Friday, March 28, 2008

interesting iPhone and Android comparison

Alexander Schatten posted an interesting comment called "Two Cultures: iPhone and Android" on his Software Engineering - Best Practices blog. He compares the very different approaches that Apple and Google are taking when it comes to the SDKs of their respective platforms and also the distribution mechanisms behind it.

From a philosophical point of view I also prefer the more open Android approach but having said that I believe that Apple is going to me more successful with the way they do things. As Alexander also points out "the open source model also had a problem in providing a consistent and user friendly UI experience" and I believe that UI is what makes or breaks a consumer electronics device such as a mobile phone. The open-source approach is particularly strong when it comes to enabling people (developers) to come up with customized versions that fit their unique needs. It therefore allows for a broad ecosystem of similar, yet not identical, sub-systems to emerge (e.g. KDE vs. Gnome). However I believe that when it comes to a 24/7 device such as a mobile phone less can be more and most people (customers) would prefer a product that may do less but does those things in a very polished way. This is exactly what the iPhone is doing and people like me might complain about the lack of 3G, video-recording capabilities and whatnot all day long but at the end of the day I still *want* an iPhone for the simple fact that it does its things so incredibly well.

Other than that I also believe that the iPhone application-distribution via iTunes is a relatively smart thing. Again I might prefer a 'marketplace' that's not 100% Apple-controlled but at least there's a single point where people (customers) can look for new applications. I'm afraid that with Android it's going to be much more of messy situation where there might be a significantly wider selection of software available but without an easy way to access it that might go unnoticed by most people.

Anyway, this is certainly a very interesting topic and I'll keep a close eye on the developments over the coming months...

Update (an absolute must-read): "How Apple Got Everything Right By Doing Everything Wrong" (from the current edition of Wired)

1 comment:

Sascha said...

Gruess dich,

sind meine mails mit deinen Emaildaten angekommen?
Eine kam leider zurueck aber ich habe sie nochmal gesendet