iOS vs Android: Which Platform to Choose for Development?

If you are an emerging mobile applications developer, you have probably asked yourself whether it is easier to develop Android or iOS dedicated software. This article presents detailed comparison of Android and iOS development in order to help you make the most proper choice for your workflow or future project for those having an app idea in mind.

Comparison of Android and iOS development: 6 main differences

  1. Different programming languages. Applications developed for Android platform are written in Java. In case of the iOS operating system, Objective-C and a relatively young Swift programming language are used. Both Java and Objective-C feature massive user web-communities. Due to that, you will not have to search numerous virtual and printed sources for solutions to typical coding problems. As to Swift, due to its novelty, it features much humbler technical support community. However, considering its utterly low learning curve, you will, most probably, be able to solve any difficulties by yourself. The one nuance to be accepted by all iOS developers is the necessity of purchasing the veritable Apple device. That is due to the fact that even the most advanced emulators of the OS are unable to imitate its operating specifics and functionality completely.
  2. Applied IDE. iOS and Android feature different from each other IDEs. In particular, initially, IDE Eclipse ADT was used for development of Android applications. It came to be in favor of many mobile software developers due to the ability to connect separate modules written in Java, C or C++. With time, Google offered another advanced integrated development environment based on Java – Android Studio. The company positions it as an enhanced alternative to previous IDE which has been successfully applied by programmers since 2014. As to iOS, in order to create apps for the platform, you will need XCode. It allows programming in such popular languages as C, C++, Objective-C, Swift, Java, Python and Ruby.
  3. User percentage ratio. Probably most everybody knows that Android has held top positions on the mobile devices market for years. The tendency advances with each year. Such fact is dependent, first of all, on affordable price and an incredibly wide choice of Android-based devices. What does it mean for developers? Can we state with confidence that Android software solutions will bring bigger profit? Our answer is no. Considering rapid development of cross-platform field of development, mobile applications which could potentially become viral are created for both platforms simultaneously.
  4. Differences in design. Commencing development of mobile applications for iOS or Android platforms, it is important to understand differences in design. Thus, iOS applies the so-called Flat Design, a kind of minimalistic way to create the appearance for mobile apps. It includes thin lines, concise elements and complete absence of shades. Android, in its turn, works with Material Design, which, alternatively, applies shades and a number of other less distinctive differences.
  5. Specifics of App Store and Google Play. Once your project is finished, you will have to upload the application to App Store or Google Play. That process is characterized by a number of nuances though. Regarding Google Play, it offers the most pleasant conditions for developers: a relatively low price of $25 for registration, few hours for app’s approval by Google politics via Bouncer system and availability of sections dedicated to app’s alpha and beta testing. In turn, following of App Store rules will cost you much more in many aspects: a total price of $99 paid annually; around 2 weeks wait for approval; problematic attraction of one’s own team of beta-testers (App Store demands employment of services of Apple’s own testers from TestFlight). On the one hand, such restrictions are a part of Steve Jobs’ main idea. They make the iOS platform more standardized and safe for users. On the other hand, they slow down many developers by, in some cases, delaying the date of release.
  6. Potential profit level for developers. According to the practice, owners of iOS-based gadgets are more willing to pay for installation of mobile applications from App Store. Android-based devices users, for their part, as judged by implicit opinion of experienced developers, are more interested in free content. Nevertheless, due to significant discrepancy of sales levels of devices based on one or another OS, potential number of buyers is approximately equal for both platforms. Additionally, you can implement your startup by making a mobile application free, but featuring advertisement boxes. That way, you will be able to receive passive income from cooperation with other companies in need of promotion.

Read also: How to Get Revenue from Mobile Apps

android vs ios

Developers’ experience: pros and cons of iOS vs Android app development

What is a general iOS vs Android development difficulty? Let us consider experience of developers who work on applications for iOS and Android continuously. We have thoroughly analyzed comments from forums and would like to highlight certain integral remarks related to iOS vs Android app development.

Thus, one of the main disadvantages of development for Android is an astounding variety of devices with various screen formats. Therefore, app adaptation to each and every gadget is not very pleasant from the point of view of programmer’s rational time management. In case of iOS, you will be working with a quite limited list of supported devices. Identifying formatting of app’s window for each of them is not complicated. Furthermore, having paid a certain sum of money, you will be able to utilize emulators (for example, first official Apple’s product of such kind – Apple iOS Simulator). They make it possible to test a product in various combinations of operating system and physical parameters of a gadget. Later on, that helps predict the best user experience during interaction with your mobile app.

Android or iOS development: Conclusion

Let us summarize all the said above. To date, both platforms have achieved such excellence, that discussion of the superiority of one or another option from the point of view of both user and developer would be inappropriate. That is why, if you are asking yourself which is better – Android or iOS development, the best option for you would be to choose a platform based on your own experience and preference. For startup owners, it is important to understand that Android development is usually 20–50% more expensive than iOS development.

Alternatively, you can begin mastering principles and tools for cross-platform development, so that you won’t have to choose any of the discussed solutions.

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