personally, I like some of the tools that iOS cannot offer (WiFi and cell signal analysis, widgets, background apps), and the greater array of hardware choices. I've never really run into anything I wanted to do on my Thunderbolt phone or Nexus 7 tablet that I was unable to do at least reasonably well.

    But if Android is missing some deal-breaker apps for you, then you should most certainly package your Nexus 4 up in its original packaging and ship it to me, then buy yourself an iPhone 5 and enjoy it!
  4. #4  
    DirkBelig's Avatar

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    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    The first complaint is a little unfair because you're referring to apps which may not have been updated to run smoothly with 4.2 yet. Whenever there's an OS bump, apps can get squirrelly like how Next Issue ran OK on my ICS tablet, but I had to wait four months for a JB version.

    The second issue is because Apple had such an early lead and dominance in smartphones and even though Android is now over half the market (to iOS's 1/3rd), many devs still think iOS is still in the lead. There's also the aspect that the fragmentation - which is overstated by Apple partisans - which makes lazier devs decide to go for the one-size-fits-all approach of iOS at the cost of most iOS apps looking and feeling the same. Yes, it makes for a uniformity in UI, but it also makes everything samey and boring.

    I picked up a cheap used iPad 1 to see what the big whoop about iDevices was and was appalled at how primitive and straitjacketed iOS was compared to the flexibility of Android. No app drawer to clean up my home screens? No widgets? No way to install from the web without installing the bloated pig that is iTunes on my computer? No live wallpapers? Ermahgerd!!! I had to load an app on a friend's iPhone the other night - after using my 4.5" inch GS2, to squint at the dinky iPhone 4 screen is to suffer - and it was such a pitiful experience, I really can't believe people put up with the constraints.

    That said, if you're locked in and dependent on what iOS provides you, then go back to what works for you.
    "The OnePlus One is such a big black slab of power that if you dropped it down in the middle of a pack of monkeys, they'd start using weapons." - Dirk Belligerent.
    Devices: 64GB OnePlus One, 32GB Nexus 5, 16GB Nexus 7 (2013), 16GB Nexus 4, ASUS Transformer TF101, Kindle Fire, HP TouchPad (CM7)
    bplewis24 likes this.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    I can understand where you're coming from but you're wrong on one thing, apps crash more on ios than android.

    sent from the best smart phone (not phablet) on the worst network- the Galaxy S3 unfortunately on T-Mobile
  6. #6  

    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by Solutions Etcetera View Post
    Not just fewer bugs, better feature sets. There are several inexplicable omissions and/or broken core features I have run into with Android.


    I don't know that it is easier to write for iOS. I find it a pain from time to time (sandboxing and Apple's review process). My estimations as to why those that have a cross-platform app usually have a higher quality offering on iOS are...

    1.) Apples review process. Cheesy looking apps or apps with obvious bugs are denied.

    2.) Most cross-platform devs got started with iOS and have more experience there than Android.

    3.) Broken API's in Android, and devs not willing to take the time to roll their own equivalents.


    I think it is a given that Apple's support is usually better when it comes to OS updates pushed to legacy devices, but not substantially longer.


    Agreed. iOS is the more marketable and profitable platform, but Android is starting to make significant inroads. As the iOS market saturates, more interest will come to Android, provided users show devs that the platform is profitable.

    And while I pretty much agree with all of your observations, Apple's heavily sandboxed techno-system and censored (and sometimes arbitrary) review process limits many things the computer in your phone can do. This may or may not be a deal breaker for you, but its worth mentioning. I miss the quality of quite a few iOS apps since moving to Android (Bento, a decent Email client, Garageband, Keynote, Numbers), but I like having a file system I can actually access, widgets, and I have actually found some better ways to manage my workflow in working around the absence of of like kind offerings on Android.

    As you have probably surmised, there is no answer to your question. Apple has tremendous resources to steer iPhone anyway they want, and are in control of every aspect of the platform. There is little wonder there are few rough edges. On the other hand Android has made unbelievable progress in the last couple of years, and it is a pretty safe bet it will continue to progress, albeit with not quite the focus of the likes of Apple.

    You'll just have to prioritize your wants and needs and pick the one that delivers the highest ones.
    The question is why not make higher quality apps for android m

    If I'm a developer and I'm making apps, I'm going to focus on the platform with the largest user base and that's android.

    So why don't developers do that?

    sent from the best smart phone (not phablet) on the worst network- the Galaxy S3 unfortunately on T-Mobile
  7. #7  

    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Goodness. I have several paid applications. Handbase, 3 office suites,a 3rd party keyboard, CamScanner, Bluetooth File Transfer and more.

    Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 2
    EVO & an Acer A500 tablet.
  8. #8  
    blaze5's Avatar

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    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by Solutions Etcetera View Post
    I don't have the answer to that. Maybe Android users are less likely to spend money on apps than iOS users.
    I think that's what it is there have been studies that ios users spend more on apps then android users do so unless us android users start spending were not going to have high quality apps

    Sent from my PC36100
    Thanked by:
    Ry 
  9. #9  

    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    I agree sum apps r bugy but that is a developer issue they r tha ones who decide to put out a bugy app I dont have any issues with google made apps. About photo editing I like tha samsung native app pretty damn good. And I dont c apps not being supported on android no as android os still has tha majority market share thus more customers than ios personally I feel its dumb to have exclusive apps if I were a developer I would want my app on all mobile os I.e. instagram was exclusive to ios but soon as it came to android facebook bout them for half a billion I dont kno if that was a part of their marketing strategy or not but it worked snd tha nexus 4 looks pretty damn awesome but I have never used one

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using Android Central Forums
  10. #10  

    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hustleman View Post
    The question is why not make higher quality apps for android m

    If I'm a developer and I'm making apps, I'm going to focus on the platform with the largest user base and that's android.

    So why don't developers do that?

    sent from the best smart phone (not phablet) on the worst network- the Galaxy S3 unfortunately on T-Mobile
    This has already been answered before by developers themselves. More people on iOS are willing to pay for apps since it is so easy to just pirate Android apps vs iOS. iOS is also easier to develop for. So when you can make more sales and reduce costs at the same time, it's a no brainer.
    Thanked by:
    Ry 
  11. #11  

    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by DirkBelig View Post
    The second issue is because Apple had such an early lead and dominance in smartphones and even though Android is now over half the market (to iOS's 1/3rd), many devs still think iOS is still in the lead. There's also the aspect that the fragmentation - which is overstated by Apple partisans - which makes lazier devs decide to go for the one-size-fits-all approach of iOS at the cost of most iOS apps looking and feeling the same. Yes, it makes for a uniformity in UI, but it also makes everything samey and boring.
    Devs think iOS is in the lead? How. I find that highly unlikely; they're developers for goodness sake.

    iOS applications bring in SUBSTANTIALLY more revenue. The money is in Apple's ecosystem and that's the draw from a developer standpoint.

    Android has a terrific offering a free apps, and most of mine are. There are a plethora of apps offered on Android for free, yet ad-supported, that only offer paid versions for iOS.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by Solutions Etcetera View Post
    Hi... I have yet to really look at the Android SDK. Can you elaborate a bit on why it is tougher to develop for Android?
    I'm not a developer either but it has to do with the fragmentation. That is why it is easier. The key to making money from an app is to get it to as many as possible. If they have to code for 100 screens (Android) vs 1 or 2 (iOS), it becomes a lot easier. Less coding to do, less manpower needed, less cost.
  13. #13  
    qnet's Avatar

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    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Hankdu, I understand were your coming from. I think it depends on how much you use those apps which work better on IOS and how much value they are to you. There is a app called Timemaster on IOS that I like a great deal but, the developers refuse to make a version for Android. It's one of the best mobile business apps I've used, which is why I keep it on my Ipad. I think the Nexus program is trying to encourage better app development and I do notice some apps I like have gotten noticibly better but, there's still a ways to go.
  14. #14  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by qnet View Post
    Hankdu, I understand were your coming from. I think it depends on how much you use those apps which work better on IOS and how much value they are to you. There is a app called Timemaster on IOS that I like a great deal but, the developers refuse to make a version for Android. It's one of the best mobile business apps I've used, which is why I keep it on my Ipad. I think the Nexus program is trying to encourage better app development and I do notice some apps I like have gotten noticibly better but, there's still a ways to go.
    Exactly. And this is partly Google's fault. The Nexus brand sets a standard for Android. However with so little people even knowledgable about Nexus, app developers see little reason to code for it cause they know they will have to satisfy all the others too. Because why code for a Nexus if Android is dominated by the S3?
  15. #15  

    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    even though im all for android i have to admit the user experience is..."smoother" on ios. with project butter android is much more fluid but still lags once in awhile
  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  

    Default My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by dalvik View Post
    Basically agree with everything you said here. As for should you keep it or return it, if you still have your iphone and can afford to keep the Nexus (if there's nothing wrong with it) I'd say keep it this way you can have the best of both worlds. There are many useful features in android OS (like Google core apps such as maps etc.) While I'm waiting for the Nexus 4 to come back to stock I'm reading these forums to help me to decide if i need this phone, most likely if i buy it i'll keep my iphone 4s too.
    If I decide to keep the nexus I think I will keep the iPhone as well. It is a handy device to own and still very well supported by Apple. You are right, iPhone and Nexus are indeed the best of both worlds albeit the differences between them.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  17. Thread Author  Thread Author    #17  

    Default My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    I pretty much agree with everything you've mentioned, except #3. The whole point of Nexus devices is to decrease that range, because Nexus devices will (during their approximate 2-year supported lifespan) get the latest Android version.

    You have to choose what fits your needs the best. If Simplenotes and Synology are absolute deal-breakers for your use case, then you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Personally, I like some of the tools that iOS cannot offer (WiFi and cell signal analysis, widgets, background apps), and the greater array of hardware choices. I've never really run into anything I wanted to do on my Thunderbolt phone or Nexus 7 tablet that I was unable to do at least reasonably well.

    But if Android is missing some deal-breaker apps for you, then you should most certainly package your Nexus 4 up in its original packaging and ship it to me, then buy yourself an iPhone 5 and enjoy it!
    With regards to the third point I raised, yes, I may be wrong. I think the feeling of uneasiness regarding app support may be due to my unfamiliarity with android. Most people seem to think nexus 4 will get at least two years of support, which I think is pretty good.

    Your point about what apps best suit my need was very good and so was the point about 'deal breaker apps'. To be truly honest, I can in most cases find a satisfactory replacement app on google play store. None of the missing app so far is a 'deal breaker' and certainly many 'deal makers' like swiftkeyboard. Hope you will soon get your hands on a N4

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  18. Thread Author  Thread Author    #18  

    Default My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by DirkBelig View Post
    The first complaint is a little unfair because you're referring to apps which may not have been updated to run smoothly with 4.2 yet. Whenever there's an OS bump, apps can get squirrelly like how Next Issue ran OK on my ICS tablet, but I had to wait four months for a JB version.

    The second issue is because Apple had such an early lead and dominance in smartphones and even though Android is now over half the market (to iOS's 1/3rd), many devs still think iOS is still in the lead. There's also the aspect that the fragmentation - which is overstated by Apple partisans - which makes lazier devs decide to go for the one-size-fits-all approach of iOS at the cost of most iOS apps looking and feeling the same. Yes, it makes for a uniformity in UI, but it also makes everything samey and boring.

    I picked up a cheap used iPad 1 to see what the big whoop about iDevices was and was appalled at how primitive and straitjacketed iOS was compared to the flexibility of Android. No app drawer to clean up my home screens? No widgets? No way to install from the web without installing the bloated pig that is iTunes on my computer? No live wallpapers? Ermahgerd!!! I had to load an app on a friend's iPhone the other night - after using my 4.5" inch GS2, to squint at the dinky iPhone 4 screen is to suffer - and it was such a pitiful experience, I really can't believe people put up with the constraints.

    That said, if you're locked in and dependent on what iOS provides you, then go back to what works for you.
    The apps that have crashed were listed on the play store as compatible with my N4. I take that as google or the developer has done some kind of compatibility test. If what you are saying is true, that the crashing was due to the new JB os and they were listed as compatible, how do I know which app will work well on my device and which won't?

    Uniformed UI across different devices, in my opinion, is not bad thing. It provides a consistent user experience and also serves other purposes such as branding. Despite the fragmentation problem, what is still most important to users is the functionality and stability of an app, not the look of an app. Personally, I dont think ios developers choose to go with ios because they are lazy but due to other reasons.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your point about the lack of customisation on ios devices as well as the tiny screen on iPhone 4 (now I have owned a nexus 4)

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  19. Thread Author  Thread Author    #19  

    Default My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by Solutions Etcetera View Post
    Not just fewer bugs, better feature sets. There are several inexplicable omissions and/or broken core features I have run into with Android.


    I don't know that it is easier to write for iOS. I find it a pain from time to time (sandboxing and Apple's review process). My estimations as to why those that have a cross-platform app usually have a higher quality offering on iOS are...

    1.) Apples review process. Cheesy looking apps or apps with obvious bugs are denied.

    2.) Most cross-platform devs got started with iOS and have more experience there than Android.

    3.) Broken API's in Android, and devs not willing to take the time to roll their own equivalents.


    I think it is a given that Apple's support is usually better when it comes to OS updates pushed to legacy devices, but not substantially longer.


    Agreed. iOS is the more marketable and profitable platform, but Android is starting to make significant inroads. As the iOS market saturates, more interest will come to Android, provided users show devs that the platform is profitable.

    And while I pretty much agree with all of your observations, Apple's heavily sandboxed techno-system and censored (and sometimes arbitrary) review process limits many things the computer in your phone can do. This may or may not be a deal breaker for you, but its worth mentioning. I miss the quality of quite a few iOS apps since moving to Android (Bento, a decent Email client, Garageband, Keynote, Numbers), but I like having a file system I can actually access, widgets, and I have actually found some better ways to manage my workflow in working around the absence of of like kind offerings on Android.

    As you have probably surmised, there is no answer to your question. Apple has tremendous resources to steer iPhone anyway they want, and are in control of every aspect of the platform. There is little wonder there are few rough edges. On the other hand Android has made unbelievable progress in the last couple of years, and it is a pretty safe bet it will continue to progress, albeit with not quite the focus of the likes of Apple.

    You'll just have to prioritize your wants and needs and pick the one that delivers the highest ones.
    I am in agreement with all of your comments - there are things I really like about android and they are great. The amount of tweaking I can do is unbelievable - spent the past few days fiddling with apps and understanding root file structures. Compare to what I can recall from few years back, Android has indeed come a very long way. I hope the development of a wider variety of apps will pick up speed as more people start to use android.
  20. Thread Author  Thread Author    #20  

    Default My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by blaze5 View Post
    I think that's what it is there have been studies that ios users spend more on apps then android users do so unless us android users start spending were not going to have high quality apps

    Sent from my PC36100
    I vaguely remember reading this on the internet as well, which I think must be a factor that developer takes into account when making a new app.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  21. #21  
    blaze5's Avatar

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    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by hankdu View Post
    I vaguely remember reading this on the internet as well, which I think must be a factor that developer takes into account when making a new app.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Everything comes down to money that's the world we live in but I for one spend money on apps but know a lot of people who don't so developers rather go the ios route and I think its easier to make ios apps only have to make it for one phone and 2 tablets unlike Android

    Sent from my PC36100
    Ry likes this.
  22. Thread Author  Thread Author    #22  

    Default My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by qnet View Post
    Hankdu, I understand were your coming from. I think it depends on how much you use those apps which work better on IOS and how much value they are to you. There is a app called Timemaster on IOS that I like a great deal but, the developers refuse to make a version for Android. It's one of the best mobile business apps I've used, which is why I keep it on my Ipad. I think the Nexus program is trying to encourage better app development and I do notice some apps I like have gotten noticibly better but, there's still a ways to go.
    Thanks for your advice and I think you are right. It comes down to what I want to do on my nexus 4. The nexus program is doing very well, and many people are switching from ios to android because of this phone. This includes me who has been a die hard apple fan for nearly 10 years.

    Ps I got to check out this great timemaster app that you speak of.
  23. Thread Author  Thread Author    #23  

    Default My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by cnguyen0320 View Post
    Exactly. And this is partly Google's fault. The Nexus brand sets a standard for Android. However with so little people even knowledgable about Nexus, app developers see little reason to code for it cause they know they will have to satisfy all the others too. Because why code for a Nexus if Android is dominated by the S3?
    One of the reason I went for the nexus was because it will get os updates from google before anyone else. I really think information such as this should be provided to all customers so people know the nexus line phones have this great advantage. Wider publicity about the nexus phone, I think, will also further boost it's sales and attract more developers. Android has a lot of potentially to become 'the' standard for smartphones.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  24. #24  

    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    Quote Originally Posted by Solutions Etcetera View Post
    From what I have seen, Android supports scaleable objects (controls, fields, etc.). So I don't think it is a matter of hundreds of displays; more like 2 or 3 layouts with layout one invoked on displays < x, layout 2 on < y >x, and layout 3 on >y. Of course it still requires forked code, but even iOS has 5 different display resolutions at this point.
    Yea but sometimes scaling doesnt work that well. Like games, how can you just scale stuff? It'll look funky. Anyway iOS is still better with 5 vs Android's hundreds. And with Apple phasing out the non-retina and the 3GS being dropped from updates next year (iOS 7) it'll return to 4 screens. Like I said, so much better from a developer point of view than hundreds.
  25. Thread Author  Thread Author    #25  

    Default Re: My thoughts on Android vs iOS apps

    After reading the responses I got from this thread, I have decided not to return my N4. Here goes why:

    None of the android apps is buggy to the extent that they are unusable. I suspect since JB has only just been released, bugs will be ironed out gradually. Android apps may not have all the functions as their iOS equivalent but the missing functions are not absolutely vital to me. There are usually some work around for the missing feature, such as use another app or just simply use a laptop. Many of the core apps I regularly use on my phone are polished on Android. In fact, I actually prefer the experience of these core apps on Android more than on iOS. The amount of tweaking I can do is simply too much to give up after having enjoyed the freedom of doing so. When I first unzipped a file on the N4, oh my, I was like sweet!.

    I had forgotten that the key to my choice between iOS and Android was how I intended to use my phone. Having recognized this the choice between the two systems was an easy one - Android was clearly better (for me):

    • gmail and youtube apps were both better
    • video playback supported more format
    • reading experience was amazing thanks to the amazing screen
    • web browsing was wayyyyy smoother
    • apps were better integrated into each other


    Looks like the N4 is here to stay

    Thanks everyone for your input!

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