The smartphone and tablet business is competitive, and there are two major players in the market today: iOS and Android. If you’re wondering what makes people stick with a platform, you’re not alone. The fans of both brands are fierce.
iOS vs. Android: Key Differences
Before we launch into the differences between iOS and Android, let’s look at what ties them together. First of all, they are both operating systems for phones, tablets, TVs, and other devices.
iOS and Android devices contain similar functions like calling, messaging, web browsing, video communication, maps, and voice commands, to name a few. Both of them use the same gestures in their user interfaces, such as swiping, tapping, pinching, etc. Let’s shed some light on how the two giants differ and how they fare in terms of software, apps, and devices.
Android is an open-sourced software, while iOS is closed-sourced. This implies that the Android operating system is available to many manufacturers, resulting in a wide variety of devices. Because iOS is proprietary, only Apple produces equipment for the platform.
Users of Android devices have more ability to configure certain settings, while iOS limits system permissions. Customizations are a big factor behind Android’s popularity in today’s world. On the other hand, iOS users love the simple UI and UX that permeate the platform.
When it comes to quality, the Apple App Store comes out on top, thanks to its stringent approval process for applications. You will be able to find great apps on the Google Play Store. However, there will also be some buggy ones along with lackadaisical security.
According to Statista, the Apple App Store hosted 2.1 million apps in 2022, whereas the Google Play Store listed 3.3 million apps. In 2021, Android users downloaded more than three times the number of apps, a whopping 111.3 billion.
Despite the high number of app downloads for Android, the Apple App store outperforms in terms of revenue by a mile. iOS apps generated an estimated profit of $72.3 billion in 2020, far more than Android’s $40 billion. However, the revenue growth rate for Android is something Apple needs to look out for, as it far outpaces the latter.
Device Variety and Price
Because Android phones are of different brands and come in many screen sizes, the app development process is significantly more complex. Apple releases a handful of devices yearly, while Android devices number in the hundreds. Therefore, developers have more to consider and look out for when they are creating apps for Android.
In terms of price, Android devices are definitely on the lower end of the spectrum compared to Apple products. This price difference explains how Android dominates the market when it comes to the number of devices sold. The cheapest iOS phone for 2022 stands at $420, while Android phones can go as low as $40.
App Development and Testing
To develop an app for iOS, you will have to familiarize yourself with Swift. iOS programmers find Swift easier and quicker to master. Alternatively, Android apps are built on Java. With the rising popularity of Kotlin, however, we might see this intuitive, modern, and simple language replacing Java soon.
Both platforms utilize their respective development environments, and each comes with its pros and cons. Android app developers use Android Studio, while the creation of iOS apps takes place on the XCode tool.
As a developer, you can choose to write an app for both platforms, but that is a highly arduous task. An app for iOS doesn’t employ the same development process as one for Android. Therefore, you might want to start with designing an app for the operating system you’re most comfortable with.
During the app testing process, developers have to consider processor speed and device memory, in addition to operating system versions. Therefore, it is safe to say that the fewer available device types in the market, the easier it is to make the app suitable for all. Since only one company produces iOS products, the time developers have to put into testing is way shorter.
Because there are more Android devices with different brands and hardware specifications, the testing process for the operating system is more complex. Mobile devices also come with different capabilities, and as such, an app that requires certain functionality will work on some but not the rest.
Whether you’re an app developer or a user, you’ll realize that iOS and Android differ significantly in certain aspects. A novice might find the iPhone’s navigation extremely fluid and prefer it to Android’s more elaborate configurations. If you’re in the market for a new phone, you might notice a big difference in price and choice. Programmers who are interested in developing apps might also see that one platform has a wider reach or a better chance for profit.