“In this corner: the current champion of the mobile phone market, the iPhone. In the other corner: a scrappy open source challenger, Android,” Brad Reed reports for Network World.
“Now that Apple and Google are both openly courting third-party developers to write applications for their platforms, the question becomes just what those platforms offer developers in terms of ease of use, support and distribution models,” Reed reports.
“Jason Cline, a senior software engineer at Web application developer Sitepen, says that the broad differences between the iPhone and Android SDKs are related to trade-offs between greater freedom and greater accessibility. Thus, for instance, while Apple may control which applications it will allow onto the iPhone, it compensates by having an AppStore that makes distributing and selling the applications a relative snap, says Cline. Additionally, Cline says that the iPhone operating system and presentation is so accessible and user-friendly that it has set the standard for other mobile operating systems,” Reed reports.
“The programming language used for each platform is one of the key differences between the iPhone and Android SDKs. Android is a Linux platform that uses Java as its programming language, whereas the iPhone employs a mobile variation of the Mac OS X that uses the Apple-developed Objective-C as its programming language,” Reed reports. “Hal Steger, vice president of marketing for open source software company Funambol, thinks that Android has the upper hand in this particular matchup since Java is a more widely known programming language.”
“Sitepen CEO Dylan Schiemann agrees that the iPhone SDK would do better if it used a more common programming language than Objective-C, but says that any experienced programmer who really wants to develop applications for the platform won’t have any trouble learning it,” Reed reports.
“But while the iPhone may use a less-common programming language, say some programmers, it also has the advantage of already being widely deployed and uniform on every iPhone device. Android, on the other hand, is expected to be used on a broad array of devices that have different types of keyboards, different screen sizes and different customized features,” Reed reports.
There’s more in the full article here.