App Delivery Platforms

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App Delivery Platforms

The three main platforms for smart devices (phones and tablets) based on market share in 2015 are currently:

Android: Due to the number of devices that support Android the fragmentation within the market is huge. The majority of Android devices in use globally are currently on versions of the operating system (each one named after a different sweet treat like JellyBean and Gingerbread) which are well over two years old. Google's dashboard (2015) highlighting the number of devices running different versions of Android shows that 75.6 percent of devices are running KitKat - which the company released more than two years ago - or even earlier versions. It is therefore simply not possible to create an app that will work smoothly on all devices and versions of the Android operating system. Careful consideration is advised before you start developing – it is probably best to target a portion of the userbase instead of every possible Android device. The Android Market place is less strict than Apple’s App Store and there are very few restrictions to the uploading and deployment of apps.

iOS: The ‘easiest’ operating system to develop for and least fragmented. This comes are a price however - the design guidelines can be restrictive and the approval process for apps is rigorous with approval given based on whether Apple's notorious guidelines for developers have been met or not. Consideration must also be given to ensuring that any apps developed will continue to work on future iterations of iOS that come out each year. This can make regularly upgrading development machines, programming systems and the apps themselves to the latest versions a sometimes long winded and onerous process.

Windows: With a relatively small percentage of the overall user base, Windows which has taken over from the RIM operating system - used for Blackberry - as the third biggest current player in the mobile market is still in the early stages of convincing users and app developers on the overall system strategy it employs - which also encompasses pcs and laptops- as users start or hesitate to adopt later versions of the Windows operating system. With such a small percentage of users globally (compare the number of people you know with a Windows phone in comparison to those with an iPhone or Android phones), it is doubtful whether much effort should be expounded in designing apps for this platform until the market share has increased to a more significant level.