Android vs iOS App Development – A Simple Comparison


Currently, there are more than 6.8 million mobile application users all around the world. As per the study, people spend 90% of their mobile usage time on apps. As an example, this proves that mobile apps are ruling the digital market. However, the dilemma – “Android vs iOS app development” still exists for business start-ups and also for freelance developers.

Android or iOS app development

It is necessary to choose the right OS platform to build and deploy applications to get the expected profit. Of course, you will need to do much research before diving into the sea android vs iOS. Accordingly, we will be dealing with the various aspects on which platform to choose. Without further delay, we will walk you to Android vs iOS application development in 2020. 

Follow the blog to know more on Android vs iOS app development and each of their pros and cons.

Android vs iOS App development – 2020 Analysis

In the war of OS platforms, it becomes challenging to choose the right one. Android shares an incredible rate of the mobile market of 73%. iOS takes a 23% share in the market. Nevertheless, you will have to choose between the two variants – Android vs iOS. Depending on your requirement, you will find which platform will be the best solution for your business.

Programming Languages and the Development Environment

To begin with, let us explore the software and coding languages used to develop Android applications.

Android Studio is the most used Integrated Development Environment (IDE) (an open-source IDE from Google) and developers code applications either in Java or Kotlin. Of course, they are the highly preferred languages by developers all around the world.

Most of the reputed companies including Google, Uber, Pinterest etc. have switched over from Java to Kotlin. Kotlin has been a plus point in reducing the excess boilerplate code. Most of the developers assume that Kotlin will outburst in the market. But still, Java stands out at par with Kotlin.

On the other hand, iOS developers use XCode IDE which offer a platform to code in multiple languages. In particular, Swift is the code that is highly preferred by beginners. The only disadvantage of XCode is that it’s compatible only on Mac OS and not for Windows and other OS platforms.

Demographics and Target Audience

There is an intense war between the die-hard iOS fans and tech enthusiasts who use Android-run mobile devices. As a result of desktop internet usage fall and mobile internet usage rise, there is a huge market for application development. Together with it, knowledge of the demographics and target audience will always help you choose the right platform.  

Android application developers tend to develop products that reach a broader audience in the market. Such people tend to buy mobile phones, starting from a cheaper to an affordable market price. The loyalty rate of people using Android smartphones is from 89% to 91% over the past three years. Android mobile users hesitate to spend on in-app purchases and paid services in the Google Play Store. Android dominates the developing countries where the income starts from lower to moderate levels.

Android and iOS app downloads
Applications download comparison as said by techcrunch

On the other hand, people with iOS phones are likely to spend money on in-app purchases and paid services. In the past three years, the loyalty rate of iOS users is 85 to 88%. iOS users are usually well off and have an income of minimum 40% higher than the Android users. iOS dominates the market in developed countries, including the UK and the USA.

According to statistics, Canada has a fairly equal split between iOS and Android mobile usage.

Development Costs

There couldn’t be an accurate explanation sticking to the development costs of an Android or iOS application. In the first place, we can consider that Android application costs are higher due to differing screen sizes. This factor could increase the development cost as well as the time invested. Opposite to Android, iOS doesn’t gobble up much of your time because there are limited models.

Still, Android or iOS application development costs depends on several factors.

1. A basic application could cost anywhere from $5000 to $15,000 with basic core features such as login and registration, email subscription, standard & straightforward design elements with at least one platform.

Duration for development: minimum of 2 to 5 months

2. Applications with medium complexity features including payment integration, analytics, more complex designs and much more. As such, it could cost from a minimum of $30,000.

Duration for development: minimum of 5 to 9 months

3. Larger applications with complex functions including video streaming, social media applications, mobile commerce applications, data encryption, offline mode, custom application design, animations support in applications with atleast 2 platforms (API integrations) and much more. It could cost from a minimum of $50,000 to even $2,50,000.

Duration for development: 9 months and ongoing

Complexity decides the cost of an application and its necessary to fit all the requirements within the maintained cost.

Native apps (developed only for a particular OS) cost more than cross-platform applications. But their overall performance and result can make it a cost-effective solution.

Application Publishing Costs and Guidelines

Both the Google Play Store and the App Store have their costs of publishing an application. In case of an Android application, you will need to make a one-time payment of $25 to register as a developer.  Meanwhile, the publication cost of an iOS app is higher and is not a one-off payment, unlike an Android app. The cost of creating and renewing a developer account in the App Store is $99 / year.

Once registered as a developer, you can publish countless applications irrespective of the platform you would require to publish. The Google Play Store is an open environment with less number of guidelines compared to the App Store.

Guidelines for publishing an application in the Google Play Store

Meanwhile, the iOS App Store has a stringent environment, and there is a strict review process before publishing your application. The guidelines mentioned in the iOS App Store outnumber that of the Google Play Store.

App Store application publishing guidelines

Accordingly, when the application doesn’t meet the guidelines during the review, the application will be kicked off for further improvement process. Google Play Store takes just a few hours to review an application. The iOS App Store used to take about a week to review your application which has now reduced to an average of one-day processing time.

Android vs iOS App Development Complexity

The main factor that decides the development complexity is the number of features you need to build an application. Other than this, several other factors can make the application development a complicated process. Of course, this factor has to be considered mainly by developers.

Coding complexity – Android vs iOS app development

The main reason why iOS applications are easy to design is because of Swift code which is relatively easier.

Android app developers write code either in Java or Kotlin, which involves writing more lines of code. The process of resolving errors is more complicated in Android apps than iOS.

Statistics reveal that iOS application development is 30 – 40% less complicated compared to Android.


Fragmentation is another main factor considered for developing applications. This situation arises because of several types of devices starting from smartphones to TVs and in-car navigation systems designed in all shapes and sizes. Choosing the count of devices and screen sizes will decide the level of development complexity. Another factor is the version of developed application which can heavily affect the complexity of development.

On the other hand, iOS has a limited number of devices with standard screen sizes and dimensions. Apple’s closed development environment makes it easier to develop iOS applications for the mentioned constraints.

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Revenue models

As said earlier in demographics, Android apps have higher users but less likely to spend behind in-app purchases whereas iOS users are likely to spend for in-app purchases.

Android app developers focus on developing free applications with in-app advertisements to monetize the application. The advertisements could be either in the form of images or videos. However, iOS applications create more revenue through in-app purchases.

The irony is that the Apple App Store generates more revenue than the Google Play Store, despite only half the downloads.

What is your decision now?

To conclude, both the platforms have their pros and cons, and the decision lays in your hands. Of course, both the platforms are prevalent and have something to offer in the mobile development world.

We hope that you would now be aware of all the ins and outs of Mobile Application development through this comparison.

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