Mobile application development is becoming a big deal in computer programming lately. I am very late to this particular game. I have considered writing mobile software since the initial releases of ExIf35, when people asked for a version that would work on iPhone. Unfortunately, I have decided that I will never write for iOS as long as Apple maintains its present developer-hostile atmosphere to application development.
Here is a short list of reasons why I will never write for iOS:
- Fees: It costs $99 per year to write for iOS. This is not a lot of money for a developer who will profit from their applications, but it is a deterrent for a hobbyist or anyone who doesn’t plan to profit from their software. It can be a fun activity, it doesn’t have to become a profit-seeking enterprise.
- Platform dependence: While it is technically possible to write for iOS on any platform, Apple has certainly made it simpler to write for iOS on their own OS.
- Gatekeepers: Apple must verify and certify every application in the App Store. While this may seem like a good idea for the protection of the end users, it hinders the type of applications that can exist in the marketplace. Anything that competes with their own offerings are quashed and anything that may be for an adult audience runs the risk of not being approved at all. Also, while Apple will defend their own apps from being duplicated, there are many applications that seem almost like duplicates in the marketplace. Try looking for a flashlight app for iOS, there are several hundred of them.
- Hardware Limitations: iOS applications can run only on iOS, same can be said for all platforms (kind of a duh I guess), but iOS only runs on Apple hardware, narrowing the scope of what can be done. Other platforms that are more open run on a variety of hardware, while this in itself can be a challenge, it opens up the possibilities for what can exist.
At this time I am planning to begin trying to write mobile applications over the summer, at least in a limited capacity and as a learning experience. I will be developing for Android only. I have more iOS devices than Android devices, but I think that ultimately the Android development will be more fruitful and useful.