Platform Divergence

Jim Lambert jiml at
Tue Jun 23 14:56:49 EDT 2020

This year’s WWDC shows Apple is moving to a unified ‘system' for all their products: Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AppleTV.
The Apple development environment promises to produce a single app capable of running on all, or almost all, of Apple devices. This unification promises to be quite convenient for Apple developers.

In contrast, over the last decade or so there has been an ever increasing divergence in UX between major operating systems: Apple, Windows, Linux, Android. The days when systems were so similar that you could rely on the commonality of a handful of UI elements across platforms seems over to me. That’s troubling because such commonality is fundamental to LiveCode’s approach - write once, run everywhere.

In watching WWDC sessions it’s pretty clear that even simple UI elements have become more like UX elements having intrinsic and complex properties, such as certain visual and behavioral animations. Users readily learn to expect these behaviors. Yet such things are increasing difficult to fake with LiveCode’s basic palette of objects.

Enter LiveCode Builder and LC Widgets. They offer the promise of platform-specific UI elements - a promise fulfilled with some simple elements like iOS Native Button or Android Native Field. But I’m concerned that as platforms diverge in the interface experiences they present to users, that LC and LC developers will have difficulty satisfying users' divergent expectations.

Is my concern valid?

Jim Lambert

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