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iOS or Android?

This is perhaps one of the most popular questions of the decade. Yes, I know we have already talked about iOS vs Android – Which Platform should Your Business use in 2022? But this topic is a bit different. We will talk about the development process of the respective platforms and not the choice between them. 

Allow me to walk you through it.

See, if you are planning to create your own app sometime soon, this is the first and foremost question you should ask yourself – iOS or Android? Because honestly, the whole concept and framework of your app will depend on the operating system you choose. So no pressure, right? 

Although the app development process may look almost similar for both iOS and Android, in reality, there are quite a few differences between the two. In today’s article, we are going to tell you about some of those differences so that you know which operating system is the best fit for your app development process.

So hop on!

App Development: iOS vs Android 

So what are the major differences between iOS and Android when it comes to the app development process? 

Here starts the list!

Programming Language Used

Android and iOS use different programming languages

It goes without saying that Android and iOS use different programming languages for their operating systems. iOS apps are written in Objective-C/Swift, whereas Android apps are written in Java.

This is perhaps the most significant distinction, and it obviously makes a world of difference. Different programming languages mean that iOS vs Android programming need different tech stacks. (By the way, here’s all the info you need about tech stacks, should you need it!) 

While iOS utilizes the Swift proprietary app development language, Android depends largely on Java or Kotlin as the equivalent. 

Wait up! Do you need to hire developers to build your app? Reach out to us today!

Which tech stack is quicker and easier to use? 

Many app developers will tell you that developing an iOS app is easier than creating its Android version. And that’s because Swift is 

  • More readable than Java and therefore,
  • Relatively quicker to develop.

But don’t rubber stamp it just yet. 

As Kotlin is evolving every day, the tide may turn again soon. Kotlin is touted as the next replacement of Java because it is 

  • intuitive, 
  • modern, and 
  • simple to read. 

What’s not to like about that, right? 

Oh and let’s not forget here– cross-platform app development tools! They are a godsend for time-crunched businesses. These tools let app developers write a single code that works on both Android and iOS. 

As you can imagine, this is a huge time and money-saver, although cross-platform apps may not always work as smoothly as native apps.

By the way, if you’d like to know more about cross-platform app development, make sure to check out our blog on- Why Use React Native for Mobile App Development?

Development Environment

The integrated development environment is another noteworthy difference between iOS and Android development.

Android developers use Android Studio, a Google-developed proprietary tool that boasts a broad set of capabilities, like:

  • Cross-platform support, 
  • Great readability, and
  • A large array of creating and debugging facilities.

Sounds great, right? 

iOS developers, as we know, use Apple’s XCode software. The Apple-backed solution comes with a number of features, like:

  • Bug-fixing tools, 
  • Ease of use, and, unsurprisingly,
  • Covers the whole range of iOS devices.

What is the best IDE, you ask? 

Well, when you compare Android Studio vs XCode, you won’t be able to decide which is better. Because both have their advantages and disadvantages. But of course, app developers have their own personal preferences when it comes to IDE.  

So let’s have a quick look:

Android Studio:

  • Has a versatile build mechanism.
  • Allows you to quickly create numerous variants of your mobile application for different devices. 
  • Has an uber-powerful code editor and layout designer.

However,  it can occasionally consume too much RAM. 

On the contrary, Xcode:

  • Has an adequate source editor as well as an assistant editor, and
  • Is super simple to set up.

But, larger projects render this IDE too difficult to use. 

So you see? The ultimate catch here is, that you would be hard-pressed to find developers who specialize in both Android and iOS app development. But worry not, because TheCodeWork is here to make this job easier for you. 

Operating System 

This factor is closely related to what we discussed in the previous section. 

Android Studio is currently the least developed mobile app development tool among the major IDEs. As per data by Strategy Analytics,  Android Studio falls short in five core categories. 

Android Studio

These are the ones:

  • Languages
  • Editor
  • Platforms
  • Testing
  • Gaming.

When scored, Android Studio received just 13, whereas XCode received a total of 22.


But wait, we are not done yet!

There’s one important factor that tips the scale in favor of Android. So here’s the thing, drumroll……

Android apps can be developed on basically anything– Windows, Linux, or even Mac OS. 

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for iOS apps. 

Any developer who wishes to create iOS apps must have a Mac computer. There is just no other way. And we all know that Mac OS is more expensive than Windows. So, this will undoubtedly drive up the development cost of the app.  

An important factor to consider, don’t you think? 

Complexity of Development

Complexity of Development

Look, let’s call a spade a spade here.  And iOS wins this segment here. Check out the enlisted reasons:

  • Apple releases a very small range of devices each year. So, developers only have to think about a few screen dimensions at a time. You are with me on this, right?
  • When it comes to Android, there are countless Android devices. There are loads of different screen styles to think of depending on the display size, resolution, and OS version. 

This causes device fragmentation and really increases the complexity of development. Sounds scary, doesn’t it?

  • To develop an Android app, the app developer w‍ill have to modify the graphics countless times. All so that the app is presented consistently across all Android devices. 
  • Needless to say, both testing and production involve numerous reviews and iterations, taking up both resources and time.

 So, iOS is definitely easier to work with in terms of development difficulty.

App Design

Now the thing is, Android and iOS apps are governed by different design guidelines. 

While Android follows Material Design, for iOS apps it is Human Interface Guidelines. These two systems have the ultimate say when it comes to deciding the look and feel of the apps.

Apple’s Material Design

Apple’s Material Design
  • Apple prioritizes the app’s content over its aesthetic. 
  • For this reason,  the apps look much cleaner and have a generous usage of white space. 
  • UI designers here usually use a lot of gradients and shadows. 

Overall, the application’s design should be multi-layered and convey a sense of depth.

Android’s Human Interface Guidelines

human Interface Guidelines
  • Android derives its inspiration from the real world. 
  • They rely heavily on motion and color.  
  • Furthermore, Android designers typically use a broader set of tools, such as light, movement, and color variations. 

Of course, in the end, the app designer has the final say on how the app will look (and feel). But there are definitely some system-specific distinctions that impact the designing process of Android and iOS apps. Don’t you agree?

Cost and Return 

This is probably the deciding factor when it comes to making the final commitment. If you are planning to launch your own app, you have to consider the cost and return for the app.

And don’t forget to talk to tech experts for consultation, before diving into it.

So coming back to the point, there are three main factors to keep in mind here: development costs, market share, and app monetization.

Let’s have a lucid discussion, and follow up!

  • App Development Costs: 

Three elements that influence app development costs are:

  • Time required to build the app. 

It goes without saying that the more hours required, the higher the charges will be. 

According to reports by SPDLoad, a simple app can take anywhere between 2-3 months, whereas a basic and a complex app can take around 3-6 months and 9+ respectively. 

Time required to build the app. 
  • The tech stack and level of complexity of the app. 

Obviously, more complex apps will need more time to build and so drive up the development costs. 

Here’s a breakdown of how much time an app might take, in terms of development complexity:

how much time an app might take, in terms of development complexity

Source: spdload

  • Price of uploading the app. 

As of now, you would need to shell out about $99 to publish your app on the Apple App Store, while Google’s Play Store needs just $25 to upload an app. 

  • App monetization

This is another factor to consider when making the choice between iOS and Android. 

How to monetize your app, you ask? 

Well, there are three main ways to do that: in-app purchases, paid applications, and advertisements. Let me give you a quick breakdown of all three:

  • In-app purchases. 

On average, iOS users tend to spend almost 2.5 times more on IAPs (In-app purchases) as compared to Android users. In fact, the average iOS user is 50 percent more likely than the average Android user to begin spending money on IAPs at all.

  • Ad-based monetization. 

The majority of iOS apps do not contain advertisements; only 25% of non-gaming apps do. Android apps, however, rely heavily on advertisements. Advertising SDK (software development kits) are used in as much as 63 percent of Android apps

  • Paid applications. 

As of March 2022, iOS had 6.1% paid apps, whereas Android had 3.3% paid apps only. By 2025, mobile app expenditure is expected to hit 185 billion dollars on the Apple App Store and 85 billion dollars on the Play Store. Quite a dramatic difference, don’t you think?

  • Market Share

So, overall, I think we can all agree that iOS apps outperform Android apps in terms of return on investment. But there’s another big factor where Android clearly takes the cake. And that is market share. 

Android has a whopping 71.45% market share worldwide, whereas iOS has only 27.83% market share across the world. Basically, what Android cannot do in terms of quality, it makes up for in sheer numbers. 

Android has a whopping 71.45% market share worldwide,

Source: Statcounter

Key Takeaways

Let’s ask this again – iOS or Android? 

It’s actually a pretty difficult choice because both have their benefits and cons. But in the end, everything boils down to two things: time and budget. Don’t you agree?

See, if you want to target a narrow premium audience and do not have a limited budget, opt for iOS. On the other hand, if you want to target a global audience, try out the app market,  or are on a tight budget, Android is the way to go.

You can just reach out toTheCodeWork’s professional team over a free consultation and take expert guidance for your app development journey. 

Book a consultation with our experts now and turn your dream app into a reality! 

We are here to help you!

TheCodeWork Team

Our Content Team at TheCodeWork believes in quality content. We write everything related to startups and products at large. We publish our blog every alternate Wednesday. Subscribe to our newsletter to get notified of our awesome content.

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