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From iPhone to Android and Back

Wow! It's been almost a year since my last blog post.. As many of you can probably suspect, I've been very busy developing for iPhone, Android and the web. I've been working for the same company for approximately 15 months now, and it's been a very wild ride.

About a year of iPhone development, the one thing I took away from it was that i was tricked into applying design patterns that I didn't even know existed. I started reading the Cocoa Design Patterns book and was shocked that all the stuff I was doing actually had a comp sci name! I guess that's a benefit of the Cocoa framework; it forces whoever is developing for it to be a good developer. It still surprises me that there are so many poorly written apps out there in the app store. Time to market should probably shoulder most of the blame. Developers think they can throw any piece of crap up there and make a ton of money. Well, good on them for trying, I guess.

Though iPhone is very fun to develop for, I knew that I really wanted to learn Android. I'd been looking into Android development since the SDK was released, but never got a chance to really dive head first into the SDK. I've worked on 2 Android projects and learned a lot! I mean I really really learned a lot. Considering it had been a while since I touched Java for a production application, it took me a while to ramp up to speed.. but now I'm confident enough to start designing and writing my own applications.

For those of you who wanted a comparison of the 2 platforms based on my personal experience, Android is more difficult for creating visually pleasing applications than iPhone is. The base iPhone styling is very visually appealing in comparison to any stock built in themes/graphics I've seen in Android.

I think I got on the Android bandwagon just in time.. While I was working on my first Android project, the nexus one came out, and it literally blew my mind. At first glance it was the first real iPhone killer. Once I played around with the 2.0 interface, I knew it was something special. I was looking at the new benchmark for Android handsets that will grab the attention of consumers looking for a real touch screen smartphone experience. The fact that I now have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to develop applications for these 2 amazing platforms puts my mind at ease for the future… I know I'll probably never be out of a job.

I'm glad to be blogging again :)

Comments

Hi Jason,

Interesting post. I was wondering if you could offer me some advice. If you were to choose one of these platforms to develop on what would it be and why? Also for that platform could you offer some advice to a newbie and how best to pick it up and program for it? Any recommended reading would be great.

Many Thanks & keep blogging

Matt

I found myself in an interesting position at a company that offers me a lot of opportunity.. I have the ability to learn all kinds of platforms and apply what I learn to some interesting projects.. Now if you're a n00b and you're looking for a platform to go into, master, and hopefully make some money at, iPhone would be the way to go. There is no shortage of iPhone work out there, and overall, I found it to be the easiest of the 2 platforms to learn with very little exposure to the language (Objective-C). If you were to just jump into Android, you'd spent a lot more time learning Java, THEN the platform.. once you're all done, the demand isn't really there (yet)..

Apress offers a lot of books on iPhone, mac, and cocoa related development.. So i'd recommend grabbing "Learning objective-c on a mac" from Apress publishing, booting up Xcode, grabbing a coffee (or beverage of choice) and learn the language/syntax..

Once you have a handle on the language, grab the apress book on iPhone dev. I think it's "Beginning iPhone 3 Development".. i have the previous book and it's priceless.. Then get creative with it.. start thinking up some things that you want to do, and try it.. you need to be consistent and thorough with what you're doing.. because, as we all know, practice makes perfect..

Oh and i just looked at the apress site, and they have books on "cool projects".. i highly recommend going through those once you have a good handle on iPhone dev.

hope that helps and keeps you busy for the next 6-8 months :)