Superb blog post by an indie dev house out of Australia, Shifty Jelly, who went iOS first then Android, but chose to release a new version of their podcast app on Android first this time around. They even take on John Gruber directly in the post:
Unlike John, we actually do Android development full time, and we have for many years. We’ve made big apps, we’ve made small apps. Sorry to disappoint you John, but a talented Android developer works at roughly the same speed as a talented iOS one. They make the same apps, of the same complexity, in the same amount of time. Sure there are differences in platforms and API. Some things are quicker to do on iOS, others on Android. Long story short, there’s not a lot of difference when it comes to development time.
There’s even an update after Gruber responded to the original post and talked about how the BBC iPlayer team had a tough time maintaining their app on Android. The banter’s great, but the heart of the matter is what’s key here:
At this point I could scour the Internet for more examples like this one where the author explains how both platforms took him equal amount of times to develop for, and which aspects of each he prefers. That’s not my intention though, it was merely to point out that Android and iOS development in general, take about the same amount of time. In some cases is Android development harder? Of course. In some cases is it easier? Yes. I’m not here to champion Android and claim it’s not fragmented, because it is. I’m not here to tell you that it’s somehow superior to iOS, the truth is that it’s a lot more nuanced than that.