Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by an anonymous guest. Thank you!
I greatly appreciate that finally I know now, that I am no alone with my opinion about Android.
I have my 20+ Apps on the App Store. One of my Apps even won the prestigious EMMAs award recently. It’s also ported to Android and will fit nicely in your comparison of good iPhone Apps and bad Android Apps from the same company. Although I think the Android version is as good as could be.
I experienced exactly the same of what Nikolai from EDOSoft wrote and I was wondering – so far – why nobody else is complaining about the bad Android SDK.
And, same for me, I also did a lot Windows (.NET) developing in the past 20 years and was used to use a good development environment and development tools. Especially debugging and UI-Design tools are crucial for a good and stable App.
I thought so far, that other Android developers have not seen anything else but this old fashioned and incomplete toolset and API so they are happy with what they have available.
As an iPhone developer it is really like going back in time at least 3 years and it is more than frustrating to use this old fashioned Android SDK and API.
So far, I mostly rejected if customers asked me for an Android version of an App. I experienced that most of them didn’t understand my reasons and arguments.
Now I can point them to your website.
Thanks for your Android Gripes investigations!
Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by an anonymous reader. He wrote to answer the question previously posted in this blog, why do apps from the same company look worse on Android than on iPhone. He has “done tons of iPhone work and as of late has been doing a lot of conversions to Android”. Thank you!
Our standard estimate for an Android version is about 150% for equivalent functionality of an iPhone app. We warn our clients that even with that, it won’t be as “slick” as the iOS version.
Apple’s SDK is gold. Core Animation forms the heart of UIKit and is incredible. Core Data is usually a huge win for us. Those two things alone are massive, but the cleaner, more easily customizable widgets on iOS are a big advantage too. Let’s not forget Interface Builder and a far superior desktop simulator.
WAY less QA. Fewer hardware variations, and each iPhone generation is better in every way than the last. If it works okay on an iPhone 3G, we know we’re not going to have performance problems on any recent device.
One screen size. It’s so much easier for our graphics design team to create an awesome UI if they can design to the pixel. Some UIs scale easily to different resolutions and/or aspect ratios, but others don’t. We can use both on iOS, but not on Android.
Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Nikolai Sander, CEO of EODSoft. He wrote to answer this question, why do apps from the same company look worse on Android than on iPhone. Thank you, Nikolai.
I think I also know the reason why Android apps have so much worse UI’s.
I’m an independent developer with over 20 years of experience, working for bigger and smaller companies. I have about 10 iPhone apps in the app store with over 10 million apps sold.
I just recently ported one of my apps to the android platform and was shocked when I learned the User Interface API. It is the worst UI library I have ever worked with (and I have worked with quite a few)! I would even go so far as calling it amateurish. It looks like it was designed by at least 3 to 4 different people without common design guidelines. The naming conventions are inconsistent and the static nature of declaring the UI in xml files might work for the web but for a dedicated device interface it’s a nightmare. This along with the fragmentation of devices (mainly different resolutions) it is close to impossible to create a nice UI on Android devices.
I wouldn’t blame the developers or designers of the apps for the bad UI. After all most of them wrote the iPhone version first and they sure have all the assets (bitmaps etc.) available but in most cases I assume that they got so frustrated with the UI SDK on the Android that they decided to create a simpler one in order to not waste too much time. I know I have. Trying to get the UI look right on the Android platform is a trial and error process and with trial I mean “you try it on all possible device resolutions and encounter mostly errors”. On the iPhone, you just build it in Interface Builder for 2 resolutions (320x480 and retina, which is almost identical to the iPad) and you’re done.
Believe me, I’m not an apple fan boy. My background is actually Windows for most of my career but I have never ever seen anything as bad as the Android UI SDK. I’m a huge fan of Android and really want it to succeed but am deeply disappointed by what I’ve encountered.