Doug Toppin's Blog

My thoughts on technology and other stuff

A Little Android Development Experience (to Compare With iOS)

I have been doing a little development for the iPad (iOS) using Xcode to get some experience with it off and on for while.  I decided to try some Android development as well for some contrast.  I am using Eclipse for Android which has an emulator but that took a very long time (many minutes) to start up on my iMac i5 which was really wasting time.  I picked up a Motorola Xoom tablet (which runs Android) and now am able to debug with Eclipse directly on the tablet which is significantly faster.  It is also giving me the opportunity to compare the user experience between the two devices.   I find that the iPad is easier and more direct to use and that the Xoom UI seems ‘glitzier’ and probably more involved for a non-technically interested person to learn.  I think that Android probably provides some neater basic abilities over iOS in the way that applications are structured but it will probably take some time before developers learn to take full advantage of them.  I also expect that developers will try to share as much code as possible (if any is) between the two environments when they want to support both which may cause them to drop to the lowest common denominator of the two.  It will be very interesting to see how that pans out.  So far I think that Xcode is more sophisticated over the Android support in Eclipse.  That is certainly because Xcode is meant for less general purpose use so it has the advantage there.   Switching between Java and Objective-C also makes me have to do some mental context switching which is probably inefficient.  It is interesting though.   More to come on this. One thing that I have found useful so far is being able to watch the Android log with ‘android-sdk-mac_x86/platform-tools/adb logcat’.  That helps with both debugging output as well as just seeing what the OS is doing at times.  That can be pretty informative.