Android iOS Side-by-Side Development

smartcompany.gifAn article at Smartcompany describes a phenomenon I have been seeing for the last few months. 

"There is definitely more demand for Android development. It just used to be iOS, but now it’s more Android. We just got so many emails asking where the Android versions are."

More companies are starting to expect to develop an Android app along with an iOS app. While the article is Australia-centric, I think this is happening Worldwide.

The flow of Android jobs started last November when the number of Android devices increased significantly. At that time, I started getting more requests for ports from iOS to Android. The problem with these kind of jobs is that they are usually specified such that the Android app looks like an iOS app. It’s much better, and much less expensive to use Android UI idioms.

Today, companies are thinking more about developing iOS and Android side-by-side which is better as it encourages the UI designer to think deeper how things should be represented on the respective devices. It also allows developers to think more about shared code (Android via NDK) for when there’s more complex business logic. Unfortunately, it also encourages developers to try sharing in-app web/javascript-based approaches that can quickly get complex when trying to retain the underlying platform’s look and feel.