iOS vs. Android app development: Clash of the titans

Android app The development strategy is always determined by the specific objective of your business. Although the native approach can be a better choice, the cross-platform mobile development solutions are quite popular now due to the relative ease of their implementation (despite the fact that launching such applications is costly and risky.)

Android app

Each company that wants an app to be accessible on different devices has two options. It is either working to produce an app for a certain platform or building teams to create applications that work on more than one platform. The latter alternative is certainly more expensive than the former one. In this context, an effective solution which allows saving both time and effort is cross-platform development. It implies writing the source code once and implementing it on different platforms. Approaches common to this solution are Cross-Compilation, Virtual Machine approach, Component- and Cloud-Based approaches, and Model-Driven Development.

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However, when considering the coding process for Android and iOS separately, we must admit that there are some key differences:

1. Programming languages

  • Android       Java/Kotlin
  • iOS                Swift

2. Integrated development environments (IDE)

  • Android      Android Studio
  • iOS               XCode

Besides, Android app development is generally recognized to take more code lines and is more expensive than the one of iOS. Bug fixing is also more difficult for the Android OS. There is, however, some good news. Although XCode as a development environment for iOS runs on Macs only, Android Studio can be installed both on PCs and Macs. As for the rest, to start developing for either of the OSs you need to ensure that a team has at hand all the necessary development tools of the chosen platform, one mobile device, and a tablet.

Revenue Models

To pave the way to achieving user loyalty, a mobile app should be a sustainable source of revenue. Android is claimed to match the advertising goals, while iOS is to be used for driving sales efficiency. Understanding this clearly stated mobile marketing trend, developers can make wiser decisions as for allocating their resources.

Release Cycles

Apparently, app adoption differs for the two operating systems and Android, in this case, shall yield the palm to iOS. The reason is that updating an OS to the most recent version is more challenging for Android. Namely, approximately 95% of Apple users have their devices updated to iOS 10 or iOS 11, the most recent versions, now. Yet, less than 1% of Android devices are running Oreo, which is the latest version of this operating system.

Enterprise Apps

Not all apps are available for public download. It is enterprise apps that are created to be used by corporate employees exclusively. In the first place, they serve business purposes, and many companies take advantage of such applications running them either on Android or iOS devices. The key feature of these apps is their security, but which OS is more secure?

Development Cost

When it comes to development costs, you can be positive that they differ for the two OSs. Particularly, iOS app development is reputed to be 30% cheaper than the one of Android apps on average. The reason is that Android development is slower and here is why:

  • 40% more lines of code
  • Android emulators are slower
  • effects of fragmentation
  • verbosity and complexity of XML (compared to WYSIWYG)

At a rough estimate, simple Android application development should cost $25,000 to $35,000. However, this assumption does not restrict alleged development costs of an iOS app of the same complexity degree to about 20,000$; for even 3,000$ might do, and development costs will vary depending on the chosen business model, functionality, and design.

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Design

The design rules for Android devices are based on Material Design Guidelines, while Apple relies on Human Interface Guidelines. Thus, we can single out the basic design principles for both OSs.

Android:

  • A material metaphor. Conveyance of the way objects move, interact, and merely exist in space follows the realistic approach here.
  • A bold and graphic interface. Responsive UI elements with their large-scale typography appear, hide and move in such a way that they all seem palpable.
  • The user as the prime mover. Users can benefit from such UX elements as the Floating Action Button, splash screens, an app’s navigation design and adaptiveness. Still, the rules for navigation are loose enough to allow designers to apply different navigation patterns customizing the content.

iOS:

  • Metaphors. In this regard, two OSs mirror each other, and we observe the same attention to detail.
  • Aesthetic integrity and consistency. It implies that UI elements not only look ‘real’ and have a captivating appearance but also meet users’ expectations providing them with the styles they have got used to.

User control. The user thus has the freedom not to do harmful actions. It may seem that the OS takes complete control over an individual but informing him or her about consequences of the choices made in a particular app the OS reduces possible risks while efficiently simplifying the navigation experience.

Publishing and Restrictions

Primarily, to submit an app, the developer must pay the registration fee:

  • Android      a one-time $25 registration fee
  • iOS               $99 per annum

Besides, mobile applications, as previously stated, are deployed and updated on the given operating systems following two different patterns. iOS and Android development difficulty is not all that is important. The binary opposition of open and closed nature of an operational system is essential here.

Conclusion

Obviously, we cannot say that an experience with either of the two operating systems is bound to be more enjoyable or successful, it all depends on what you expect and whether these expectations are true-to-life. On top of that, you should have a fair chance to succeed — no matter which OS you have opted for — once you have identified the objective of developing this app. Then, proceeding from the basic principles, we are sharing with you here, you can cream off all possible benefits.

Web Software and Mobile is Still Indispensable

Web Software The number of mobile applications is constantly growing, which is associated with a few important factors. First of all, mobile devices can be carried anywhere since they are light and handy. We can use them in a variety of situations, for instance on a bus or while waiting for the doctor or when we’re stuck in a traffic jam.

It is easier to use mobile applications when we are “on the go” and it is a great solution, because we are able to check what we need at any moment, which allows us to save plenty of time during the day.

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That is why the companies are creating not only web software but also mobile applications for the customers to be able to use their products on every possible device. But if this is the case, can we say that mobile applications are enough and we don’t need web interfaces anymore?

The answer is no. We cannot and should not get rid of web interfaces so fast because they are still indispensable. Primarily, because computers provide us with better and unique experiences. Computer screens are larger than those in smartphones and tablets, so we can have a better view and enjoy it more. For instance, when playing games with people from around the world, we have to constantly communicate and in order to do that we need headphones and speakers. It would be more difficult if we do that using a smaller device, and certainly less fun.

Web Software

What’s more, not all functionalities may be copied to mobile applications, because if the app would be too extensive, the user would not be able to freely and quickly view its contents, so only when utilising the web interface we can be sure we are getting the maximum benefit of everything the software has to offer.

That is why companies should think over the nature of their web service, and decide whether the mobile application is really necessary, because for some companies the web software is enough, and there is no need to increase the costs and lose money on the development and the promotion of a mobile application. This is confirmed by Mike Jackowski from the Polish software house – “We still see great interest in web solutions. Our clients are looking for developers whose can created software, mainly for web browser environment.

Another reason why we should not resign from web software is the fact that it is still cheaper than mobile applications. After the development, it perfectly functions on various computers.In additions, it is easier to develop web software, and we do not have to make changes due to the fact that the mobile devices utilised by users have different versions, and when creating the mobile applications, the developers have to take into account their limitations, as well as small dimensions of these devices.