Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Comparing iOS, Android, Windows Mobile 7

So as part of the preparation for the online mobile programming and mobile design courses I am about to teach I re-created a simple iPhone calculator app in Android and WindowsMobile7.

The interface design was definitely the easiest for the iPhone, with Apple's "Inteface Builder" making it very easy to get a good layout of keys without too much fuss, and the only one to support direct editing of the labels on the keys themselves. Having linked up the first calculator key so that copied and pasted ones had the same code linkage meant that associating key presses with actions was simpler for iPhone, but the Objective C code did seem to end up a little more convoluted than either Java or C#.

The windows mobile interface construction, strongly remeniscent of Visual Basic, was second best. Not quite as good as for the iPhone, but definitely better than Android. Unsurprsingly the C# and Java code was nearly identical.

The up side for Android was that the refactoring tools (part of the Eclipse IDE) are definitely the best. There is some support for refactoring in VisualStudio, but I believe it is more fully featured in Eclipse, and practically non-existant in Xcode for the iPhone.

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