Comparing Mobile application development, iOS versus Android

Comparing Mobile application development, iOS versus Android

Smartphones are transforming our way of lives, from Medicine and Fitness to Fashion and Technology, you will discover an App for everything. As the App ecosystem is developing, mobile applications are emerging as a strong medium between companies and consumers.

In the present scenario, iOS and Android are two major platforms for which apps are created. Depending upon the intended target group, Organizations need to select cross-platform or native development for these platforms, though if we look at the larger number of apps on Google App Store we can conclude that some apps would be built for only one of these platforms.

Being two of the largest mobile operating systems there is a consistent comparison between the platforms. App Developers frequently ask this question, which platform should they build up an App for, first?

Let us take a glance at the Pros and Cons of both the Platforms to understand what factors an organization should consider before developing an App:



iOS v/s Android

Market Share
Android Operating System, holds a significant percent of smartphone market share and this acts as one of the most prominent advantages of Android.

Mobile App Development for Android Platform
The flexibility of the platform allows the developers to experiment with different features making Android-based apps more versatile. Developing applications on Android will require you to use Java programming also simultaneously the Android SDK. Whereas for iOS, applications will have to be created using Xcode IDE with the iOS SDK. Developers had the option to either use Swift as a language or simply go ahead with Objective – C. But Now most of the newer Apps are developed in Swift.  Swift is being used for App development on iOS, as it renders lesser errors as compared to other languages. However, Android has a slight advantage as it can be used on multiple hardware whereas iOS will need an Apple device to function.

Optimization becomes a massive challenge for the Android App Developers with the Open Source Licensing. With the availability of the Android on different devices with different versions of the OS, fragmentation is inevitable. It becomes more complicated for the developers to design apps for multiple screens sizes, different DPIs and OS versions. Hardware also plays an important role in the user experience and fragmentation, cause Android Apps to experience more bugs. Developing Android Apps requires more time and longer codes which also makes it more expensive to create. The Apps are smoother in functioning and give a better user experience. Because the number of iOS devices is finite, therefore the probability of fragmentation is reduced majorly and the dependence on the screen sizes and OS version is lesser. With limited or no fragmentation, debugging also becomes relatively more convenient for the developers.

The Android platform is easily accessible to the Mobile App Developers as it is open source software. It allows the App development without any official subscription, with lesser restrictions; it hardly takes any time for the Developed to be made available to the end user for download. To publish any App on Play Store an APK must be uploaded which gets approved within a few hours.

For the application developed for iOS, the developers need to pay an annual fee to make the App available on Appstore and the App is tested thoroughly before it is available for downloading. The Apps can only be developed using Mac Hardware which makes it further more restrictive. The customization possibilities are limited, and because the license is not open for use, it increases the cost incurred in designing and creating the iOS-based application.

Subscription to Apple’s membership program is necessary and the designs and guidelines used to develop Apps need to be in tandem with the outlines given by Apple. The Investment is higher in developing an App on iOS as compared to Android.

Revenue Generation
The investment in developing an iOS maybe higher but so is the revenue generated through the Appstore. Exclusivity is the main highlight of the iOS Apps. Unlike Android, iOS is focused towards a higher income bracket and mostly caters to people who are willing to spend more on Apps and upgrades. Even though the number of downloads for Android maybe higher, the iOS users willingly spend more on Applications. Android App Developers can earn more through Ad Revenue.

Which Operating Software is better to develop Mobile Applications?
There is no clear winner in this comparison. The selection of the Operating Software completely depends on the goals of the organization. Before deciding which OS to opt for there are certain factors that need to be kept in mind, for example, the target audience, what budget does the firm have, the firm will have to prioritize on these lines and then make a decision. Any organization where developers are well versed in Java and need to reach out to a larger group of people may opt for Android, but anyone who wants to focus on the higher earning sector of the society and people who are conscious about design and user experience may have a higher proclivity for iOS.

Author: Nilesh Ukey

Mobile App Consultant, IIT graduate with 8+ years of experience in Mobile App & Web Development and Strategising complex projects with substantial architectural design. Nilesh is responsible for accelerating growth and driving new business opportunities while understanding and keeping in the forefront, our clients’ vision. His focus is on guiding end-to-end strategy to advance Nickelfox position in high-growth markets across the globe. He brings a rare combination of creative, analytical and operational skills.