iOS vs. Android: Which Platform Should You Develop For First?

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‘The future of mobile is the future of everything. ’, Matt Galligan.

Developing a mobile application can be quite challenging. While building an application for your business, the first thing is to choose a platform. Maybe you have cross-platform development in mind for the future, yet development and releasing on both platforms together can be quite difficult.

Android and iOS application differs in various respects. In this blog, we will look into various aspects to better help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of both OS. This will help you in finalizing your decision of whether to go for an iOS or Android native application.

iOS vs. Android: which platform should you develop for first?

Application Flexibility

As compared to IOS, Android mobile applications are more flexible in nature and workings because of a less restricted environment, and wide hardware compatibility. Moreover, the Android mobile application development process is also very flexible. The use of JAVA provides a smoother experience during development. Apple’s ecosystem is more controlled as it’s limited to iOS devices to develop, maintain, and manage an app post-launch.

Security Dynamics

Android is more susceptible to pirate apps and malware because of its open-source nature whereas Apple iOS is perceived as more secure in terms of attacks and data piracy.

Market Share Distribution

Ninety-nine percent of the global mobile OS share is shared by Android and Apple IOs, with Android leading the global market. We all know that Apple targets premium customers, while Android concentrates on the general market.

IOS mobile application has more customers in North America and Australia while Android has more in Europe, Asia, and Africa. In-app purchases revenue for the Apple APP store is higher than the google play store.

Ease of Development

Generally speaking, it is easier and cheaper to develop an IOS app. Moreover, Apple iOS mobile applications generally require less development time and have a lower development cost than Android applications. Some estimates put development time at 30–40% longer for Android than IOS. IOS developers use Swift which is generally more convenient and requires less coding work than Java language used in Android mobile applications development.

Licensing and Membership Cost

The cost of licensing and membership programs is another factor to consider when choosing a native mobile app development platform. Developers must subscribe to the Apple Development Program to “distribute Apps, access beta software, and integrate with capabilities such as Siri, Apple Pay, and iCloud.” The Apple Development Program costs $99 per year. Android does not require any subscription services, but there is a $25 one-time registration fee via the Google Play Console. Moreover, it is much harder to get an app approved for the App Store than it is in Google Play.

Application Development tools

To develop native mobile applications for Android and iOS a variety of development tools are available. Moreover, the use of tools also depends upon a user experience with an integrated development environment (IDE). XCOS is the primary tool for IOS development while Android uses Android Studio Eclipse etc.

User Experience

To develop an iOS mobile application, apple provides guidelines to its users. Although there is a limit in terms of customization, the IOS app provides users with a smooth enhanced user experience. The UI/UX of IOS devices is way more sophisticated than Android devices.

Beyond smartphones applicability

Android applications provide a wide range of accessibility beyond smartphones as it grants you the power to integrate your app into users’ cars, TVs, and smartwatches. Extending app functionalities allows it to run on Daydream and Cardboard VR headsets, Wear OS devices, Android Auto, and several other platforms.

Available Learning Resources

Android developers can benefit from various, exercises, interactive materials, and whole training programs from Google. This material helps developers to create excellent UIs and layouts.

Monetization Models

Both application platforms offer opposing models. A large number of ad-supported applications are available in the Google Store while the IOS platform has to pay for apps in common. IOS customers are more valuable although Android has more global market share. IOS apps make more money. The share of Android is more than IOS and the number of downloads is more on the google play store than Apple. However, IOS customers are more engaging and spend more on in-app purchases.

Tablet Applications

IPad is way more sophisticated than Android tablets as it provides access to a greater number of fully optimized apps as well as supports popular apps. This can be observed in the behavior of many Android smartphone users as they carry an iPad as their tablet choice. Apple has standardized screen sizes for IOS.

Code Exposure

Apple iOS development uses a simple language called Swift through which programmers can quickly add several common functionalities with minimal code thus saving time and easing the development process. Android mobile apps use Java and Kotlin languages which use complex codes.

Essential Hardware

Native mobile application development requires a powerful computer at first. Two major application development tools are Android Studio and Xcode. Android Studio is compatible with most operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS whereas Xcode is only compatible with Mac computers. The cross-compatibility of Android makes it easier to use.

App Maintenance

Android mobile applications are more expensive to maintain than IOS applications because more than 50% of users stick to older versions resulting in unexpected crashes and bugs. On the contrary, IOS users usually use the latest OS.


In a nutshell, there are many factors to take into account while developing a native mobile application. An IOS application is cost-efficient, minimizes launch times, has an in-app purchase-driven model, and quickly updates. On the contrary, android is more suitable for developing nations and has costly testing and an ad-driven revenue model. The selection of a platform will depend upon your requirements and end goals.