Android – Open Source and Easy?



android open source

We love technology at Tecmark, especially as it plays such a large role in our industry.

We’re quite partial to Apple and the way that it ‘just works.’ We love the freedom that Android can deliver for our developers and clients and are excited about the potential that Windows holds.

18 months ago, the market asked for iPhone, then iPad and then both. Android was a consideration, Blackberry had a mention and Windows Mobile was but a passing thought. And let’s not mention Nokia or Palm OS because nobody else did!

Now, 95% of the time the market is asking for Apple iOS and Android OS and Windows is now a real consideration, while Blackberry is slipping in popularity. In fact, according to a recent study by IDC, the Windows platform has seen the greatest rise in interest ever from developers since the mobile platform was released.

I think 2012 is going to be a three-platform race and that doesn’t include Blackberry. We’re keeping our little geeky eyes on Windows – the Nokia Lumia handset is a breath of fresh air and just what the new Nokia/Microsoft partnership needed.

But let’s get back to Android. It’s open source, which is a good thing; it strengthens the community of developers with a collective and shared goal of ‘making it better’. Android is available on over 700 handsets, through a varying spectrum of device pricing. According to Millennial Media, 56% of impressions came from Android and 28% from iOS – compelling figures.

It doesn’t, however, mean that it’s easier to develop on – quite the opposite actually! Fragmentation is the main problem here and when the market wants the same quality on Android as iPhone, we ask ‘on which device?’ 15 of the top 20 handsets in Europe run some form of Android and all behave differently.

Developing on Android requires four sets of graphics at four different resolutions enabling the app to scale correctly on the majority of devices. Some handsets have density ratios rather than pixel ratios, faster processors than others and more capable ways of removing cache from the memory.

What I can guarantee is that the general Joe Bloggs wouldn’t know this or even want to know it!

At Tecmark, however, we’re passionate about learning the ins and outs of various Android devices in order that, when our clients ask us for apps of comparable quality across both Apple and Android, we are able to honestly tell them the Android devices on which this is possible.

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