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iPhone

Android vs iPhone: Is marketing influencing mobile loyalty?

By | Android, iOS, Mobile | No Comments

Android or Apple? This debate is something that developers have been talking about for years and countless articles have argued the merits of one over the other. Our App Experts were discussing the two competitors recently, and an intriguing question came up to try and explain Apple’s success:  Can a good marketing strategy beat a cheaper product that’s similar in nature?

Apple completely changed the mobile world when they released the first iPhone. It was a remarkable moment. Blackberry was already in existence by that time, but Apple showed us that smartphones could be more than just a tool for work. They managed to expand from a phone previously used only for calling and texting to the preeminent key to unlocking the web on the go. Someone had to follow.

Android – The New Kids On The Block

When Android first appeared on the market, it was seen as a cheap alternative to having an iPhone. But Android grew in popularity thanks to having an open source policy which allowed developers to code freely. Today, Android captures the spirit of individuality and nonconformity. If you compare Apple’s iOS 7 with Android 4.4 (Kit Kat), you can see huge differences among them, but many functionalities mirror one another. So one has to wonder, if there’s such a massive gap in pricing, surely iPhones must deliver additional features? The answer is a resounding no. 

In fact, Apple is copying some things from Android. The new Apple iOS recently added some features that were around in Android for a long time, like disabling WiFi from the notification screen or the new task manager which is just an Apple version of the existing one in Android. 

Additionally, iOS 7 becomes problematic when you are using an old iPhone, like iPhone 4. Battery life lasts for a shorter time and some features are not available because the hardware is not ready for them. Some would argue this is a way to force people to buy a new phone every two years in order to be able to use the latest features.

So what about Android? They’ve added some interesting features like the new interface with a design that’s very clean and simple. They’ve incorporated some components from the flat iOS design, but it shows the elements in a clear way — not to mention the colour palette is appropriate for a device that the user is going to be looking at for a long period of time.

The question Android fans are puzzled with is why anyone would pay £500 for an iPhone when they can have a Samsung or a Motorola phone which provides the exact same functions for less than half the price of an iPhone? Sure, Apple products are beautiful and easy to use. But at the end of the day, Android gives more freedom to the user with customization capabilities. We’re going to suggest one possible answer for many Apple aficionados is in a genius marketing strategy. 

Power of Brand Awareness

The cult-like following of Apple’s products may be attributed to the hype Apple is able to generate for its consumers year after year. Nobody is able to build buzz and speculation on upcoming products and announcements like Apple. Their brand following is built on creating the ultimate user experience — from the packaging, design, to the products themselves, Apple has capitalized on fans looking to have the latest in gadgets. Just one look at the massive queues outside an Apple store during a new product launch summarizes the incredible demand these products generate.

Having all of this in mind, one must wonder the powerful effects of successful marketing efforts.  If most people aren’t moved by features or specifications, some other channels must be contributing to user preferences. Sometimes, a name seals the deal and you can see that every day in the tube or on the bus.

In a city like London, iPhones and iPads are more widely seen than Android devices. Why? That answer will vary user to user, but there’s no denying Apple’s global brand awareness and more importantly, loyalty. After all, Apple’s cool and sleek designs outsells a product that works on par and is significantly cheaper, so there is a sense of established value with the Apple community. Wherever your personal preferences lay, the war between Apple and Android continues…

We want to know: which operating system do you prefer and why? Comment below and join the debate.

How I Learned to Stop Fighting and Love (well… like) the iPhone

By | Android, iOS, Mobile | No Comments

When I started as an iOS developer, it was largely by accident. I was looking for work as an Android developer and ended up in a situation that will be familiar to most mobile developers out there. I was called by a recruiter one day, and the conversation went like this:

 Recruiter: Hi, I have a mobile development role, I’ve read on your CV that you’re experienced with mobile development.

Me: Yessir, I have very strong skills in Android development.

Recruiter: Well I’ve sent you over a job spec, this sounds perfect for you.

Me: Ah, yeah, this job spec is for an iOS role, I’m an Android developer.

Recruiter: It’s fine, it’s just a boilerplate job spec, I assure you it’s 100% an Android role.

And so I ended up in my first iOS role…

Some background on me, up until this point I’d held a dislike for Apple so vocally and for so long that it had become ridiculous. It was a standing joke in my social circle, when forced to develop on Macs I’d wear gloves, when answering phone calls from iPhones, I’d cover my mouthpiece with a tissue to prevent contamination. I was the anti-Apple guy.iphone side

So I started working with the iOS SDK and, to my horror, it was great. Android at the time was a very messy SDK, everything you tried to do was an uphill struggle, but iOS was showing itself to be very straight-forward and simple. Because of Apple’s tight grip on what can be done with iOS and how, the SDK is a lot more comprehensive. Android’s buggy process of linking interface controls through an XML layer and then to the code was replaced with a single click-and-drag, the process of passing information to a new view through intent flags and intercepting it on the other end was replaced by the much easier process of creating a view with the information it needed and then just presenting it.

As I work more and more with iOS and its technologies I see more of what it is that makes it such a popular platform, elegant simplicity from interface to code. Back in my days of Android-fanaticism, I imagined iOS to be a claustrophobically restrictive platform, informed by horror stories of apples widget prohibition and restrictions on access to information on the device, but these restrictions have affected me probably twice in my career. In my day-to-day development it does everything I need in the simplest of ways.

How about you? Have you had your “come to Apple” moment, or have you always been keen to work with it? Love to hear from you in the comments section below.