OS platform and products

Some discussions just don't fit into a well defined box. Use this forum to discuss general topics and issues revolving around the Church and the technology offerings we use and share.
alexik
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OS platform and products

Postby alexik » Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:15 am

Why is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints such an avid advocate of Apple products, or at least a strong supporter of Apple products? The Church has a myriad of commercials featuring Apple products including television commercials, YouTube videos, and internet memes. The number of apps the Church produces for Apple products eclipses the apps produced for other platforms. Also, iPhones and iPads are being distributed to missionaries. The use of technology to help perform the work of the Lord and share His Gospel was wonderful inspiration. However, I do not understand why the Church has chosen Apple as their platform of choice. Of the top three current technology platform (Apple, Google, and Microsoft), Apple most strongly opposes the thoughts of the Church and has the most moral decay. Apple is the least charitable of the three companies, strongly opposes traditional marriage (being marriage as defined between a man and a woman), and has the most expensive products. Google, in general, is a good company, charitable, and have well priced products. However, I feel that Microsoft and their product line best meet the Church’s needs and Microsoft is also well known for their charitable efforts. The Windows Phone is known to be more secure than the iPhone or the Google Phone platform. From an administrator’s perspective, Windows is the most and easiest to control. From a developer’s perspective, Windows has the greatest unity between products and code portability.

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Re: OS platform and products

Postby russellhltn » Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:49 am

alexik wrote:The number of apps the Church produces for Apple products eclipses the apps produced for other platforms. Also, iPhones and iPads are being distributed to missionaries.

I'd imagine a large reason is the development environment. Apple's is pretty consistent and straightforward. Android is fractured and models are constantly changing. Windows has had it's share of turmoil and may be settling down, but it may be awhile before enterprise developers gravitate to that platform. I'd imagine many apps were started some time ago, so what you see now is a reflection of the development environment a year ago. Windows was fractured between Desktop/mobile/phone.

Keep in mind that the church generally follows enterprise tech trends rather then spend the time and effort to play on the bleeding edge. So you might want to look at the general status of in-house apps at the corporate level.
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alexik
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Re: OS platform and products

Postby alexik » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:48 pm

I guess there's truth to that. Android is still a fractured environment. Apple is fairly consistent. I would say Windows has been pretty consistent and straightforward since the release of Windows 8. Since then, though, development for Windows is easier along with a unity between products.

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Re: OS platform and products

Postby lajackson » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:00 pm

alexik wrote:Android is still a fractured environment. Apple is fairly consistent.

I think you are speaking of mobile devices here. (Nearly every administrative and Family History Center computer in the Church runs Windows.)

I imagine the Church looked at all of their options. In the area of devices for missionaries, for example, I believe Apple provides some controls that other platforms and operating systems do not. I also note that the Church has been able to figure out a way to control the availability of Handbook 1 on iOS devices, but has not (yet?) been able to do so on Android devices.

In a more general way, though, there have been times when Android was ahead of iOS in the Gospel Library and LDS Tools area. I know the development teams try to keep feature availability consistent between platforms, but each operating system has its capabilities and quirks (back to the Handbook 1 example again, for instance).

I believe if something came out that better met the needs of the Church, they would adopt it and use it to the fullest extent possible. And I think that is as it should be. Don't forget that the Church must also think globally, and that what they decide to do or not do also has to work in the remotest parts of the world, not just in areas where the gospel is strong.

It cannot be an easy decision-making process.

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Re: OS platform and products

Postby aebrown » Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:57 pm

russellhltn wrote:I'd imagine a large reason is the development environment. Apple's is pretty consistent and straightforward. Android is fractured and models are constantly changing.

Apple's development environment is consistent? Huh? The move from Objective-C to Swift is a huge change, and Apple is far quicker than Android or Windows to abandon older versions of the OS. That's hardly a model of consistency. And you could just as easily say that AppCode vs Xcode fractures the iOS IDE market as much as Android Studio vs Eclipse.

I'm not sure what you mean with your negative comments about Android. I'm an Android app developer and I would certainly not agree with that characterization of "models constantly changing." Sure, there are new improvements such as Material Design, but that's not any bigger than the changes introduced in iOS 7 or 8.

I'm not trying to have a religious debate about development platforms, but please be careful about throwing out your quite disputable personal opinions as if they were fact.

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Re: OS platform and products

Postby russellhltn » Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:36 pm

I don't do mobile development and I don't have any iOS devices (but I do have android). My opinion is based on what I've seen reported. Whatever the reason, the sense I get is that developers tend to be happier with the Apple environment. A quick Google for "developer apple vs android" seems to support that. Anyone interested in the situation might want to do a similar web search.

It's going to take time before we know what Windows 10 will do. I think Microsoft has some significant advantages but has significant momentum to deal with. How that will play out is hard to tell.
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alexik
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Re: OS platform and products

Postby alexik » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:50 am

russellhltn wrote:
aebrown wrote:Apple's development environment is consistent? Huh? The move from Objective-C to Swift is a huge change, and Apple is far quicker than Android or Windows to abandon older versions of the OS.


I forgot about that. Yes, that is true.

lajackson wrote:I imagine the Church looked at all of their options. In the area of devices for missionaries, for example, I believe Apple provides some controls that other platforms and operating systems do not.


I do not agree with this because WIndows Phone had a major focus on enterprise and administration ability. This is why WIndows Phone advertises so much about the use of Office across all their platforms and unity between them. WIndows Phone is also known to be the most secure of the three (iOS, Android, WIndows).

In my opinion, Android is comparable to Linux, where it provides the most freedom in what can be done with the product. However, if you are an administrator I feel like it would also require more initial setup and know how to get customized to your situation (security and administrative tools). That is also why I do not think the Church has chosen to focus on Google’s platform for missionary purposes.


lajackson wrote:I believe if something came out that better met the needs of the Church, they would adopt it and use it to the fullest extent possible. And I think that is as it should be. Don't forget that the Church must also think globally, and that what they decide to do or not do also has to work in the remotest parts of the world, not just in areas where the gospel is strong.


To think globally, Android would be the best choice. Android has about 80% of the global market share for 2014/2015. iOS has a mere 10% to 15% for 2014/2015. iOS is known to have very loud spoken fan. So Apple has received the most lauded fanfare in the U.S. where there presence is also strongest. Also, only Windows Phone and Android phones offer inexpensive handsets so as to be alternative, affordable options in low-income countries. To be adopted, a platform needs to have good exposure, which could be lacking in the other platforms which could also better meet the needs of the Church.

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Re: OS platform and products

Postby sbradshaw » Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:46 pm

You have to also consider when the Church started looking into tablets for missionaries – probably back in 2010 or 2011. Windows Phone was still in its infancy, and Android was (still is) fragmented. The Church wrote Area Book and other software for iOS. The pilot program with iPads in 30 missions was launched in 2012. The pilot program was successful. I don't think there's a compelling reason yet to switch to something else when iPads have been proving successful.
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

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mfmohlma
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Re: OS platform and products

Postby mfmohlma » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:16 pm

sbradshaw wrote:I don't think there's a compelling reason yet to switch to something else when iPads have been proving successful.

I can think of one: the $381 price tag that each missionary must come up with to buy one for their mission. (And yes, we as ward clerks seem to have to be the bearer of that bad news...) There are tons of more capable Android tablets out there for much less, but I digress...

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Re: OS platform and products

Postby drepouille » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:33 am

mfmohlma wrote:I can think of one: the $381 price tag that each missionary must come up with to buy one for their mission. (And yes, we as ward clerks seem to have to be the bearer of that bad news...) There are tons of more capable Android tablets out there for much less, but I digress...

And remember, since that $381 is considered a purchase (they keep the tablet when they are released), it is a non-tax-deductible item from "Other".
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska


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