Quality vs Quantity

Advisable or not, I clicked through this morning from twitter to an article titled Apple Is “Nearly Invisible” On GitHub, But Does It Matter?. As I mentioned in reply, I think there’s some hyperbole there. Specifically, the numbers are being interpreted in a way that spins the article, but I did find the numbers interesting!

I really just wanted to comment longer-form on this one quote from the article:

41% of Android developers said they finish apps in one month or less, while only 36% of iOS and 34% of Windows Phone devs said they could achieve as quickly a turnaround

Now, if it took more effort to make exactly the same application for iOS than I would see that as a problem. But in my experience (and I do have knowledge of several parallel projects for both platforms) the effort is pretty similar. (Some things on either platform take longer on one or the other, but I think it generally averages out.) Now, as any software developer knows, you can either make something good, or you can make something fast… So given that data point, one interpretation of the quote above, at the risk of maybe pissing off some folks, would be that this generally speaks to the quality of the average Android application. Essentially (and again, this is just one possible interpretation), iOS applications might take longer as a trend because more effort is put into making them. Or alternatively, possibly they are just worth more to whoever is funding their development.

3 thoughts on “Quality vs Quantity

  1. Don’t fault you for clicking on the article!

    Appreciate your alternative considerations for why this stat may be. It’s cool that you’ve worked cross-platform so have the perspective.

    Cheers for your continued posts. Enjoyed the GDC updates!

  2. To be absolutely clear, I have experience working on projects where there was parallel development. (In all cases, the android development was happening by someone — or more than one someone — with far more experience in Java and on the Android platform than I can boast.)

    I have “worked on” Android apps in the same way I have worked on Unity apps… which is to say, some here and there, but nothing that’s been published. (Well, unless you count a few game jam games in the case of Unity. Maybe I have slightly more Unity experience.)

  3. And, possibly: for fear of rejection, developers try harder (== spend more time) to polish their apps on the iOS.

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