To the untrained eye, Android and iOS development may appear very similar with few differences between them. But for developers who are switching from one operating system to another, they will observe core differences between these two OS. So, from a developer's point of view, below are some of the major differences between Android and iOS app development;
This is one of the core differences between these two major operating systems. Top software companies that wish to build Android apps will employ the use of Java, majorly. Java is the most commonly used programming language for the building of Android apps. Another programming language used for Android apps is C++. But of recent, Kotlin was added as an official language for building Android apps. Kotlin comes with some key pros over Java and C++.
Although Objective-C was the primary language used for the development of iOS apps, its complexity and difficulty prompted the creation of an alternative language; Swift. Swift is officially the primary programming language used for building iOS apps. Swift is easier to learn, requires less code and can be easily deployed.
Integrated development environment:
Easily, after discussing the different programming language next is to consider the different Integrated development environment. Integrated Development Environment (IDE) may sound like a big term but it simply means where the app development company can apply the programming language and starting building their apps. There are two IDEs used for the development of Android and iOS apps. While Android Studio is used for development of Android apps, XCode is used iOS apps. Before the introduction of Android Studio, Android app development was done in Eclipse, but for the sake of convenience and ease, it was replaced with Android Studio. Android Studio facilitated an improvement in the development process.
Apple uses Swift IDE for the development of iOS apps. Although Apple has been using Swift for a long time, the company has regularly updated the IDE, which positively influences the coding process. Swift and XCode also make it possible for app development companies to create and run apps right on their device.
In line with the open source nature of the Android operating system, a mobile app development company can build Android apps on Windows, Linux, and Mac. But when it comes to iOS apps, this can only be developed on a computer that runs Mac and only Mac. It is no secret that Mac OS is more expensive than compared to Linux and Windows.
When it comes to design, there are some core areas where Android and iOS app development differ from one another. These differences, when considered fully, is pretty extensive, but below are the major ones;
General style: While Apple opts for a more minimalist and plain design (UI/UX), Google on Android aspire for naturalness and delicacy. Any would be developer must study the guidelines of both approaches. Title: The title for Android application is typically placed at the top left of the screen but in iOS, this is found at the center.
Navigation: This is perhaps one of the key differences in design (UI/UX) when it comes to Android and iOS. While Android uses a drawer menu as a navigation pattern, iOS employs a tab bar. The navigation in iOS makes it a lot simple and easy to use as compared to the obstructive nature of Android.
Icon style: Each of the platforms has its own distinct style. While Android icons have bold strokes, iOS are quite slimmer. This is one design (UI/UX) idea every developer must comply with.
Unlike the Integrated Development Environment, which is free to use, app development companies would need to pay in order to upload their application to a digital distribution platform. While Android uses Play Store as its distribution platform, Apple uses the App Store. Android developers are required to pay a one-time developer fee of $25 to have their apps uploaded to the Play Store. For Apple, this is much higher. For iOS app development companies to have their creations distributed to the world they would have to pay as much as $99. Basically, as a mobile app development company, you would need just an average PC and $25 to have your Android app developed and published, and a Mac plus $99 to achieve the same for iOS apps.
There are also differences between the two digital distribution platforms. Google Play Store is highly flexible, allowing users to download apps within minutes or at worse hours. But for the Apple App Store, it may take as much as a period of weeks to download fresh versions of an app. Aside from this, the app approval time also varies. Apps uploaded to the Play Store by app development companies are checked by machines, which helps to speed up the approval time. Typically, an Android app can be published on the store in a matter of hours. The store is completely different for iOS apps. These apps are checked individually by Apple experts and it may take weeks before a verdict is reached.
While Google allows app development companies to upload updates to their app every few hours, iOS apps typically come with little or no bugs. No reasonable app development company would like to endure a wait of two weeks only to have their application rejected.
Target audience and market share:
It is a known fact that iOS devices are aimed at richer and more affluent buyers, while Android is more inclusive, offering a wide range of low-cost devices. Whatever your budget you are very likely to find an average Android device for yourself.
By market share, Android is by far ahead of iOS and every other mobile operating system. Android has about 80% market share.