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What’s the Difference Between iOS and Android Development?

To Android or to iOS? That is the question. If William Shakespeare lived in 2022 and had this idea to develop an awesome app that could help a bunch of people and also earn a ton of money, this would be the dilemma he’d be facing.

Andrew Johnson

Content Manager

18 Nov 2022

There’s reasoning for going on either of these two platforms. Therefore, doing a bit of homework before you make your choice as a financier of an app-building endeavor is essential for preventing unnecessary loss of money and nerves.

For starters, you might want to take a quick look at a simple, two-entry pie chart of how many users there are for these two platforms.

At a global level, Android takes the lion’s share of the market with a whopping 70% of all folks with phones in their hands having an Android system installed on them. (Meaning on the phones, not the people. We’re not there yet, mercifully.)

Anyway, joking aside, while iOS takes only the remaining 30% of the market, most of these users are in the US.

So, if you’re planning to build an app with the target audience being predominantly folks from the US, going with iOS would make sense, despite Android being the more popular operating system globally.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the two most popular mobile operating systems to give you a better idea of what platform to go for when it comes to developing new apps. Of course, doing both would be the optimal solution.

That said, if you don’t have enough resources for both, closing in on just one that works better for your needs requires some research.

Here’s what we’ve come up with to make this task easier for you.

The Key Differences Between Developing an iOS and an Android App

iOS and Android share many similarities.

Both of these systems allow for calling, online maps, voice commands, video chats, messaging, as well as a host of other functionalities.

On the other hand, there are certainly differences present, both when it comes to development and subsequent maintenance.

In the section below, we’ll list the seven most important differences between developing an app for Android and for iOS.

Development Budget

Estimating how much money you’ll end up spending developing an app is a pretty tricky task.

There are many variables involved, such as how large your budget is, how much you’re paying your development team, or how complex the app itself is.

Now, the good news for anyone who wants to develop an app is that coding and coming up with a functional app is completely free. (Unless you’re paying a team of developers to do it.)

One way to assess the costs of app development for these two platforms would be to look at the uploading of the finished app online. For Android apps, all it takes to upload your app is a one-off fee of about $25.

For iOS apps, there is an annual fee of $100, which clearly makes uploading to the Google Play Store less expensive.

Swinging back to the topic of development for these two platforms, both Apple and Android offer free extensive app-developing tools and documentation. So, you can rest assured that you won’t have to pay anything at the start of your app development journey for either of these platforms.

Development Process

Given the sheer number of development languages that are available to programmers nowadays, it’d be pretty safe to say that the speed of the development process is pretty much the same for both iOS and Android-based apps.

Not so long ago, making an Android app used to be more difficult precisely because the developers had to use Java. Nowadays, however, languages such as Kotlin for Android and Swift for iOS, make the development process speed significantly higher for both of these.

Now, as far as the speed of development is concerned, generally speaking, much of it depends on how complex the app you’re building is. The more functionality you want to give your customers, the more complex the visual themes, and the more complicated the menus and other features - the more time and resources it will take to get it done.

Last but not least, device fragmentation represents an important piece of the puzzle here.

The thing is, since Apple only releases a limited number of devices, when developing an app for iOS, you don’t have to think about screen sizes and version compatibility so much. With Android, on the other hand, if you want to reach a wider audience, taking into account all the different devices they’re using can be of massive importance.

App Store Distribution and Optimization

Once you’ve completed your app and are ready to find a virtual rack onto which to place it in either Google Play or the App Store - the first thing you’ll notice are the other products on that rack.

Namely, as of June 2022, Google Play has more than 2,5 million apps available, which is a slight decrease from a couple of years back when this number was as high as 3.6 million in March 2018.

Apple’s app store, on the other hand, has just under 2.2 million apps available.

So, technically speaking, you’re looking at a somewhat rougher competition when developing for Android. That said, there is no obstacle in app placement that some good ole optimization can’t tackle.

After all, even if you develop a fantastic app, if your app store entry is not looking good, many people won’t deem it good enough to check it out. To dramatically increase the chances of your app getting noticed, app store optimization is the key to success.

User Experience Design

This is an area of app development that we have already touched upon.

The thing is, one of the most important parameters that dictate both the speed and cost of developing an app is its design.

The more complex, colorful, and user-friendly the design, the more time and effort your developers will have to put in. In turn, this means spending more money.

Now, as far as the differences between iOS and Android in this respect, developing for Android tends to be more difficult. Since Android devices come in all shapes and sizes, if you want the app to work on the majority of these devices, old and new, you’ll have to optimize your app and update it quite considerably.

Here are some of the parameters where the visual differences between the two platforms are the most obvious:

  1. Pop-up notifications
  2. Menu
  3. The size of the icons
  4. Screen resolutions (especially diverse with Android devices)
  5. Navigation bar
  6. Typography

While developing these for each of their respective apps is a piece of cake, doing the Android ones can be a bit more difficult due to the sheer versatility of devices that run on this OS.

Monetization Strategy

There are a couple of ways in which you can make your app earn you money.

You can sell the app itself for a fixed price. Or, you can make it free so that it gets downloaded by as many users as possible.

Then, you can make good use of another smart monetization strategy - in-app purchases. If your app is a game, you can offer 50 gold, or one treasure chest, or cool skin, for $2, for example. Or, you can offer ammo restock for a certain price, depending on how your game functions.

This goes for any app that’s built for a market anywhere in the world. Whether your target audience is in Japan or you’re a Los Angeles mobile app development team that makes apps for the domestic market - in-app purchases are a tested and well-proven money-making idea.

Target Audience

Speaking of Japan, the US, and the global app market, we’ve come to the all-important topic of the target audience.

Knowing your customers represents, without a doubt, the most important parameter when it comes to app development. The more you know your customers, the better position you’ll find yourself in when it comes to attracting them to your newly-developed and optimized app.

As we said above, in the US, there are more iOS users than Android users. Abroad, however, the opposite is true. So, if you’re trying to get the most money, hitting the vast Asian market is a chance you don’t want to miss out on.

Add to that the fact that females prefer Apple more than Android, while it’s the opposite for men, and you can see just how complex this topic can get. There are a number of statistics on this that you may want to look into in more detail if the demographics of your target audience play an important role in the sort of app you’re developing.

For example, if you’re developing a game, your target audience is likely young. You may want to know that US mobile users ages 18-34 prefer iOS-based models, while those over 34 prefer Androids.


Whether you’re developing a game, a workout routine app, or some sort of complex weather-predicting program, the choice between iOS and Android is never an easy one.

Both platforms are incredibly popular, offer plenty of features and bells and whistles to their users, and can be used to make fantastic apps.

As you had the chance to see in the passages above, there are pros and cons to each of these platforms. For this reason, choosing carefully and doing your homework is a must before setting out to make a brand-new awesome app.