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Why Don't Android Apps Look As Good as iOS Apps?

by Developer.com Staff

Fragmentation and poor documentation are part of the problem for Android.

Among mobile developers, conventional wisdom says that it's easier to create a good-looking app for iOS than for Android. Why?

Developer Lee Linden points to Android fragmentation as one challenge that contributes to poor design. "Android devices come in different shapes and sizes, different screen resolutions, different device speeds -- and that's actually a huge hurdle," said Linden. "You need to be testing out something like 20 different phones with different resolutions and different processors, and that definitely makes development slower." Often Android developers must build their apps for the lowest common denominator -- low-resolution screens that can't handle fancy graphics.

Other developers say Apple has better mobile development tools and documentation. "One of the hangups [with Android] is so much of the stuff doesn't feel fully documented," said developer Danilo Campos. "Ryan, our Android guy, has to go digging around in the source code to figure out some XML formatting piece that isn't made clear. That's been painful for him."

Steven Yarger of Trulia summed up the differences saying, "If you just want a good-looking app with a single pass, it's easier to design on iOS. Apple just set up their ecosystem to do that."

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This article was originally published on Monday Apr 30th 2012
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