Do you remember those “Get a Mac” commercials that ran on television beginning in the mid-2000s? It has been said by some that the Apple ad campaign introducing its product to the hip, younger generation is among the most successful ad campaigns in modern history. Whether that is true or not, the debate over Apple versus Microsoft has now morphed into iOS versus Android for the mobile world. But is the new debate really necessary?
Asking which mobile OS is better is no different than comparing Microsoft Windows and Apple’s desktop version of iOS. As great as the “Get a Mac” commercials were at turning younger computer users on to Apple products, they did not do much to change the overall dominance of Windows for the desktop paradigm. The debate over iOS versus Android is not going to do much to overturn Android’s dominance as the mobile platform of choice either.
In reality, there really is no need for the debate to begin with. There is plenty of room for everyone to compete in the mobile arena. This is why companies such as Austin app developer iTexico offers cross-development services to create apps for iOS, Android and Microsoft.
A Matter of Preference
ZDNet’s Mark Samuels decided to take a look at the ongoing mobile OS debate by asking five different tech executives which mobile environment they preferred and why. The results of his informal survey were just what one would expect if looking at the question from an objective, disinterested, third-party point of view.
Two of the executives said their companies prefer iOS while two more said their companies run on Android. The fifth executive said his company gives employees the opportunity to choose their preferred platform. As you can see, the results of Samuels’ informal study were split right down the middle.
Every iOS developer is aware of the biggest advantages of Apple’s mobile platform:
- The familiarity of Apple devices among younger workers
- Apple’s compatibility and usability with mobile systems
- The stability of proprietary hardware
By the same token, your typical Android developer is acutely aware of the strengths of his/her platform:
- Google’s support for business and productivity
- The open-source nature of Android
- Android’s compatibility with open source technologies
Even Microsoft’s mobile OS is worth paying attention to despite the fact that Samuels didn’t query the tech executives about it. Microsoft’s contribution is not at the same level as Google and Apple, but they are having more input every day.
Mobile Diversity Is the Future
Continuing the debate over iOS versus Android is a waste of time and breath. Similar debates in the past have yielded nothing but resentment and rabid fanboy loyalty. If mobile development is to continue to drive the way we live, work and communicate, it has to be done with a mindset of diversity.
There is a reason companies such as iTexico invest so much in cross-platform development even though they focus some of their energies exclusively on either iOS or Android projects. That reason is the fact that mobility is already divergent from a development standpoint. Just think of all the frameworks and runtime environments developers work in.
The divergence of development platforms naturally fuels the desire for diverse mobile operating systems to keep everybody happy. At the end of the day, the chosen mobile OS is a matter of personal preference. To try to push one over the other is silly. There is enough room for everyone, and that’s the way mobility is likely to stay for a long time to come.