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Monday, Apr 06, 2015

Mobile Application Development: iOS vs Android


Mobile Application Development: iOS vs Android

Mobile application development is arguably the fastest growing software industry with revenues expected to reach a whopping $77 billion dollars by 2017. Understandably, there are a plethora of developers aiming to ride this money-spinning wave. But as with any booming business, there are challenges to counter.

In case of the mobile app industry, the biggest challenge is not a daunting roadblock. It’s deciding which road to take - iOS or Android?

Apple and Google overwhelmingly dominate the industry with their iOS and Android software respectively. Android has got the numbers – more than 75% of market share, while iOS has got the money – average revenue of iOS developers is more than double of their Android counterparts. So which one do you go for? Are there some other factors to consider as well? Let’s find out.

How to select the right mobile platform for you

Language of choice
iOS application development has recently shifted to a new programming language named Swift.  The general consensus is that Swift is more powerful and easier than its predecessors. The only drawback is that because the language is only a year old, it is difficult to find expert developers.

Primary language for Android application development is Java. There are variations and layers of mobile specific codes over the basic Java code, but a good Java programmer can comfortably code for Android. Just like the platform, the programming language is also for the masses.

Closed or open platform
This is the most fundamental difference between the two market leaders in mobile applications. iOS follows the typical Apple approach of a very closely controlled and monitored system. Developers are bound by platform restrictions, which can sometimes limit functionalities.

Android, on the other hand, is an open source system. Developers are free to dig as deep as they want and create their own version of the user experience. The problem is that such an open approach comes with high risk of bugs and malfunction.

Variety of devices
Apple has recently increased device size options with 3 sizes of iPhone and 2 sizes of iPad, but it’s still not a big hassle. Moreover, Swift has inbuilt support for screen size adaptation. All in all,  managing the diversity of devices is fairly comfortable on iOS.

The number of devices running on Android is very large as it supports multiple device manufacturers. Along with that, the frequency of new launches of Android based mobile devices (smartphones and tablets both) is a lot more than the yearly Apple updates. Therefore, Android application development demands very high adaptability and precision.

Money matters
As we discussed earlier, iOS application development is better paying than Android. One main reason for this is that most of Android apps are free while Apple users are more willing to pay. The other angle to consider is that iOS has a much bigger mobile market, so the competition is tougher as well. The chances of getting paid also depend on your ability to outdo the hundreds of similar apps on Apple’s App Store.

You must be thinking why you need to go through all this effort of deciding between these two market giants, when you can simply launch your app on both platforms simultaneously. Unless you have deep pockets or already have successful apps to your credit, we would recommend sticking to one platform to begin with.

Everything from demographics to customer psychology is different amongst Apple and Android users. The chances to striking gold with both are slim. It’s best to focus on proving your worth on one front and then moving over. Eventually, your ultimate aim should be to be successful across the board, but in the beginning, a step by step approach is always better than an all out attack.

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  • Steve Steve April 15, 2015 4:19AM
    Really nice article. Android application development is very popular in the current marketplace. Everyone is creating its own app for getting the genuine customers. As per your article, may I know that what kind of platforms restrictions for developers?
  • Plasma Admin Plasma Admin April 15, 2015 11:16PM
    Hi Steve, First of all thank you for giving your valuable feedback. Now to answer your query, Android is an open source development platform therefore a developer can freely utilize each and every aspect of development to build an android app. There are no restrictions whatsoever for building an android app. On the other hand, iOS developers have restriction to use only C-Family as their base programming language, which comes with inherent restrictions. Also, once an iOS app is deployed, it is available to be downloaded via Apple Store only. Therefore, a developer has limited number of resources for building an iOS app. In the current market place, there are a number of sources from where a user can download an android app, but for iOS a user is bound to have access to Apple Store. Hope this answer helps to clear your doubt Thanks and Regards, Plasma Admin
  • Mark Vince Mark Vince September 19, 2016 11:58PM
    Developing the type of apps totally depends on type of business you are dealing in. When we are talking about the app development process, Everyone always wants that there app should be developed on those platforms on which they can have a good ROI. It doesn't mean that we should only think of the platform and not the app, any app needs to meet the requirement of the users to be successful otherwise no best platform can also push the app up. Maximum people choose Android & iOS to develop their app and a very few people go for windows and others. As we know android got a huge horizon of users who can push the app ahead but in terms of revenue generation iOS takes away the ground. So, no one would suggest or want that you should choose only one platform. Since both are having a great performance in the market and users are liking them a lot. So, it is preferable that one should take the advantage of both the platforms. Mark Vince Lead Marketing | Mobiloitte