What is iOS app development

Mobile app development: Android vs. iOS

Creating apps for Android and for iOS may seem very similar to the untrained eye. But the truth is that each of these two operating systems has its own specifics. There are many differences between Android vs. iOS - both in the technical basics of app development as well as in the process of creating an application itself.

And not only on the technical level of Android and iOS development, but also in relation to that Design and the app marketing strategy. In other words, the whole concept of an app depends on the operating system you choose. Developers switching from one operating system to another with a completely different programming language will notice the differences.

Index differences between Android & iOS

Android vs. iOS app development

Let's take a look at some of the differences noted by developers in the iOS or Android app development usually noticed.

programming language

The Android and iOS operating systems are each programmed in different programming languages. This is actually the biggest difference: iOS apps run on Objective-C / Swift, while Android apps run on Java.


The QA test phase is an integral part of the mobile application development process. The same goes for games and other types of software. You have to make sure that the application he is developing works perfectly. The iOS simulator and the Android emulator are examples that are often used for testing.

The main difference is that the iOS simulator is much faster than its Android counterpart. On the other hand, however, the Android emulator has the advantage of being an effective virtual machine including CPU, which makes it more realistic than its iOS counterpart. In fact, the iOS simulator is often unable to provide accurate and realistic representations of Apple devices.

For this reason it is important perform multiple tests on real mobile devices, to see the interaction flow of the app and to identify possible errors.


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That's where we hit the visual differences bump into between developing an app for an Android or iOS end-user. At the technical level, the developer will build XML files on Android interfaces. These are very similar to the XIB files from iOS.

The quality of the iOS animation is better than that of Android. Google tried to do this by previewing Android L and establishing an app design trend known as the Material designto fix.

In the meantime, Apple has always focused on animation that is light, complex, and powerful by carefully taking care of the Aesthetics and the user experience takes care. Google, on the other hand, decided to focus on the hardware rather than these aspects.


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“Go back”

Another striking difference between Android and iOS is that 'Back' button included in Androidthat doesn't exist in iOS. Every app development process must be carried out with this fact in mind.

The back button is also used for navigation in Android. The lack of this button in iOS means that the app developer should indicate on the screen how to go back or if there is some other way to do this action with another Interaction flow to end.


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Other differences between Android and iOS apps

  • Delegate vs. adapter: iOS uses the “delegate” principle, while Android uses an “adapter” for this. Despite different platforms and terms, these functions are very similar.
  • UIViewController vs. Activity: With Android, activity is used to display certain screen displays on a mobile device that runs on Android. On iOS, the UIViewController does the same job. It is also used for managing the life cycles of events, sub-views, and so on. So they fulfill the same role even if they are not exactly the same.
  • Unlocking: Android devices can be unlocked by swiping the screen from bottom to top. With iOS you swipe from left to right.
  • Settings and Permissions: These are better organized in iOS devices, where they can all be found in a specific category in the Device's General Settings section. In Android they are more scattered, and you have to search the device a little more to find the settings; the sorting on iOS is better and more logical. With Android, a lot has to be gathered in this regard.
  • Maps: we can either use Apple’s Maps or Google Maps when developing apps for iOS. However, we usually use Google Maps when creating apps for Android. In addition, the use of geofencing and beacons in combination with it is becoming increasingly popular.

Additional aspects to be considered

When it comes to creating apps, differences between operating systems are not only recognized on a technical level. They also have a very fundamental influence on design and marketing. Let's look at how to deal with these differences.


We have already discussed the costs of developing an app in an earlier article. In fact, the iOS development process is a little more expensive as the demand for iOS apps is lower than for Android apps. In addition, are the requirements for introducing an application in iOS are much higher.


As mentioned earlier, this is Design of an app is closely linked to its development process. Therefore, the design of an app is also visually different, depending on whether it was developed for Android or iOS.

Each of these operating systems has its own unique interaction and style that is heavily influenced by the two big companies that developed them. It is therefore advisable to have experts in the design of apps in one or both operating systems to advise us on our project. Only then can we create really good native applications.


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App Store Optimization

App Store Optimization (ASO) is not exactly the same in the two app stores of Android and iOS apps. We will address this fact at the Optimization of the app must be taken into account in order to position it well in the stores. We will need to pay special attention to the differences in title and description; all other variables are more or less the same in both cases.


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Monetization & ROI

The return on investment (ROI) of an Android app is generally not the same as that of an iOS app. If we focus on the source of income (the way the app itself is monetized) we can see that iOS apps are more likely to charge users for downloading and purchasing in-apps. Android apps are usually free to download and are monetized through advertising embedded in them.

Current market share

It might be interesting that current market situation for smartphones before you decide which operating system your new application will be developed for.

The number of the two dominant operating systems speaks for the penetration of the market for smartphones. It is obvious that Android and Apple are currently the two exclusive and important providers of operating systems for smartphones.

In December 2019 was Android with a 74% market share at the top. The leading operating system Google Android and Apple iOS together hold 99% of the global market share.

Google Play Store vs. Apple App Store

The number of applications is increasing continuously and growing faster and faster. Now almost 2.6 million apps in the Google Play Store and 1.8 million apps in the Apple App Store available. The exact number of applications available per store can be seen in the graphic below.



In contrast to the Google Play Store the biggest difference between the two stores is that all applications are checked by Apple without exception. The application must meet certain requirements and guidelines for Apple apps. Developers should therefore take these into account when developing an app for iOS. The process of reviewing the application takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks.

Android however, does not have such strict verification procedures. Unfortunately, fake apps regularly appear on the Google Play Store and scammers are trying to take advantage of big trends by creating fake apps for these popular apps. However, in many cases, fake apps become visible due to bad reviews from rogue apps.


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Conclusion: what is the difference between Android and iOS?

If you are planning on making a viral app, consider making this for Android. Depending on your audience and goals, you might want to include iOS as well. In this way, you cover most of the potential users worldwide.

If you have the Advice from experts in the mobile app industry search or that right team for creating your app Yeeply can help you. Tell us about your project and we will offer you a tailor-made solution.

Note: This article was first published in November 2017 and has been updated to ensure that it is correct.

Posted in AppTagged Android Development, Android vs iOS, iOS Development