The impact Verizon has on iPhone App Development
With the iphone coming to Verizon, I asked two of our mobile developers, Kyle Kvech and Chuck Hriczko what that means for mobile app developers.
What are the main differences between the Verizon iPhone and AT&T iPhone if any?
Kyle Kvech’s take on this:
“There is no simultaneous voice & data.” Kyle then noted that this is not specific to the iPhone though, but all Verizon phones. “This means if you’re talking on Skype over 3G and get a phone call, your skype call will be immediately disconnected. You won’t be able to access the web, or any features of an app that require remote data while on a call.”
Chuck Hriczko also weighed in:
“As Kyle said there are no differences aside from simultaneous voice and data. However, Verizon has already released their LTE data network and is preparing their LTE voice network. Even with just LTE data, you can do simultaneous voice and data. Going by Apple’s track record of releasing devices I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an LTE iPhone on the horizon, maybe 6 months from now. That’s complete conjecture though.”
Do apps have to developed differently for the two different versions?
Chuck doesn’t think there should be any problems:
“This is like Android where there are different vendors (HTC, Motorola, etc) and different handsets but the same OS”
Kyle agreed with Chuck as well:
“Apps should be able to handle the loss of a data connection. If they don’t, they should be fixed, but this will not require a separate Verizon version.”
With an influx in users, do I need to upgrade my database if I see a lot more users accessing it?
Both Kyle & Chuck agreed that this is really a usability issue. If you see a large strain on your database you would need to update it, but that would be on a case by case basis. “The only reason one would need to upgrade their database would be if they were having performance issues,” noted Kyle.
If my app is already approved in the App store, do I have to resubmit it?
Both developers answered this one pretty easily: No. Chuck did add that “it’s the same operating system and same hardware as iPhone 4 for ATT so no changes will be necessary to the app or to the App Store entry. That said, there are some network differences regarding things such as SMS. For instance, and forgive me if this isn’t pertinent to the iPhone, but GSM network automatically split SMS messages if they exceed 160 characters. CDMA carriers do not do this. It’s up to the software to do this. So if someone built an app that sends out a 200 character SMS message but the app itself doesn’t split it, relying on the network, that would require a change. The likelihood of this is very low though.”
Now that the iPhone is available on Verizon, does it make sense to make apps for the Android platform? Is that going away?
Kyle responded with:
“Not anytime soon. It’s still a close race, but especially with the iPad and iPods included, the iTunes App Store is still the #1 place to make money. Start there first, Android next. It’s an operating-system market share race now, with google moving Android to set-top boxes, tablets, and mp3 players.”
“As an Android user and developer this question hurts me… deeply Seriously though, no. It’s like when Apple went to using Intel chips inside their machines if it was worth it to make Windows apps. There are those who, for one reason or another, like Android, Blackberry or even Windows Phone. While Blackberry and Windows Phone may not be fiscally worth making an application for, Android is very close to Apple and it’s getting closer every day. Plus, as Kyle said, other types of devices are getting Android as well. Honeycomb is going to really help Android take off in the tablet dept and set top boxes like the Logitech Revue (which I couldn’t live without) run Android as well. Plus with API differences, iOS can do things Android can’t and vice versa. For instance, the largely popular Android app Locale isn’t on iPhone at all. Finally, RIM is working on a way to run Android apps on it’s Blackberry Playbook, further increasing Android’s reach. So, while it may or may not be worth it to make Blackberry or Windows Phone apps, it definitely is worth it to make Android apps alongside iOS apps.”