Mobile App Development: Comparison Between iOS and Android

Mobile App Development: iOS vs Android

As entrepreneurs, studying the market is our major priority. For us in the tech startup industry, it’s always important to plan when developing a product. First is the product itself, and the next thing is where it could be made available. Meaning, we want to cater to as many possible customers and users as possible, especially for mobile apps. Should we go Android exclusive? Is iOS a better option? Why not both? Let’s get to it!

Mobile applications are designed to operate on mobile devices such as cellphones, tablets, and watches. The apps were originally used for productivity applications such as email, online calendars, and contact databases.

These eventually expanded to other areas such as mobile games, social media, factory automation, GPS, and service-based apps. There are now millions of apps available online that can be downloaded from application distribution platforms such as the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Mobile app development is the process by which apps are developed for mobile devices. The apps are delivered to mobile devices either as software already pre-installed in the device when it is manufactured or as web applications that are downloaded from distribution platforms and installed on the device.

Just like in desktop computers, mobile devices need system software to manage their software and hardware resources and provide common services for programs. The system software in mobile devices is the mobile operating system which comes in two types: (1) free and open source software – source code is open and available for anyone to improve and modify; (2) closed source (proprietary software) – source code is not shared with the public and not open for anyone to view and edit.

To help out with your decision on what is better for your startup, we will talk about the difference between Android and iOS – the two leading mobile operating systems in the world. We will also discuss the similarities and differences between these mobile OSes.

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Some of our iOS developers are proficient in the application frameworks of React Native and NativeScript. A few of our Android developers have extensive experience in mobile app development and participated in the development of various mobile app projects prior to starting at Full Scale.

They have junior to intermediate (two to three years) experience in Android mobile development and some of them are proficient in Native Android (Java), Android (Hybrid application), C++, Java, and Kotlin. They also have skills in the Android testing frameworks of User Interface Automator and Espresso.

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Android and iOS Comparison

For software development company owners and freelance software developers entering the mobile app development market for the first time, you may be asking yourselves if you should choose only Android or iOS, or use both mobile platforms with a heavier focus on one platform over the other. To help you decide, the following differences between Android and iOS can guide you in comparing the platforms.


Source model and developerOpen source developed by Google and Open Handset AllianceProprietary software with some open source components developed by Apple Inc.
Programming languageUses Java for building appsUses Objective-C and Swift for creating software and mobile apps
Integrated development environment (IDE)Android Studio is a multipurpose IDE that is capable of enhancing the platform-specific development process.XCode helps developers to obtain the best out of the updated versions of iOS. XCode helps developers to obtain the best out of the updated versions of iOS.
Developer account registration feesCreate a Developer Account and pay a one-time $25 registration fee.Register for the Apple Developer Program to submit your app. Private individuals pay a $99 per year subscription fee, while companies pay $299 per year.
Launching and publishing durationIt takes only a few hours for an app to be uploaded and go online.It takes a few days to get approval to publish an app in the App Store.
Worldwide market shareFrom January 2018 to January 2019, Android is the leader in the mobile platform sector with a 74.45% share in the international market.From January 2018 to January 2019, iOS has a 22.85% share of the market.
Revenues from appsIn 2017, apps from the Google Play Store earned approximately $21 billion while $20 billion was generated from third-party stores. The average revenue per user is $1.56 for gaming apps, $11.49 for shopping apps, and $20.47 for travel apps.iOS apps generated about $40 billion in 2017 with its apps earning more revenues per user across several categories compared to Android apps. The average revenue per user is $1.99 for gaming apps, $19.44 for shopping apps, and $32.29 for travel apps.
Availability of app storesGoogle Play is the official app store with applications that are paid or free of charge. However, other third-party app stores can be accessed by Android mobile device users. The best alternative app stores are Aptoide, APKUpdater, Amazon App Store, F-Droid, GetJar, and Uptodown.The App Store is the only official app store for iOS and all third-party stores are blocked by Apple Inc. A user has to bypass iOS software restrictions or “jailbreak” their mobile devices in order to download apps from third-party stores.
SecurityThe Android OS collects and sells a lot of user data to third-party stores and advertisers. This means that devices are more vulnerable to hacking and data breaches of private information.iOS has higher levels of security because the App Store is the only official app store. The “jailbreaking” or bypassing of iOS software restrictions in devices is also difficult so there is less chance for hacking and malware threats.


User interface (UI) designSimplicity and minimalism are prevalent in the design structure of Android UI. Sensitive sensory panels that can be activated with the slightest touch of a finger, and interchangeable tabs that cover the whole device screen are the latest design features in newer OS versions.The buttons, icons, and pictograms of UI in iOS devices are simple and minimalistic. Multi-task windows are miniature but clear to the eyes. The newer OS version focuses on a simple yet sophisticated modern design that is easy to activate.
Application installationIt’s easy and fast to install apps on Android devices whether from the Google Play Store or from third-party app stores.As long as you obtain your app from the official App Store, you’ll have no difficulty in installing apps on iOS devices.
Multi-taskingMulti-tasking feature that allows you to run another app in the background while you are actively using an app.iOS also has a multitasking feature.
Lock screenAndroid devices have a lock screen feature that allows users to avert accidental dialing in the screen, and to set the mobile device into inactive status when you are not using it.The lock screen feature is also present in all iOS devices.

Conclusion: Android and iOS Differences

The Android and iOS comparison serves as a guide in deciding if you will use one or both of these platforms to develop your mobile app. Your decision on which platform to use should also be based on what is beneficial for the intended customers of the apps you will develop.

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