Mobile app development Interview questions


Why good apps are released for iOS devices first? This is a question that many smartphone users may wonder. Is it because iOS market generates better revenue? Or is it because the apps are easier to develop? In this article, I will present insight in Synology mobile application development that will hopefully answer some of these questions.

Arguably Synology has the world’s largest lineup of mobile apps in all NAS vendors. The first app that Synology created is DS audio for iPhone. Since then Synology has devoted a lot of resources in mobile app development.

Our steady followers may have noticed that whenever a new app is released, it’s always released on iOS first. Some may even wonder whether this is part of the internal strategy. To answer this, I interviewed Jiayu Liu, who is our mobile development team manager since 2010. Jiayu has been playing an important role since the development of DSM 3.0 and is the chief developer of DSM mobile. Up till today, Jiayu’s team has released 8 iOS apps, 5 Android apps, 3 Windows Phone apps, and the web app DSM mobile.

The Interview

  1. Does Synology prefer to develop iOS apps first before Android and Windows Phone? I have been asked by many DiskStation users about their android smartphones being ignored by the first release of Synology’s new mobile apps. Many mobile developers think they can earn more from iOS platform but I don’t think it applies to Synology because Synology mobile apps are all free to download and work only with DiskStation. Android smartphone market share has passed iPhone in recent years. Any reason to develop new iOS apps first?
  1. We launched the first iPhone app, DS audio, in the middle of 2009 and had the first Android app the year after. Indeed the development of Android apps has been behind iOS since the beginning, especially when the development pace of iOS apps wasn’t slowing down. One of the problems of Android development is the fragmentation of its devices and different versions of the Android OS. You can say that the unification of phone/tablet development in recent Android 4.x does resolve most of the fragmentation but we still have to make sure our apps work on 2.x Android devices. This is not an easy task as we want to deliver a single binary to run in different versions of OS and devices of different screen resolutions. Even though we have put a lot of effort on compatibility, we keep receiving reports from users on functional/layout errors that they encountered on their devices.Regarding your question, given that we have the development resource, I of course would like to create new apps for Android along with iOS at the same time.
  1. With the release of DSM 4.1 came two new windows phone apps on Windows Phone Market. Will Synology develop more Windows Phone apps? With the launch of Windows 8 tablets, will they have a tablet version soon?

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