The choice between Android and iOS development is always puzzling. Even with architectural similarities, both have different approaches to development and maintenance. Hence, it becomes a tough choice to make.
Android and iOS development differ on several levels, ranging from programming languages and testing approaches to design and marketing strategies. Knowing the significant dissimilarities between iOS and Android can help you make the right decision about which path to take. In this article, we will talk about the major differences between Android and iOS development. Let’s begin.
1. Programming Languages
Android programming and iOS both use different technology stacks.
• iOS has the Swift proprietary language that has been designed from scratch for app development. Coding with Swift is easier to get around and has a shorter learning curve. Hence, it is easier to master.
• Android programming heavily relies on Kotlin or Java. Kotlin is intuitive, easy to read, and modern but requires developers to gain mastery up to a certain level in the language. Hence, it may be tougher to develop apps on Android compared to iOS.
However, there are a number of cross-platform development tools available today that allow users to write codes that work with both iOS and Android.
2. Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
The integrated environments of iOS and Android differ from each other significantly.
• iOS developers rely on the XCode tool, which is proprietary and provides variegated bug fixing tools, supports the range of all iOS devices entirely, and is easy to get around. XCode has a decent source and assistant editor. XCode offers an easy setup but is also susceptible to extreme complications in the case of more significant projects.
• Android developers rely on the Android Studio, which is also a proprietary tool by Google with an extensive range of available features. It is characterized by cross-platform support, a vast range of debugging and development features, and high readability. Android Studio can quickly generate several versions of your application for multiple devices and provides a Gradle-based, flexible build system. It offers an advanced code editor and layout designer, but it might cost you too much memory.
Some of the main differences between Android and iOS system-specific designs are in architecture organization and navigation.
• iOS application architecture is based on view controllers, such as tab, page view, split view controllers, etc. It helps control entire screens or their individual parts. Developers can write controllers in code or organize storyboards and store them as XML files. It helps increase the development pace while reducing the risk of errors. The iOS architecture is less error-prone and more manageable, making iOS apps easier to develop on the basis of system design.
• Android applications use partitions for development. Coding teams break down the app into activities that have various fragments, each activity being equal to one app screen and each fragment being a part of the user interface that helps navigate between activities, enter values, and open new app screens.
Additionally, there are several app design variations, making iOS significantly different from Android development.
• iOS prioritizes content over design, making UI designers use shadows, gradients, and white space broadly in order to convey the depth. The navigation bar is a critical feature and is aligned in the center. When it comes to widget support, iOS provides limited support. As iOS does not use device fragmentation, app development and design are time-efficient and cost-friendly.
• Android prioritizes real-world inspiration, making UI designers use colors, motion, and light along with a broader range of similar tools. The navigation bar is a critical feature and is aligned to the left. Additionally, Android provides extensive widget support, making user experiences exemplary. But as Android relies heavily on device fragmentation, app development and design are time-consuming and costly.
Android and iOS also differ based on the convenience of use.
• iOS offers a more straightforward interface. With cleaner appearances and setup, iOS gives the ease and control over all systems and applications.
• Android offers more customization by allowing users to set things as they prefer. Convenience is provided in terms of allowing customization according to preferences, along with good security and more options.
5. Development Complexity
Development complexity is a significant factor that differentiates iOS and Android.
• iOS offers more simplicity in terms of development complexity. The limited range of devices gives developers a small range of screen dimensions to consider. As a result, it is not very time-consuming and ends up being resource-friendly as well, especially considering how it doesn’t require many iterations and reviews.
• Android offers higher development complexity owing to its device fragmentation. Vast collections of screen styles based on screen density, screen size, and OS versions are available. Developers are required to use multiple device simulators while testing in order to adjust graphics for the entire range of devices, ensuring the app display is equal for all users. This makes both testing and development time-consuming as well as resource intensive, as the procedures require endless iterations and reviews.
The differences between Android and iOS are many, especially when it comes to development. When you find yourself puzzled about this choice, it would be best to evaluate your resources, requirements, and timelines before making the decision. There is no answer to the question of which is better, as both Android and iOS have a lot to offer. They have their own set of pros and cons, so which one is better depends on your priorities entirely.
Android and iOS development differ from each other on many grounds and are in no way limited to the ones mentioned in this article. However, we have tried our best to articulate precisely the differences between their development to help you understand it better.