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iOS or Android? Here’s an Engineers’ Take on It!

Most of the “iOS or Android?” articles deal with the overall comparison of pros and cons of both versions, which form over 90% of the smartphone market. We, at Toppr, thought it would be interesting to write about the advantages and limitations of these two operating systems of smartphones from a developer’s or engineer’s point of view. Let us get started.

Here are the major parameters that need to be analyzed thoroughly for drawing a logical comparison:

  • Demographics and ethnicity of the target population
  • The target audience – whether they would spend money for the app or rather use a free app (major section of the smartphone users)
  • Total turnaround time for app development
  • Major technical differences between Android and iOS app development
  • Compatibility of the developed app for the various versions of the OS chosen
  • Important differences between the publishing policies of the two OS

Demographics and ethnicity of the target population

The most important aspects to be analysed while developing an app are:

  • The percentage breakdown of the potential customers who will sign in to the app
  • The type of OS that is being used maximally for accessing the app in a particular demography

Generally, this demographic information about the customers who are using the apps, the amount of payment and the platform type being used for a particular app can be easily obtained from in-house analytic tools like SAAS or HADOOP.

The target audience

Statistical analysis has shown that the iOS users, which although comprise a comparatively smaller fraction of the smartphone users, spend more money on purchasing apps and making the “inside-app” purchases than Android users, thus generating an overall greater app revenue on the worldwide level.

However, Android apps, used by the majority of users, generate the same amount of revenue over time through on-screen advertisements. So, they give an equal amount of turnover over a longer span of time.

In simple terms, the app development model for iOS is pretty straightforward. For every download of the app, Apple gets 30% of the generated revenue while the rest goes to the developer. Unfortunately, most users are highly reluctant to buy an app unless it is especially recommended by a fellow user for its high stellar performance.

This is where the Android model gains brownie points. While most of the Android apps are free for download, they require payments for certain crucial upgrades or generate revenue via advertisements. However, since the app is free, this model has gained more popularity among the smartphone users.

So, depending on the type of customers being targeted – the ones who would prefer spending money and add revenue to your pockets or the ones would download it for free and later use paid or free upgrades – you should choose the suitable platform for your app

Total turnaround time for app development

Statistical analysis has shown that developing an app in Android generally requires 2-3 times more code writing than an iOS app. In general, a person has to spend 30% more time in Android app development than developing the same app in iOS.

Thus, depending on the target time when you want to market your app and the amount of time you can spend per day for your app development, you can decide the type of platform for your app.

Technical differences between Android and iOS app development

For developing an app in iOS, XCode is used as the IDE platform. The coding language used is Swift – a sleek and powerful platform with an amazingly simple user interface, various useful shortcuts and ready-made templates for in-app controls.

Want to get a head start in coding? Check out this article.

In Android, the platform used is Android Studio. Although open-source and adaptive, this platform is difficult to understand and even more tricky to navigate due to the continuous changes in the environment introduced by Google on a regular basis.

Compatibility of the developed app for the various OS versions

With fewer versions (3 versions) available for iOS, the operational cost involved in maintaining and updating the app and making it accessible over various iPhones is much lesser for iOS apps as compared to Android apps.

While approximately 80% of the iOS users have adopted the newer versions of iOS7 or iOS8, a whopping 72% of Android users are using the version that is 2 years old. The business policy demands that the developed app must work perfectly for at least 80% of the users irrespective of the versions. But iOS apps prove cheaper to maintain and upgrade, owing to the lesser number of versions to be checked for compatibility issues.

Differences in the publishing policies of the two OS

Publishing an app in Android is an effortlessly smooth process. You can deploy your app to the Google play within a matter of hours and update it multiple times to fix bugs and errors. Furthermore, the option of Alpha and Beta testing granted by Android enables you to perform a live testing, where you can fix your app and thereby launch a fresh upgrade to your app.

However, owing to the strict policies and bureaucratic reviews, app development in iOS becomes a nightmarish task.

Thus, from an engineer’s point of view, while the initial process of using Android Studio for making an app is far more cumbersome and time-consuming than XCode used for iOS, the process of publishing is comparatively easier for Android apps.

Want to become an Android developer? Read about how to become one on your own here.

For more such interesting articles, keep following Toppr!

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