Apple App Development — An Android User Experience

I’ve been working on a side project over at https://price.retroteck.uk which is a game price comparison site. The idea being that you can type the barcode of a game or search for the name and find the cheapest price to buy that game.

To go with this I also wanted to create an app, I have been an android user since around 2009 and during that period I paid the $25 fee required to publish on the app store.

A few days of work and I’ve created the first iteration of the app which I’m happy with and published it to the android market over at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.retroteck.priceComparison (It’s still in development).

However I’ve coded it in Cordova which allows cross platform support so say I wanted to publish it for apple devices its technically possible.

The issues

The first hitch, to publish for an apple device, you at least require a Mac. I brought a year ago a Mac Mini 2009 to give technical support for my products so re-installed it and then went to download all of the APIs and hit another hitch. My Mac’s too old.

Apple discontinued it a few months after I brought it so the latest OS it supports of El Capitan, the latest XCode requires Sierra.

While I’ve downloaded the previous version of XCode which should work under El Capitan these are all things that make it harder to develop for iOS.

Furthermore if I decide to publish the app I’m going to have to fundraise £79 for the fee.

Is this good?

To be honest it’s both good and bad.

The Pro

One of the most common things you hear about android is how there’s lots more fake apps, viruses etc. And well I agree that it’s more likely for there to be malware apps. It’s very easy to get setup with very little effort required.

This then backs up most statements that I see about iOS having less malware. I can believe it as its harder and requires more financial involvement for the attacker to setup.

The Con

If you’re like me wanting to do a basic app which will if I’m lucky get enough money to cover the fees for licensing. Furthermore you have to have a bigger financial involvement to get apple kit to develop on. If you’re a student wanting to develop apps you’ve got a bigger motivation for android as its cheaper and easier.

Mixed area

While before now my main complaint was with the £79 fee in comparison the fact you have to have an up to date apple device to develop on being easily £150–200 for a basic 2010 mac mini. Furthermore if you also buy an iPhone to develop on you’d be looking at £140 for an iPhone 5S. Making another £79 on top of ~£300 of kit not too bad.

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