Android vs iOS App Development – What are the Main Differences?

May 11, 2023 |

11 minutes read

For mobile app development, the two most widely used technologies are iOS and Android. So, if you’re developing mobile apps, you must choose whether to develop for iOS, Android, or both. Most individuals have a rudimentary understanding of how iOS and Android vary from one another.
You’ve come to the right spot if you’re interested in becoming a developer, an entrepreneur, or just a business user with a keen interest in technology. Everything you need to know about iOS and Android will be covered, along with a detailed breakdown of each system’s advantages and disadvantages to make an informed decision for mobile application development services.

iOS Mobile App Development

Mobile apps for Apple’s mobile operating system are referred to as iOS app development. iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches can all run iOS apps. For its products, Apple offers a variety of operating systems. For instance, macOS allows the use of software created for Mac computers. Even the iOS operating system has an iPad-specific version called iPodOS. Apple’s mobile operating system’s specialised device characteristics and security requirements are catered for explicitly in iOS development.

Android Mobile App Development

Created by Google Android operating system is used by majority of the tech companies including Google, Samsung, OnePlus, Sony, Motorola and many others. Android mobile app development is considered the most popular tech-stack for creating interactive mobile apps for most of the smart devices including smartphone apps, tablet apps, TV apps and others. According to some facts, 24,000+ types of apps have been created by over 1300 different companies run on Android OS.

Major Differences between Android and iOS Development

The creation of iOS and Android apps differs beyond only the underlying operating system. Here are some of the most noticeable differences that help you to choose Android app development services or iOS app development services for your next project.

Programming languages

The choice of programming languages is the key distinction between iOS and Android. Either Objective-C or Swift are used in iOS apps. Swift is now advised above the other language because of its improved performance, speed, and memory-handling capabilities. It’s also well-liked since it makes iOS app development easier and is simple to learn and use.

On the other hand, Java or Kotlin are frequently used by Android developers. The main programming language for Android is Java, which has a lengthy history in the creation of apps dating back to the early 2000s. As a result, the language is fairly dependable and well-established. The community has been quite supportive of it as well. Java is a platform of choice for corporate applications because of its reliability and security records.

Development Interface

A software package known as an integrated development environment (IDE) includes all the tools required to create an app, including a source code editor, debugger, and project management. The official IDE for Android is called Android Studio. The Android SDK, a collection of all the resources, libraries, and APIs needed to build Android apps, is made available to developers through Android Studio. Along with the usual tools like the debugger and source code editor, Android Studio also makes use of the Gradle Build System. This is a strong and adaptable solution for automating Android app development.

While iOS makes use of the XCode IDE. The Interface Builder is one of XCode’s main benefits. By dragging and dropping components, designers may use this tool to graphically construct user interfaces. Additionally, it closely complies with Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines (HIG), assisting in the compliance of your UI. Due of their comparable qualities and capabilities, comparing XCode with Android Studio is generally difficult.


The process of creating a mobile app must include the QA testing phase. The same category includes games and other apps. The software that is being created must have perfect functioning. Examples of platforms that are frequently used to test this include the iOS simulator and the Android emulator.

The iOS simulator is far quicker than its Android version, which is a noticeable distinction. The Android emulator, on the other hand, has the comparative benefit of being a powerful virtual machine with a CPU, making it more realistic than its iOS counterpart.

Thus, the iOS simulator frequently fails to produce precise and lifelike renderings of Apple products. To check the app’s interaction flow and find any flaws, it is important to run many tests on actual mobile devices.

Design Interface

The aesthetic differences between creating an app for Android or iOS end users become apparent at this point. The developer will technically integrate XML files onto Android interfaces. These closely resemble the XIB files used by iOS.

Animations on iOS are of higher quality than those on Android. Through the Android L developer preview and the establishment of the Material Design trend for app design, Google has made an effort to remedy this. Meanwhile, Apple has consistently prioritised subtle, intricate, and potent animations while carefully considering its aesthetics and user experience. Google, on the other hand, made the decision to prioritise hardware over these factors.

Development costs

Another aspect that might differentiate the creation of iOS and Android apps is cost. However, since that depends on a number of factors, it’s challenging to say which is more expensive than the other. For instance, as we said with device fragmentation, the Android ecosystem’s greater variety of devices makes development more difficult.

Android applications are consequently often more expensive and take longer to produce—up to 40% longer, according to some estimates. However, a few extra variables might have an impact on the price of iOS development. For instance, any iOS project requires a costly Apple developer account. The yearly cost of a basic subscription is $99, while the corporate edition is $299. Google, on the other hand, just requests a $25 one-time contribution. All things considered, it is only possible to estimate the costs of iOS and Android on a case-by-case basis.

Optimisation and distribution in App stores

Your application is prepared to launch once the development phase is complete. App stores currently fill the position. We discussed some of the distinctions between the App Store and Google Play in the sections before, including the need for app clearance and publication costs. Let’s now focus on a few more crucial topics.

Both app markets are continually expanding their selections. In terms of quantity, Google Play surpasses the App Store, providing customers with 3.48 million applications compared to 2.22 million on the App Store. However, it also means that Google Play is facing much stiffer competition.

The number of downloads is one of several criteria that influence an app’s place in the market. As a result, in addition to spending time, money, and effort on the creation of your app, you also need to focus on optimising it for the app store. The cornerstone of your app marketing approach should be this.

How to determine the best choice between Android and iOS?

iOS and Android are considered as the top technologies for building mobile apps. However, you must need to choose one of the two techniques to create your business app that targets your audience base. Here are a few criteria comparing Android and iOS that can help you to make an informed decision for better ROI.

Besides, the above criteria, you must need to consider the cross-platform compatibility of the technologies. Both Android and iOS at the same time, suffers technical errors, additional costs, development complexity that depends on the complexity and features on the app. So, it is important to choose the best development technology wisely.

Therefore, before beginning the process of developing a mobile app, you should consider your business goals, the needs of your target audience, the cost, time, and potential obstacles. After determining your requirements, you can decide to hire Android app developer or hire iOS app developer that perfectly suits your project.

No matter which option you choose in our final comparison of iOS vs. Android app development, working with a seasoned mobile app development company will undoubtedly improve your chances of success.

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    Jinal Shah

    The Managing Director of iFlair Web Technologies Pvt. Ltd. since 2004. He has spent 20+ years growing client businesses and assisting organisations ranging from Startups to Fortune 500 companies. Always shares cutting-edge topics on various technology platforms, Builds the prevailing concepts of the IT industry with interested readers.

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