Android development with the Eclipse IDE

Microsoft gave its mobile offerings a huge overhaul with Windows Phone 7, putting them on par with phones running iOS or Android in the eyes of many.  All bias aside, I think they have a winner in the works; it's very nice for a Version 1 product.  We all know (whether we agree or not) smartphone platforms are only successful if developers get on board.  Developers only want to get on board if they fell the platform will be successful -- it's a catch-22.  Norwegian developer and consultant Frode "Nilzor" Nilsen decided to take a hands on approach and see the differences in application development between WP7 and Android, to help decide which platform he wanted to focus on.  Hit the break to find out more. [Nilzor's Techblog via WP Central]

Mr. Nilsen went into the project with some experience in Windows Mobile development, and a mostly open mind (based on his story).  We all have a little bias, but Frode seems to have kept it in check.  That's important, because so many times people let their results get a bit skewed based on what they like before they even begin.  Even though it's all very non-scientific, this kind of data is nice to have if you're a developer, or even just a geek.  I think this quote from his blog sums it up nicely.

"The technology wasn't a big factor in the decision I had to take. First and foremost I wanted to make money. Most money with least effort - that was basically my goal (isn't everyone's?). Technology is of course a factor when it comes to effort, but most important was which phone was most attractive to the public, hence giving me the largest market."

Callously honest.  Can't argue with that.

After building the same application for both Android and WP7, Frode goes over the details of his time on each.  It's an awesome read, and he goes in-depth, answering most any question we readers could think of.  Anyone interested in mobile application development needs to read it, but we'll go over Frode's conclusions here

Frode's dice roll chart

Frode's system is easy -- higher scores are better.  I'll not challenge the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) marks, because if you're used to Windows, Visual Studio is probably easier to use.  Personally I find it too busy, and lacking some options but it's going to depend on what you're used to.

Based on his record of the process, I think he got everything pretty close to what I would have came up with, making the idea of coding for either platform a viable choice.

Frode's decision?  He decided to program for Android for now.  He thinks programming for WP7 is fun, but his Galaxy S is more fun, and as he so eloquently puts it --

"Android is still quite much bigger than for Windows Phone, and that is the factor that makes me pretty sure that my next project will be on an Android device. I reach a greater audience, and that's always cool both in terms of revenue and feedback. Who want's to work for weeks in a cellar and when the day comes for publishing, you never hear a word of praise or criticism? So the next project: Android, but the next after that? Who knows - I go where the wind blows."