iOS v. Android
I don’t think I said anything about this in the previous smartphone posts, but I definitely prefer iOS, with the caveat that the last Android phone I used was a Samsung Galaxy S3, but I found the Android just a lot more confusing to use than iOS, plus there’s the fact that every Android manufacturer puts its own interface layer on top of the generic Android making Android even more confusing. I recently had the displeasure of fiddling with a new LG Android phone and I didn’t particularly find it intuitive to use.
As far as which environment you should learn how to program for, definitely iOS, because Androids have to be programmed in Java which is the worst possible language to use. Meanwhile, Apple has been working to improve Xcode even more. Two years ago they came out with a new programming language, Swift, which is said to be a lot easier to use than Objective C, the old programming language for iOS and OSX.
That’s why applications first come out for iPhone, because the creative white guys program for iOS and then they hire a bunch of Indian H-1B types to do the Java/Android conversion, or maybe just outsource the whole thing to India. That’s my impression anyway, I could be wrong about that.
But it’s a fact that iPhone apps are more profitable because iPhone owners have more disposable income so they buy more stuff. When I had access to the web analytics of the company I used to work for, I could verify that two thirds of our mobile sales came from iOS and only one third from Android. The result is that you get better apps for iOS because companies put more effort into the more profitable platform.
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It’s kind of surprising that Trump uses an Android instead of an iPhone.
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There was once a time when Apple products really rubbed me the wrong way. It’s something about the obnoxious glowing Apple logo combined with the smugness of people who use them.
I now have come around to appreciating the quality of Macbooks, but believe it or not, I still prefer Windows over OS X. OS X has a lot of weird annoyances, like the mouse movement just not working the right way and with no way to adjust it, plus the OS X interface often seems sluggish compared to Windows even though my Macbook Air has a Pentium i5 in it which is a pretty powerful chip. Plus you can’t really use a Mac to play games, at least not games with 3D graphics, because there’s no affordable Mac where you can add a graphics card. You have to spend at least $1800 on a Mac in order to get a discrete (but non-upgradeable) graphics processor instead of the GPU built into the Intel CPU. You can add a $110 NVidia GTX 1050 to any cheap PC that has a PCIe x16 expansion slot and it will outperform a $2000 iMac. Consequently, many game companies don’t even bother to port their games to Mac, because there are so few Macs out there with the ability to run modern games with 3D graphics.
Although good news for World of Warcraft fans, it has modest graphics requirements and will run on all of the current-model Macs! Nevertheless, you have a whole class of applications, games, that are available and run well on Windows but not on Mac, and there aren’t any programs I know of that you need a Mac for, with the exception of developing iOS and OS X applications using Xcode. Mac is often associated with creative software, but Photoshop runs just fine on Windows, as well as all other Adobe programs.
Of course, some might see the inability to play addictive time-wasting games as a benefit of Mac.
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I’d say that the key reason why Mac became so popular during the last 10 years is because they came out with Macbook laptop computers that just blew away all Windows laptops as far as the perceived and actual quality. A Dell laptop feels like a cheap yet massively heavy hunk of plastic compared to the sleek, lightweight and all-metal-clad Macbook. And Apple was way ahead of all of the Windows laptop manufacturers as far as adding the latest technologies like high-res displays, SSD drives, and obtaining the longest battery life.
Mac desktops, on the other hand, have always been and remain extremely overpriced and non-upgradeable compared to Windows computers. And since you just keep a desktop in some out of the way place on your desk, or even beneath your desk, they aren’t useful status symbols the way laptop computers are. A big heavy tower of cheap plastic is perfectly acceptable for a desktop computer.