What are the differences between the Android, iOS, and Windows apps?

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For most apps there is one preferred platform that is more “up to date” in features and functions than other platforms. However SolarView uses one common code base for all platforms. This means that releases for all platforms are synchronized and have the same features and fixes.

There are minor cosmetic differences that derive from the underlying operating system. For example, option selections on Android and Windows will appear as a checkbox, but on iOS will appear as a slider switch. This has no impact on functionality.

There are some operational differences which also derive from the underlying operating system:

  • Specific to Windows:
    • The app window may be resized, minimized, and moved around.
    • The app runs continuously in foreground as long as the computer is turned on and logged in. This makes it a great platform for continuous, predictable monitoring, even if the app itself is minimized.
  • Specific to iOS
    • iOS does not allow apps to operate in the background under the control of the app. Instead, the operating system decides if and when the app is allowed to “wake up” to conduct background processing. This means that notification timing on iOS devices is more sporadic and less predictable than on Android or Windows. (In theory, Apple imposes this control in order to best preserve battery life, however in our experience any impact on battery life is not noticeable.) Apple does not divulge the algorithm that iOS uses to decide when it wakes up an app for background processing, but it depends on your usage habits. What does this mean in practice? For example, on Android or Windows the app will reliably send you an end-of-day report within a minute or so after sunset. By contrast, an Apple device might deliver that same report some hours later. These reports are not really time sensitive, so the delay is not harmful.
  • Specific to Android
    • Rotating the device will close any open screens and redraw the main app screen.
    • When the app is proactively monitoring in the background, the app icon will have a numeric badge which gives you a visual clue that it is monitoring. Disabling notifications will turn off this badge.
Categories: General Usage, Monitoring, Supported Systems