Thinking of the number of apps on the market from a user’s perspective, there’s a lot yet and there’s still a need for more. Thinking about it however from a developer’s perspective – creating apps is not an easy job. The sheer number of mobile devices on the market has made it even harder! When thinking of taking an app to the World Market a developer has to think of the technicalities that come with making every app work the same way on devices that have different operating systems.
Android and iOS Environments
Because Apple is very much a controlled and closed app environment, it takes less time to register, test and modify apps for its iOS devices. On the other hand, Android is an open environment that gives its developers and publishers a great advantage when it comes to modifying their different Eco – systems. However the disadvantage to this is that with each new device on the market, it takes way longer to adapt the apps to that device’s specific operating system as well as testing and final release. The way the app displays on the screen to how developers and publishers are able to secure their content are some of the things that have to be tested with each manufacturer’s new device.
The Testing Hell
The testing process for an app on any device normally entails configuring the app for distribution that is then followed by testing it locally, and the process continues with other tasks in between. The hell begins when it’s time to test the app on different devices with different operating systems. This is a process that developers, if they could do away with they would rather as it’s time consuming and requires a lot of modification to actually access the targeted market on smart devices. It is during the testing phase that developers get crash reports from publishers and its back to square one again, to edit out all the bugs causing crashes on certain devices. The most probable solution would be for manufacturers to keep developers in the loop on the new features of their upcoming devices but this is very unlikely, as manufacturers don’t want features of their devices leaked to the competition before they are done with their product. So it remains a catch 22 situation until a time, hopefully when there can be true synergy as cooperation on both sides would benefit all.
Simplicity, the Core
The solution for developers could be in them keeping the core functionality of their apps very simple, yet retaining the excellent user experience. Simplicity would mean less work when distributing to different devices. Simplicity also means streamlining the platforms to feature an app on. It is better to start with an app version that can be accessed on say Android devices only or Apple or BlackBerry only. Once that app is up and running then focus on enhancing it whilst strategising on how to place it on other devices with different operating systems.