For the inexperienced eye, creating mobile apps for Android or iOS can be very similar, but the truth is that each operating system has its peculiarities. In addition to the technical bases for the development of apps, in the process of creating an application there are many differences if it is Android or iOS. Not only on a technical level, but also on a design and mobile strategy level.
That is, the complete conception of the app will depend on the operating system. For this reason, it will be above all the Android or iOS programmer who goes from one operating system to another, who will notice it the most.
Then, what are the major differences between iOS and Android Apps?
Let’s first see the differences that we can find at the mobile development level when we have to create apps for Android or iOS mobile devices.
As they are different operating systems, apps are programmed with different programming languages. It is precisely its most distinctive feature: iOS uses Objective-C / Swift, while Android uses Java to create mobile apps.
Test the app
The testing phase of an app is essential in the process of creating mobile applications, just like for games and any other type of software. We must check that our development works perfectly. For this, we usually use the iOS simulator and the Android emulator for the two respectively.
The differences that we can see are that the iOS simulator is much faster than its equivalent for Android. But the advantage of the Android emulator is that it is an effective virtual machine with a virtualized CPU, so it is more realistic than that of iOS. In fact, the iOS simulator often fails to give realistic and accurate representations of Apple devices.
However, we will always recommend testing and testing on real mobile devices in order to see the interaction flow of the app and the failures in real hardware.
Here we run into the visual differences when creating an app for Android or developing it for iOS. It will also be the end user who perceives the differences in the design.
At a technical level, the developer will mount XML files in the interfaces on Android. They are very similar to iOS XIB files , but the latter are not readable.
As for the animations, iOS is much better prepared than Android. Although Google has tried to solve it in the preview of Android L and with the trend of Material Design in terms of app design.
While Apple has always focused on smooth, complex and powerful animations, taking great care of aesthetics and user experience; Google, for its part, has taken care of them taking into account the hardware as the main objective.
Another major difference between Android and iOS is the functionality of the ‘Back’ button, which does exist in Android but does not exist in iOS. So, throughout the development, this subsection must be taken into account.
In the case of Android, that button will be used for navigation, while in iOS it must be approached in another way. Either indicating on the screen how to go back, or with another type of interaction flow when it is not necessary.
Other differences in development
- Delegate vs Adapter: iOS uses the delegate pattern when using delegate patterns. In Android, that pattern is represented by an adapter. Although they are different platforms and words, they are very similar concepts.
- UIViewController vs Activity: in Android we use the Activity class to render a screen on an Android mobile device. On iOS, it’s the UIViewController that does that job. With it, we can also manage the life cycles of events, subviews, etc. Although it is not exactly the same, they have the same role.
- Unlock: Android devices are unlocked by dragging up and on iOS to the right.
- Preferences and permissions: better grouped in iOS devices, we find them all together in the general preferences of the device. In Android, they are more dispersed and it is necessary to navigate through the device to reach them.
- Maps: in iOS development we can use Apple maps or Google Maps, but in Android we will generally use Google Maps .
Other differences when creating apps
Not only the technical part presents differences in operating systems when creating an app. Since the design and marketing part are clearly affected at a very basic level. Let’s see how these differences come to play:
Cost of creating apps
We have already talked to you on occasion about the cost differences when creating apps for Android or iOS . In fact, although the difference is not very big, the development for iOS is slightly more expensive. Due to a smaller offer than in Android since the initial material to develop iOS is more expensive as it requires original Apple materials.
As we have already said before, the design of an app is closely related to development . Therefore, visually the iOS design is also different from the Android design.
Each of them has their respective logic of interaction and style strongly influenced by the creator brands of the operating systems. Therefore, it is advisable to have app designers who are experts in one or both operating systems. Thus, they will advise you according to your project. Only in this way can we create really good and interesting apps.
App Store Optimization
As might have been known already, app store optimization is not the same for both Android and iOS Apps. We will have to take it into account when optimizing the app so that it is properly positioned in the stores. You will have to pay special attention to the differences in title and description, since the rest of the variables are more or less the same for both cases.
Monetization and return on investment
As a general rule, the return on investment is not the same for both iOS and Android app. If we talk about the income route, that is, the way to monetize the app itself, we see that on iOS, it is more common to charge for downloads and purchases within the app.
In contrast, on Android, applications are usually free to download and are monetized through embedded ads within the mobile application.
After analyzing the differences between iOS and Android, which operating system do you prefer? And if you want an app for your company, don’t hesitate to contact us at Deuglo Infosystem Private Limited, Bangalore India!