Android vs. iOS App Development - A Quick Analysis

iOS vs Android app development

Almost every business is building a mobile application to grow their business or provide more convenience to their customers. It has resulted in significant growth in the mobile app development market. A recent Straits research reveals that the global mobile app development market will grow from USD 197.2 billion to 583.03 billion between 2022 to 2030. If you are looking to develop a mobile application, you must be aware that Android and iOS dominate the mobile industry. Both platforms hold a significant market share, and choosing one can be risky. This article compares Android vs. iOS app development to help you understand which is better for you and evaluate the risks of choosing one platform for app development.

Android vs. iOS app development comparison: The statistics

Android and iOS are two dominant players in the smartphone market. When we compare the two mobile operating systems, the first thing that comes to mind is the market share. Android is a clear winner regarding the number of people using an Android smartphone. According to a Statista report, about 71.1% of smartphone users use an Android phone, while 28.3% use the iOS operating system till the end of 2022. However, the market share of iOS has been increasing steadily since 2018.

Recent studies have shown that Apple phones are popular in countries with high incomes, like the United States, Japan, the UK, and Canada. At the same time, it is less popular in developing countries like India, Nigeria, and Brazil.

According to Business of Apps, despite iOS apps holding less market share in terms of the number of users, it leads to revenue generation for app development. It is because iOS users spend much more on apps than Android users. iOS accounts for 63% of the total profits. If you are launching a subscription-based app like Netflix, Spotify, Disney+, or Minecraft, focusing more on iOS is a better idea.

Apps on Android have experienced a whopping 167 percent increase in revenue since 2019. However, it lags behind apps on the Apple app store in total annual revenue.

Pros and cons of Android app development

Android hold more than 85% market share in smartphones across the globe. Moreover, Android app development offers many benefits, making it a popular choice among developers. Let's look at the pros and cons of Android app development.

Pros of Android app development

These are some of the significant pros that you get with Android app development:

  • An open-source platform allowing more customization

Android is an open-source operating system. The source code is open to device manufacturers and app developers. They can access the source code and make changes to make it more compatible with the hardware. Developers can suggest changes to the OS, and Google can use the inputs to improve it.

  • Software Development Kit

Software Development Kit (SDK) is a collection of tools that includes resources for developers, such as frameworks, libraries, debuggers, emulators, and others. The Android SDK is included in Android Studio but can also be downloaded separately to use with other integrated development environments (IDEs). Android app developers utilize these tools to minimize code redundancy and ensure the app takes up less storage making the app perform much faster.

  • Continuous improvement & removal of old features

A vast community of developers uses Android phones, providing regular feedback to improve the operating system. It results in continuous improvement through upgrades all the time. This is why Android adds new features and removes the ones that users do not like.

  • Faster deployment

Deploying the Android app in the Google play store takes only a few hours, making the overall development process much faster. It provides a significant advantage for businesses looking to bring down the time to market (TTM).

Cons of Android app development

These are some of the prominent drawbacks of Android app development:

  • Longer development process

Android developers mainly use Java and Kotlin, which requires them to write longer codes than Apple's Swift, a more compact programming language. Moreover, developers must test the app on different devices and OS versions, making the development process time-consuming.

  • Security is a major concern

Android is relatively less safe than iOS because the devices rely on open-source code. Hackers can exploit if a phone manufacturer customizes the operating system and there is a vulnerability in that code. So, ensuring security is another concern for Android app developers.

Pros and cons of iOS development

With the proliferation of mobile devices in recent years, iOS app development has become incredibly popular among software developers. With millions of users worldwide, Apple's iOS platform offers a large market for app developers, providing opportunities to create innovative and valuable apps. The iOS app development offers numerous advantages to developers but there are also some significant challenges associated with iOS development. Let us have a look.

Pros of iOS app development

These are some of the primary advantages of iOS app development:

  • Faster development process

iOS app development is much faster than Android app development. Swift is the language majorly used for iOS app development, simplifying the coding process as it requires fewer lines of code, unlike Java or Kotlin, which are used for developing Android apps.

  • Design guidelines for app UI

Apple has developed detailed Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) for app developers to design the UI to ensure an excellent user experience. This platform-specific infrastructure helps developers design components, patterns, and foundational principles, while the larger sections include a visual index.

  • Shorter testing process

Since iOS is used only on Apple devices, developers need to test the applications on fewer devices. Moreover, Apple users prefer the latest operating system version, making the testing process simpler than testing Android applications, where developers need to test the application on different devices and OS versions.

  • Better security

The programming languages (Swift or Objective C) used to develop iOS apps are type-safe and memory-safe. It means these languages prevent errors and vulnerabilities associated with uninitialized pointers that may cause the program to crash.

Cons of iOS development

These are some prominent drawbacks associated with iOS app development:

  • App release is time-consuming

The Apple app store has stringent review guidelines, which makes it challenging to get your app approved. Apple can reject the app due to not following its guidelines, poor performance, or a lack of useful content.

  • Customizing the app is a challenge

iOS puts many restrictions which make customization challenging. It forces developers to follow strict guidelines making it difficult to experiment with new designs. Due to this reason, it becomes challenging for developers to create an app that stands out from the crowd.

  • Closed-source

iOS is a closed source operating system. So, developers can't use any other operating system than Mac OS for the development process.

Differences between Android vs. iOS app development

Android and iOS app development are different in terms of app design, tech stacks to use, the complexity of development, and others. Let's look at various factors determining the difference between Android and iOS app development.

1. Programming languages

Developers use different programming languages for mobile app development for Android and iOS platforms. Java and Kotlin are the most common languages for Android app development. Most developers use Java now, but Kotlin is also gaining popularity and may become the most preferred language for Android app development.

On the other hand, iOS apps are developed using Swift. When building a native app, Swift is more compact and requires less coding work than Java or Kotlin.

2. The complexity of development

iOS app development is easier than Android apps because developers have to build apps for only Apple devices that follow the same build.

On the other hand, several device manufacturers like Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and others use the Android OS. Building an app for this platform is relatively complex due to compatibility issues.

3. App design

The Android vs. Apple mobile app design follows different guidelines that determine the app's look and feel. While designing Android apps, you'll have to adhere to the Material Design, whereas to build an iOS app, developers have to follow Human Interface Guidelines. iOS prioritizes the app's content more than the design, whereas Android apps designs are inspired by the real world, meaning developers rely heavily on motion and color

Even though app designers have to choose the look and feel for the app, some system-specific differences influence the native app design for both platforms.

4. Time and cost of app development

Various factors, like development platforms, tools, the number of targeted devices, etc., determine the cost of Android vs. iOS app development. Android app development takes more time than iOS apps due to the complexity of development. Since Android OS is used in devices from various manufacturers, app development for this platform is more complex due to compatibility issues making Android app development costlier than iOS.

5. App testing

Various manufacturers build Android devices with different screen sizes, resolutions, and layouts, making it difficult for developers to test Android apps. On the other side, iOS devices share similar interfaces and have almost the same resolution and layouts, making it easier for testers to test the iOS apps.

App publishing

Publishing apps on the Google Play store is easy. It usually takes a few hours for an app to go live for users. However, the Apple store tests the apps for bugs and verifies them before approval. So publishing an app on Apple's app store is time-consuming and costs more than the Play store.

App security and privacy

App Store has a complex application uploading and moderation process. They have strict security requirements regarding submitted apps. So apps downloaded from this store are much safer. Apple store moderation ensures the apps are highly secure since they don't allow applications to read SMS and log calls.

On the contrary, the Google play store does not have stringent moderation like the Apps store. You'll need to integrate third-party authorization solutions to make an Android app highly secure.

Android vs. iOS app: which is better?

Deciding between Android vs. ios app development depends on multiple factors like your business requirement, target market, areas you will operate, and a few other factors. Besides, the development time, budget, and maintenance also play a crucial role in deciding whether to build an app for a particular platform.

If you want to launch an application in countries like Japan or the USA or target high-income groups, you can choose an iOS app. However, if your target market is countries with relatively lower per capita or you are targeting global markets, then building an app for Android devices will be the best bet.

Why choose Turing for hiring a mobile app developer?

By now, you must have realized that there is no hard and fast rule to choose between Android vs. ios app development. It depends on your business requirements. Go through your business goals, targeted audience, budget, time, security, and other factors. Irrespective of whether you are going for Android or. iOS apps hiring an expert developer for your mobile app development services will increase your chances of building the best application in the least time and at the minimum cost.

Hiring a mediocre developer means the development process will take more time, increasing costs, and you might miss the deadline. So, how to hire the right mobile app developer? Partner with Turing to employ the world's most deeply vetted developers.

At Turing, we use AI-powered vetting and matching to help you find the perfect development team for your projects. Our global talent pool has 2M+ developers, with 50K already vetted and available now for hire. You employ a mobile app developer within just 4 days. Besides, you can hire a complete mobile app development team comprising delivery managers, tech leads, and developers in just 2 weeks.


  • Author

    Subhasish Dutta

    Subhasish is a science graduate but a passionate writer and wordsmith who writes website content, blogs, articles, and social media content on technologies, the equity market, traveling, and other domains. He has worked with Affnosys and FTI Technologies as a content writer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Apple iOS developers use Swift, which requires less code and is easier to learn and master, whereas Android developers use Java and Kotlin, which are more complex and time-consuming.

iOS apps generate more revenue than Android apps. Even with less than 15 percent market share, iOS apps generate more revenue because iPhone is more popular in high-income regions like Japan and the United States.

Android leads in global market share among mobile operating systems, while iOS is more popular among users in the USA, Japan, and Australia. The demand for skilled Android and iOS developers is high as almost every business is developing mobile applications; however, it mostly depends on geography. iOS developers are in high demand in countries USA and Japan, while Android developers are in demand in countries with low income.

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