iOS and Android. How are they different?

In 2021 consumers downloaded 230 billion mobile apps to their devices. The Apple App Store has about 2.22 million apps available for download with 781.94k of publishers. Google Play offers Android users to choose between 3.48 million apps.

Mobile applications are getting more popular each day, and mobile development is progressing rapidly.

React-Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic are only a few frameworks that could help you to develop cross-platform applications. Every framework has got its pros and cons, but building a cross-platform application could help you to save time and budget, even though cross-platform apps work slower than native applications.

Nevertheless, what if you have advanced designs, 3-D effects, or you are not sure about the further scalability of the mobile application? This means that, probably, choosing a native development might be the best option for you. Developing an application for both platforms might be too expensive, so you also need to choose between iOS and Android for the MVP.

Popularity

Android is the most popular Mobile Operating System worldwide, with a share of 69.74%. iOS represents only 29.49%.

Mobile Operating System Market Share Worldwide
  • In the US, iOS has a share of 57.43%, Android — 42.29%.
  • Europe: Android — 67.79%, iOS — 31.43%.
  • United Kingdom: iOS — 50.34%, Android — 49.13%.
  • Asia: Android — 81.36%, iOS — 17.91%.

Google Play Store and App Store

Both Google Play Store and App Store have similar revenue sharing conditions. 70% of the revenue goes to the developers, 30% goes to the store.

Google Play is more developer and user-friendly than App Store. It is easier to use and well-organized. The categorization system of Google Play is more advanced as compared to App Store. At the same time, there are too many low-quality apps in Google Play.

App Store is all about quality assurance. The process for getting approved in the App Store takes much more time and effort than the Google Play Store. The average iOS application’s quality is better than Android. App Store security system is also more efficient than the one in Google Play in Google Play.

Android apps have a bigger number of in-app purchases — 22% against 17% with an average cost of a transaction of $10 against $30 in iOS apps.

Android User and iOS User

The average selling price of an Android smartphone is $261. At the same time, The iPhone’s Average Selling Price Hits a Record High of $873 in the US. The average income of iPhone users is higher than Android, iPhone users also make more in-app purchases.

Statistically, women prefer Android more. At the same time, men prefer iOS. Android users are between 18 and 24 years old, while iPhone users are more likely to be over 35. Another interesting fact is that Android users are more politically conservative and introverted than iPhone users. Also, Android users are 29% more likely to save money, have a higher tendency to be followers rather than leaders, and live in the countryside.

Development

Back in the day, Android applications were developed using Java, and iOS used Objective-C. The world does not stand still, and new languages ​​have replaced the old ones. Developers use Kotlin instead of Java, and Swift instead of Objective-C. The main advantages are that the development process is much faster with new technologies and the performance is still on a very high level.

Java vs Kotlin

Java vs Kotlin

Objective-C vs Swift

Objective-C vs Swift

The Android development is more flexible and customizable. It is about the pattern of breaking the app into activities and fragments. That allows you to create more flexible and customizable applications. As Android devices are more popular around the world, there are a lot of Android development Guidelines, so it’s easier for a developer to provide a tech solution that is based on best practices. The applications will run on any Android device, and Android Studio (IDE) helps quickly generate multiple versions of your app with a Gradle-based build system.

Nevertheless, the fragmentation and huge amount of devices with their screen dimensions make Android testing too complicated. Android development is more time-consuming than iOS.

The iOS development relies on view controllers. This platform is considered to be more secure than Android because of the iOS closed-source ecosystem. Apple provides developers with guidelines for creating flawless UI and UX. Quality assurance is very important in IOS development due to App Store publishing standards. As only Apple provides IOS-based smartphones, testing applications is much easier than on the Android platform. The XCode (IDE) is easy to set up but requires macOS. Developers also might make XCode architecture too complicated when their apps are getting bigger.

Usually, Android development requires more time than iOS. The research from GoodFirms shows that:

  • A simple app costs about $24,830 to $59,150 and takes about 4.5 to 11 weeks, with minimum viable features.
  • A complex app costs from $36,107.5 to $85,150 and takes about 7 to 16 weeks, with popular consumer features.
  • An advanced app costs from $59,507.5 to $137,150 and takes about 11.5 to 26 weeks, with cutting-edge features.
GoodFirm’s Research

The average Android developer rate is also lower than iOS.

Summary

Developing a mobile application is not only about the software development itself, but also about a huge analysis process. Google Play Store is not the same as App Store. So, as well as Android users differ from iOS ones. Android is much more popular worldwide, but in the US people like Apple smartphones more. Do you want to create a really specific platform where influencers could share their thoughts? Probably, iOS is better for you. But what if your target audience lives in China or the platform is more about agriculture tendencies? Probably, you should start with Android. What platform to choose when you are about to start your mobile startup in the UK, where Android and iOS have almost the same shares on the market?

This article is a small comparison between two major platforms, but Kernelics advises NOT TO START DEVELOPMENT until the Discovery and BA steps are fully completed.

Nikita Tretyakov, Co-Founder at Kernelics.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store