If you are an Android developer who is thinking about also developing for iOS, there are some very good reasons why you should focus on performance:
- iOS 12 is optimized for performance for older devices.
- iOS hardware is also optimized for performance and can be enhanced by tools like Metal.
- iOS customers by the high-end of the range more than any other part of the product line. So, they are looking for performance applications to match their purchasing decision.
- iOS customers buy more apps, and will pay more for quality apps.
In summary, it is easier to make high-performance apps. And, the target market is willing to reward your effort with their purchase.
Knowing why you should concentrate on performance is one thing. Knowing how to implement it is quite another. There are a number of points in the development process that force decisions affecting performance.
There are also decisions in the business model that will make or break performance. Here are some ways you can make sure your iOS development efforts are equal to other apps on the platform:
Content Is King
When a person expresses the idea that content is king, they are usually speaking in a marketing context. But, it is equally true in a development context. It starts with the content management system (CMS).
Your website runs on content. And, many mobile apps are wrapped websites. If you don’t use a good CMS, you don’t have a good website. The performance equation breaks down when you are not using the best technologies to push your content.
As the people from Zesty.io are fond of saying, “Conquer your content from anywhere, to anywhere”. As an app or web developer, you have to manage lots of content on a daily basis. And, it is not always on your home machine with the 16 cores.
A lot of the older tools that web developers started on over a decade ago have not aged well. So, if yours is a content-heavy endeavor, you will need to resurvey the landscape of CMS options and go with the one that offers the best performance. They all are not created equal.
Trim Your Desktop App
Since Apple made it possible to view desktop versions of websites on iPhones and iPads, there has been a decline in performance for many users. This is because rather than making websites mobile responsive for smaller screens, many developers see no reason to do any extra work to modify their sites for mobile.
So rather than try to get you to make a whole new version for iOS that is smaller, try trimming down your desktop website. There is a good chance that your regular website is too large anyway.
A lot of desktops have been replaced by Chromebooks and tablets. You have plenty of reason to trim the size of your site even before getting to the fact that more people will view it on a smartphone than anything else.
There is some benefit to using the same site for both mobile and desktop. If you want those performance-hungry iOS users to visit your site frequently, then trim the desktop site with mobile-first in mind.
Rethink Your Business Model
Advertising is the #1 performance hit for apps and websites. But, you already know that. You also know that what passes for advertising is a trojan for trackers and the like.
But remember, on iOS, users are more likely to spend money up front for apps. That means that you don’t have to be totally dependent on ads. As for websites, there are many tools that can block ads and other intrusive elements.
People who use ad blockers to protect their performance (and security) will not stop using them for your site. You have to find less intrusive methods to reach customers on mobile. This is seldom a matter of either/or, but balance. If performance is your goal, reevaluating your business model is a must, not an option.
Other advice includes using the platform APIs. Never roll your own when a public API will do. Use as much stock code as possible. This also helps with accessibility.
Rethink your business model and shoot for a better balance. Design your desktop site with mobile in mind. And, use a modern content manager for content-heavy apps and sites.