One of the first questions we usually clarify with our customers is the appropriate platform for the planned app. There is no universally valid answer for this and each case must be considered individually. With this article, we want to help you get an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the two operating systems.
The article consists of the following sections about Android vs iOS Development:
1. The main differences between android vs iOS development
2. Supported devices
3. The cost of Android vs iOS Development
4. Current statistics on app usage
5. With which system do you earn more money
6. Which platform is the first choice?
If you would like more detailed advice on this topic or have any other questions for us, please do not hesitate to contact us. Simply use the contact form, send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us free of charge at 030 6098 4900 94.
The main differences between android vs iOS development
First of all, we should note here that this article is about native app development. Things are different for web apps, as apps don’t need to be developed specifically for Android vs iOS Development, instead an application works on all systems. If you want to refresh your knowledge about the distinction between native, hybrid, and web apps: We’ve written an article about it here.
iOS development is pretty straightforward by design. On Apple devices, one uses the Xcode IDE to create the apps. This development environment is specifically designed for the Swift and Objective-C programming languages, but it also supports C and C++. The integration of other languages (like Java or Ruby) is also possible, but a bit more complex. The layout can also be created within the code, but more common is the use of an external XIB file, which is only responsible for the visual design of the app.
Android apps give you a bit more freedom in development. You need the Android Software Development Kit, which provides you with most of the tools you need. The most commonly used programming language for development is Java, but C++ and Ruby are also frequently used. As with iOS, the layout can be specified in a separate file.
Because there are significantly fewer different iOS versions than Android versions on the market and the number of supported devices is also much smaller (see next section), the testing phase for iOS apps is much less complicated and the code and layout do not have to be adapted to so many different circumstances.
Before being published to the Apple Store, all apps are tested by Apple, and only if they meet all of the company’s guidelines will they be published (don’t worry, we know these guidelines and align our apps accordingly). This usually takes about a week. At Google Play, this process is much faster, the app can be uploaded directly. There is a fee for registration at both stores, and in the case of Google Play one-time $25, with Apple Store yearly $99.
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Android vs iOS Development: Supported devices
Apple’s iOS operating system runs on virtually all Apple-branded mobile devices today.
• iPhone (1, 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6, 7, 8, X, XR, 11, 11 Pro, 12, 12 pro, …)
• iPad (1, 2, 3, 4, Air)
• iPad Mini (1 and 2)
• iPod Touch (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
• Apple Watch
Since the second generation, iOS also runs on the Apple TV, but a special version does not provide access to the App Store. iOS can only be installed on Apple devices, so there are no smartphones or tablets with Apple’s operating system except for the mentioned devices.
Things look more complicated with Android. Many major manufacturers – such as Samsung, HTC, Asus, and Motorola – produce smartphones, tablets, and other devices with this operating system. The Android source code is provided by Google as open source software, which is why manufacturers can use the operating system on their devices without much expense. The list of available products is long, so our listing only covers the most important ones.
- Smartphones (Samsung Galaxy S5, Asus Zenfone 4, Motorola Moto G4G, HTC One M8, Amazon Fire Phone, )
- Tablets (Acer Iconia Tab A500, Archos 101 G9, Asus Google Nexus 7, HTC Jetstream, LG G Pad 8.3, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, Sony Xperia Tablet Z
- Netbooks (Toshiba AC100, Acer Aspire One D260)
- E-Reader (Sony Reader PRS-T3, Barnes & Noble Nook Glowlight)
- Smartwatch (LG G Watch)
However, not all products that use the Android operating system can access the Google App Store. Amazon’s tablets, for example, only have access to Amazon’s App Store.
The cost of Android vs iOS Development
We have already talked about the costs of app development in more detail in another article, and in general, it can be said that the costs do not differ very much.
The cost of the developer account, which is necessary for publishing apps in the respective app stores, is a one-time $25 for Google Play and $99 a year for Apple. This makes them arguably one of the smallest costs of developing your app. In return, the stores also rake in more money on the sales of your apps: A full 30% of your profits stay with Google or Apple.
The largest part of the expenses is, of course, the development itself. This is also where the clearest differences between the two operating systems become apparent. In iOS development, you have to reckon with a somewhat higher hourly wage for the developers. Programming the apps is a bit more complicated and can take longer. Android development requires longer testing. Because of the very large number of different devices on which the app has to work smoothly and look good, this can take quite a bit of time and thus almost offsets the additional costs for the iOS programmers.
Overall, the cost of app development for Apple systems is in most cases slightly higher than for Android. However, the difference is too small to make a big impact on your decision.
Android vs iOS Development: Current statistics on the App Stores
The sales figures for apps have increased almost exponentially in recent years. While 1.7 billion apps were downloaded in 2012, experts expect this number to double in 2014. Although the number of free downloads is growing fastest, sales of paid apps and those with in-app billing are also rising steadily.
With which system do you earn and make more money
The numbers are quite clear here: While many more apps are downloaded for Android, iOS app sales are significantly higher. Last year, the total revenue in the Apple Store was many times higher than in Google Play. This includes not only revenue from app sales, but also the sale of additional services via in-app purchases.
However, there are of course many more ways to profit monetarily from an app besides app sales. Mobile apps, for example, can be used as advertising tools, can contribute to closer contact with customers, and can provide users with a way to easily access services that are paid for but not part of the app itself. We have already reported in another article on the methods business apps can use to increase sales.
With these indirect business models, of course, you can benefit more from the larger user base on Android. If you can afford to offer the app there for free, you have a much larger target group.
Android vs iOS Development: Which platform is the first choice?
If you can somehow afford it, it is always recommended to use both platforms. We at App3null even offer the app for the second system at a 20% discount. Nevertheless, we naturally understand if someone wants to limit themselves to one of the platforms at first, perhaps also to test the business model first.
In such cases, iOS is usually the better choice. It just seems that Apple users are more willing to invest money. This way, you can profit from the app faster.
If you want to know more about Android vs iOS Development, just try our app price calculator. This will quickly give you an idea of what development for iOS and Android costs with us. And if you still have questions afterward: Just write us an email at email@example.com.