7 Major Differences Between iOS And Android Development

“What platform should I choose for my mobile app?” This is a common question for every app owner and we want to help you with your decision. Let’s make it clear from the start. This is not a fight. You can build your app for both app stores, which are iOS and Android, but we will present your options for each case along with the advantages and disadvantages of each solution. A very short history is mandatory so you should know that Apple released the first iOS official version in 2007. At the moment of writing, the latest version is iOS 12.2 and they are also working on iOS 12.3 Beta. Google started with the first version of Android in 2008, 11 years ago from now, and has continued with many updates with names borrowed from sweet food in alphabetical order until it reached Pie, which is Android 9.0, in August 2018. They are currently working on Android Q Beta.

Grab your smartphone if you want to take notes because we will start to enumerate the most important elements that make the difference between Android and iOS development.

Target Audiences

Let’s start with the most important aspect that is one of the biggest role players of iOS and Android app development: the users who dictate all the moves of developers. From the beginning, we should highlight that iOS customers are very loyal to the brand, while Android devices are more affordable. On the other hand, it is a sure fact that the number of iOS adepts is smaller than the ones that own an Android smartphone. But even if Android holds a bigger market share, it appears that the income level is higher for iOS users. Keep in mind though that this is just a general rule because there are also exceptions on both sides.

Programming Languages

The next big factor that weights a lot in your decision is the programming language that will help you to obtain the desired product. We can also see the difference between Apple and Android in the programming language. If you want to develop an Android app the most common language used is Java, although Java for Android is a bit different. Another language that was adopted by Android programmers was C++ for which were made also improvements for a more native experience. Recently Kotlin was added as an official Android language being compatible with the other ones. You can read more about that on Google site. While iOS programmers were using Objective – C, Apple introduced Swift in 2014 as the official language for iOS apps. It is not hard to learn its syntax and the advantage is that is built for this main purpose, for helping developers to build mobile apps that run on Apple devices.

Development Tools

We can also talk about development tools for differences between ios and android. The environment used for Android development was Eclipse at the beginning, but with the launch of Android Studio created by Google, the support for Eclipse ended so all developers who want to build Android apps are using Android Studio. For iOS apps you will use XCode, “the center of the Apple development experience”. After deciding on the programming language you will need to get used with the tool that will help you to create the wanted application. So, if you go with Java there is no need to try XCode. Or if you like Swift you won’t get to work in Android Studio.

Development Costs

The best part of mobile development is that you can start for free. There is no difference between Apple and Android in terms of pricing here, cause they both provide free tools and documentations. With the help of them, if you have more free time you could test both platforms. When it comes to coding there aren’t any costs involved in the process. This will happen only if you want to hire a developer but this is the topic of another discussion and it is far from the purpose of this article. The difference appears when you have to upload your creation on the market. For iOS apps, you will need to pay $100 per year with higher prices for enterprises, but for Google Play Store it is a one-time fee of $25. You also need to take that into consideration, because if your monetization plans don’t go as you wanted you won’t see a return on your investment.

App Store Acceptance

It is a known fact that the process of validation for iOS apps to be published on Apple App Store takes longer than an Android app which needs to get on Google Play Store. The reason is that it involves personal verification from Apple experts, while for Android apps the procedure relies only on automated tests. Google lets developers handle some of the errors and multiple versions of the same app can be submitted during a day. For this reason, programmers need to be very careful about the apps submitted because for iOS devices there is the risk that after waiting so much time the app will be rejected and for Android apps, the app could be presented with errors in front of customers.

Design Principles

The reason why iOS users and developers are so loyal to the brand is the clear and neat aspect of the apps. But Google also created its own rules for the simplest design. With Material Design, Android adepts can take advantage of the pleasant effect of paper and ink. In both cases, designers must follow the rules described in the official guidelines for Android and iOS apps.

Monetization Strategies

If you want to generate an income with your work you need to be careful with the method you choose for each platform. While iOS customers reject ads inside apps, Android users manage to ignore them if they want to focus only on the content. The only chance to succeed with this option is to present relevant products for your target audience to convince them to pay attention to your marketing strategy. For iOS adepts, you can go with paid or freemium apps, which also proved impressive results for the ones who own Android devices.


As you can observe there isn’t a straightforward answer to the question from the beginning of the article. All app owners should analyze their resources and their options and to decide accordingly. We just tried to offer you some guiding points which will offer you a better understanding of each platform. Good luck in making the best decision for your app!

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