Ever since one of our iOS developers bought a Galaxy Note 2, he always wanted to master Android app development like he did with iOS. His thinking being that it would be much more advantageous to be a dual language developer instead of being a one trick pony. Little did he know that the small differences between iOS and Android could create a large divide.
iOS Developers know that to get started with iOS development you sign up for an Apple developer account and then proceed to download XCode. Every version of XCode includes the latest version of iOS along with other necessary development tools such as the Simulator and Instruments, which is a memory debugging tool. This is nice and simple for iOS, but not so much when starting with Android development.
For starters, when it comes to Android, technically there is no official integrated development environment. The closest thing to an official IDE is Eclipse. Eclipse is an open source environment, which means it was not built strictly for Android. The downside to that is that when you download Eclipse you must also download the other crucial development tools. This includes the simulators, SDKs, and a host of debugging tools.
But that’s not all – After downloading all of the needed tools you still have to setup Eclipse to work with the Android SDK and Java. Our developer nearly lost his mind because Eclipse would not show auto complete.
While still early in the learning curve, these little differences have come together to form a huge headache for our developer. While he has had thoughts of giving up and returning to the safety of iOS-only development, he reports that he refuses to give up. Keep checking back for further updates and to see how our iOS developer manages in the land of Android app development.
Share your experiences
Have you tried to become a dual platform developer? If so, what lessons have you learned that you are willing to share (please, no profanity!) in the comments section below?