In an ideal world, there should be more than two choices for any major buying decision. But when it comes to mobile phones, users are left with two choices - iOS and Android. At first glance, these two operating systems appear to be quite similar, but they are very different in one key aspect.
iOS is Apple’s proprietary mobile operating system that is primarily used in iPhones and iPads and Android is primarily developed by Google but it is an open source OS based on the Linux kernel. It means that anyone is free to change, improve or adapt it as they deem fit.
Both platforms have their own pros and cons. It’s important for you to research and take into consideration all the factors about both platforms to understand which operating system will align with your product goals.
Let’s give you an in depth comparison of Android and iOS to help you make an informed decision!
Your target audience is a major factor that will affect your decision in choosing between iOS vs Android app development. Because the reviews of end user create the demand of building an app. Before starting with mobile app development it is always good to know what the users want and what is their interest area.
Android’s global market share is almost two-thirds and it has more app downloads than iOS. Many reports state that approximately 75.7 billion first time apps worldwide were installed from google play store in 2018.
Android devices are popular in lower income and developing countries while iOS users usually belong to higher income group. Therefore, it depends on the country and the demand of its population to choose a platform.
Market Share of Android vs iOS
When it comes to market share, Android is a leading platform worldwide since 2016. In 2018, 217.72 iOS phones were sold whereas the number of android phones was 1.3 billion units in 2017 itself.
When you compare the number of apps available for download, Google play store had 2.6 million apps in December 2018 and the Apple app store had around 2 million apps.
If you compare the number of app downloads, the total count was 28.4 billion in 2018 out of which Google play store accounted for 20 billion downloads.
Project timeline refers to how quickly you can bring the app to market. Your timeline also plays an important role in deciding which platform is a better choice.
When you go for android development it takes a longer time due to larger release cycle and large number of devices. Developing an app that will run smoothly in multiple Android devices usually takes more time. Android devices have a variety of screen sizes and and OS versions. So, it becomes difficult to try and test the app support on each version before launch.
On the other hand, Apple has lesser number of devices OS versions. So, testing the app support becomes much easier.
Android Development vs iOS Development Time
The complexities involved in Android app development makes the process more time consuming than iOS app development. It can be said that on an average, android app development is 30-4-% slower than iOS.
However, when it comes to releasing the app in the app store iOS has a disadvantage. With a standard selection process, an iOS app takes more time to pass through the selection criteria and be released. On the contrary, android applications take only a day or two to be accepted.
It becomes difficult to organize millions of apps and games and none of the play stores do it perfectly. Apple’s play store does a better job at providing a better browsing experience and curated recommendations. Whereas the play store is easier to search and you can queue and install apps.
The play store has an edge with its no quibble refund policy within two hours of purchase. Although there are some questionable apps in both stores, Apple is stricter about blocking certain types of apps. The apple app store has an upper hand in this case for its usability and curated content.
Android is the clear winner here! Customization is one of Android’s main strengths.
It’s very easy to customize with Android - set up the layout as you want on the home screen, add widgets and shortcuts and you can even change the entire user interface with launchers.
You can set backgrounds in iOS and have a limited support for widgets, but there isn’t the same level of freedom. Android allows you to set up third party apps as your default option for many things which is still not allowed in iOS.
If you want to provide your end users with a truly unique and personalized look then Android is the right platform!
Android vs iOS: Security
Mobile security is often overlooked by businesses but you need to make sure that your app is as secure as possible. The list of vulnerabilities and security flaws discovered in Android is infinite. In this case, iOS has a better reputation.
iOS does not have major exploits in their devices. Apple can push updates in all of its mobile devices directly whereas Android users have to wait until their phone manufacturer has implemented a version of the update that works with the device’s Android version.
Here’s a brief recap of both of the operating systems and their advantages!
- Superior Performance
- Higher quality of apps and app store
- Long term OS updates
- Better value in the long run
- Greater degree of freedom
- Highly customizable interface
- Greater variety of apps
- More affordable phones
As stated earlier, both the operating systems have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it all depends on your project requirements in the end.
iOS can be considered a better choice if it is your flagship mobile app as it offers better performance, lasts longer and are usually cheaper to replace.
Android is an obvious choice if your target audience belongs to developing countries or average economical background as they can get most of the features in a lesser amount.
Thus, choose your development platform after taking all of the above things into consideration and get started with your dream mobile app!