iOS is the Winner

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I came across an interesting article written on 11/16/2013 regarding Android and iOS development that I had to share. It is titled Android vs. iOS Development: Fight! and although the article was written for the target audience of developers, it still provided interesting information on Android and iOS. The author, Jon Evans, has written both Android and iOS apps and therefore has a background in app development.

In the article, Evans discusses several features of development such as: environment, configuration, UX Design, language, API’s, internet, sharing, fragmentation, and publication. By analyzing these different areas in development, Evans is able to demonstrate how between the Android and iOS development, the iOS is better.

Apple’s integrated development environment is Xcode which is easy to use according to the author. Android’s IDE is Eclipse which is not as user- friendly nor as fast as the Xcode for Apple. Here the author indicates that the Xcode makes the iOS more advantageous than Android and is therefore better.

Evans states that Android is better on the configuration portion. Xcode’s configuration is not as user-friendly compared to the Eclipse for Android. Xcode’s configuration compares to “1970s programming” as Evan states meanwhile the Android utilizes one file and can build an app entirely and with simplicity compared the Xcode.

The UX Design for Android and Apple both have their glitches, but both programs are relatively easy to use. iOS has the advantage however due to the three screen sizes, the two screen densities, and the iOS visual elements.

Android utilizes Java and iOS apps utilize Objective-C. Although Evans was not fond of Objective-C for the iOS, it now has automatic reference counting which gives iOS the advantage in Language.

The API’s is equal for both Android and iOS however iOS has the advantage in this area due to the extra frameworks and features and the lines of code.

Evans states that Android has the advantage in the Internet with the AsyncTask. And while iOS provides equivalent features, they do not work as great as Android’s.

Sharing is an important feature to consider however Evans concludes that neither the iOS nor the Android have the advantage here. Both share information at the same level and neither has an advantage over there other therefore they are both equal.

iOS beats Android instantly in the fragmentation feature.

Finally in publishing the application, Evans found that Android was the better one between the two. Android allows easy publication through the Eclipse wizard whereas Apple’s Xcode requires the completion of several certificates and distribution files.

Therefore Evans concludes that the iOS is much more advantageous than Android. Although one can build successful apps through Android, it much easier to do so in iOS.

I have never created a mobile app and I actually have an Android phone and have never used an Apple phone. I therefore cannot compare the two in accordance with my “lack of experience”. However I can demonstrate what I personally feel is a great app for a mobile phone, which from my understanding is available for both Android and iOS.

Instagram is my favorite app to use on my phone. It’s very user-friendly and very simple to understand and use.

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One Web with Different Interfaces

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In a blog post titled There is no Mobile Web Stephen Hays argues to defend his stance on a twitter post that he’d posted that day on January 7, 2011. Because he received so much feedback on the tweet, he chose to explain his stance on the issue. His twitter post stated:

“There is no Mobile Web. There is only The Web, which we view in different ways. There is also no Desktop Web. Or Tablet Web. Thank you.” (Stephen Hayes)

But before the content of his blog post is discussed, we must first introduce the author as it is relevant to his argument and stance. In case you don’t know who Stephen Hay’s is, he works as a Web Designer and development strategist through his own consulting firm Zero Interface located in the Netherlands. A native Californian, Hay has been working in Web Design since 1995. Hays works in this field, therefore his knowledge in this concept is greater than ours unless you too are a Web Designer with 14 years of experience.

In the blog post Hay argues that adjusting the presentation of content for specific devices does not constitute that design as a new form of “web”. He also states that the term “mobile” poses an issue because of its semantics.

People know that a website on a smartphone looks different than a desktop version and therefore may assume that there must be a separate form of web exclusive for mobile devices and therefore other forms of web for other devices. Hay’s argues that this is not true and that there is only one form of a web available. There are however different ways in which the presentation of content appears and this is affected by the type of device or display screen being utilized.

While I agree with Hay’s argument, I would only add a minor detail. I am a student in a Publishing for the Web class and do not have more than four months of experience in Web Design, however I feel that as a “newbie” I can offer an opinion in this growing field.

I believe that there are different forms of interfaces of the web that should be accepted in Web Design. These presentations are available today through our mobile and tablet devices and if Web Designers are currently making adjustments to content to fit the screen of a smartphone, then these terms should be adopted in Web Design terminology. Right now we have Web Designers that have adjusted websites to fit the screen of a smart phone and tablet. Who knows what other forms of devices will require a different form of display in the future.

Proposition’s Come True…

On May 28 2007, the blog post/web post titled Nine Propositions Towards a Cultural Theory of YouTube was written to describe where and what the potential of YouTube was. The web post is about nine different ideas of YouTube’s place in popular culture and was written by Henry Jenkins. Henry Jenkins is a Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He has written twelve books on media and popular culture and has written for Technology Review, Computer Games, Salon, and The Huffington Post. The following are the 9 propositions included in his web post Nine Propositions Towards a Cultural Theory of YouTube

The Nine Propositions:

  1. The first he states is that YouTube represents a hybrid media space where various types of content can exist together.
  2. YouTube is the meeting point between different communities involved in the production and circulation of media content.
  3. YouTube allows amateur curators to utilize this platform to present content for various communities of consumers.
  4. YouTube’s values depend on other social networking sites
  5. YouTube is essential for the citizen journalist
  6. YouTube allows opportunity for translating participatory culture into civic engagement
  7. YouTube allows us to see changes in our cultural community
  8. Knowing how to utilize YouTube has become a necessary skill for young people to have
  9. Lastly, YouTube teaches us that a participatory culture is not necessarily a diverse culture.

It has been six years since this post has been written and although I can say that I believe all to have come true, I believe that the first three are the ones that have become most evident. Type in the word “car” in the search box in YouTube and 61,700,000 video results will appear. Also it is important to note that all types and levels of content are available. For instance, you can find commercial content as well as amateur content on cars. This is also an indication of the second and third point that Jenkins makes. To build more on the second and third points, we can look at one of the videos that appeared in the video results. This is a great example of amateur content.

Podcasts – It’s time to discover and listen up!

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Podcasts, what exactly are they? Well if you’re like me, then you probably have no idea. If you’re not like me and are enjoying the benefits and entertainment of podcasts already. According to Wikipedia, the definition of a podcast is “a type of Digital media consisting of an episodic series of Digital audio, video, PDF, or ePub files”. The fact that I’d never heard of podcasts before this semester in college is one thing, but it’s another that I’ve attempted to search for some to understand exactly what they are and have only come across the most popular podcast This American Life. I hadn’t settled on it yet and wanted to go through a variety of podcasts on different subjects but I didn’t know where to look. Surely there was somewhere you could look besides Apples iTunes right? I came across an article that covered my problem and provided a solution. In reading the article Discovery Problem: Why it’s So Hard to Find New Podcasts I found that finding different podcasts was a known issue people had been experiencing. Nevertheless the article provided me with information about podcasts that I hadn’t known before.

            Scott Pham, the author of the article is a digital content editor for NPR member station KBIA. He describes that podcasts are a big thing right now and are building communities of followers on their series. Despite the success of podcasts, there is no Spotify for podcasts.  Pham references the success of Welcome to Night Vale and how this unknown podcast series was able to bump the more famous This American Life podcast out from the No. 1 spot rankings in iTunes. ITunes, the way Pham admits he and the majority of other podcast listeners discovered podcasts. However, a designer by the name of Max Temkin has created a website called Podcast Thing which contains vast amount of podcasts, the well-known series as well as those that are not as known. Surprisingly, podcasts have been around since 2011, but it became more famous in 2005 with the release of iTunes. And here I am, barely discovering this medium at the end of 2013.

            Pham talks about how iTunes helped the success of podcasts, and how recently Apple celebrated the fact that they had 1 billion podcast downloads. Also, iTunes ranks the most popular podcasts but no one knows the formula in which that rank is decided. Advertisers too are noticing the success of podcasts and different websites, apps, and players are making an effort to help discovery, are an audio app, or even write reviews. The list of these are below:

With this article in mind, I went to Podcast Thing to search for one podcast that would be of interest to me and found The Memory Palace. The author Nate Dimeo is the creator of The Memory Palace and co-creator of Pawnee: the Greatest Town in America and a finalist in the 2012 Thurber Prize for American Humor. He was in public radio for 10 years and lives in Los Angeles. The Memory Palace tells of true stories in history, the one I listened to just now was one titled I’m Still Alive. This episode is about a few selected true stories of people being buried alive. Yes, this podcast was quite intriguing.

            So if the question that follows is “Will I follow this podcast?” The answer is yes.  It’s not only because this is the very first and only podcast I’d ever heard, but because I am a big fan of history and I enjoy reading and learning about it. I know that there are different genres of podcasts available and that’s what makes some more or less successful and popular, but with this in mind I know that I can search for different topics and know that I will find one. For now, I will be keeping up with The Memory Palace and will follow it on Facebook and Twitter. It currently has 57 podcasts therefore I have 56 to listen to in order to catch up and I cannot wait to get started!

Web Accessibility – A Must Know

As a newbie in the Web Design Industry I’ve come across a variety of different information on other aspects of Web Design. Most recently I came across an article on the topic of Web Accessibility which basically means people with all types of disabilities can use the Web also. I found this article on the uiAccess; uiAccess is an online resource for universal interface design and usable accessibility information. It has books as well as other resources online. The article I read was titled Understanding Web Accessibility which covered different aspects of Web Accessibility such as the why it is necessary, which users this affects, different approaches, and benefits.  This article was written by Shawn Lawton Henry who works at the W3C and leads worldwide education and promotes web accessibility for people with disabilities book titled Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design which offers ideas on how to develop products more usable for everyone.

Understanding Web Accessibility discusses people with a variety of different disabilities such as vision impaired, hearing impaired, even those who cannot move their arms or hands and how they are able to use the Web just like everyone else through Web Accessibility. There are several examples the author references such as the Alt Text which allows people who cannot see images to view text instead, captions for audio, device independence which allows users to utilize different devices to navigate besides a mouse, and clear and consistent design. These four examples help those users who are deaf, blind, are unable to move their arms or hands, and those who have cognitive disabilities. Why is this useful? Well for starters by implementing Web Accessibility we offer equal opportunity for those who have disabilities and we can improve people’s lives. However Web Accessibility also refers to people with other types of disabilities such as older people, people with low literacy, people with slower connections or older technology, and new or infrequent web users. The article provides data and statistics showing detailed information on each of these.

After discussing different types of disabilities, the author discusses different approaches to Web Accessibility and how to implement that into ones design. For starters, she states that one must implement Web Accessibility as soon as they begin designing the website. Going back after the website is complete may cost more. The web designer must begin by understanding the different issues that they must accommodate to. One way to make this easier is to involve people with disabilities into your web design project. Shawn Henry also discusses different myths on Web Accessibility that can damage the success of a website if a designer simply based their knowledge off of these.  Lastly, she discusses a variety of benefits available for businesses through the use of Web Accessibility such as Technical and Financial benefits.

Overall the article was a good read as it taught me more on the aspect of accessibility for all users. I went searching online to find some websites and I found Miss Deaf World . The website was very Web Accessible especially for deaf people, and although there’s a video on the front page of the website, it didn’t have sound! By reviewing this website and looking back to mine, I see that there are a few changes that can be made to make it more accessible to everyone.

 

 

Technological Jargon – Usability in Web Design for Senior Users

Upon researching usability in Web Design, I came across an article titled Define Techy Terms for Older Users . While I was more interested in searching for an article that discussed all audiences rather one specific group, I was intrigued by what the article contained and felt it relevant to refer to it my own Web Design techniques as well as share the story to others. I found this article on the website Nielsen Norman Group . Nielsen Norman Group conducts research, evaluates interfaces, and reports their results. They offer training and courses and even consulting services in Web Design. The author Janelle Estes is a User Experience Specialist that works for NN/g. She is also a Primary Researcher and co-author of NN/g.

                The article talks about the use of how technological jargon is not completely necessary to use in a website unless you intent to follow it with a definition. The article also discusses a research study done on older users of the web and researched why older people had trouble understanding technical terminology than younger users did. The study determined many interesting factors. For instance, many seniors in the study learned using the web through work and were taught how to utilize it while the other half don’t use it for work and were either taught how to use it or were self-taught. Also upon asking a senior in what “email format” they wished to receive their email in on a form, some left the answer blank and skipped it.

                To put this article to test, I chose to look at the Microsoft Website . While Microsoft is a large corporation that creates different technologies, it therefore has a higher chance of including technological jargon on their website. An older user will have difficulty understanding the website simply because it has so much technological jargon and not so many definitions.  The article includes interesting aspects of usability towards an audience that perhaps has been neglected to some extent. It is necessary to be clear and informative in order to attract all users and increase traffic in one’s website.