3 Differences in How Android and iPhone Apps are Developed

We’re living in a digital age, with smartphones giving us unlimited access to the internet with just a few taps on the screen. Since Apple reinvented the cell phone in 2007 with their revolutionary iPhone, a wide range of smartphones have cropped up, and they’ve only gotten more advanced and sophisticated in the 17 years since the first one was released.

And just as computers have downloadable programs, smartphones have “apps,” allowing users to do everything from message, draw, paint, research, and everything in between. It’s estimated that over 5 million apps are available for download worldwide, leaving users with no shortage of apps to use.

Today, the leading smartphone operating systems are iOS, Apple’s proprietary operating system, and Android, an open-source operating system based on Linux. Many apps are available for both, but that doesn’t mean they’re developed the same way; there are actually a few key differences in how Android and iPhone app development work.

Difference 1: Programming Languages

For an app on any device to function, it needs code. Code is a lengthy set of instructions running in the background that the device running the app can process and use to facilitate that app’s functions. Many programming languages exist, but iOS and Android developers gravitate to a few specific ones.

For iOS, Swift is the language of choice for most developers. Developed by Apple, Swift is a modern and feature-rich language. Its popularity stems from its intuitive nature and accessibility. With its concise syntax, it’s designed to be secure and optimized for efficient assembly, instilling confidence in developers.

Android developers, however, gravitate towards Java. As one of the most mature and most-used programming languages, Java has a large user base, making getting development help easy. Java is also optimized for cross-platform development and is a great general-use language, allowing for a variety of apps to be programmed with relative ease.

Difference 2: Deployment

Getting an app out as soon as it’s ready is crucial since success is often time-sensitive. After all, depending on the kind of app being developed, it’s possible that someone else could put out an app with a similar concept and trivialize a developer’s hard work. iPhone and Android app stores have differing publishing processes and deployment times.

Android’s Google Play is vast, and publishing an app only takes a few hours. However, because of this, it’s easy for other developers to publish a high volume of low-quality apps that could drown out higher-quality ones.

Meanwhile, publishing to iOS’s App Store can take around two days or longer, but there’s also a higher quality control, making it easier to find legitimate apps on the App Store than Google Play.

Difference 3: International Market Share

Understanding the market share between devices is important for developers making international apps, as different regions have different percentages of iOS and Android users.

Android is the most popular smartphone OS by a wide margin in Europe and Asia, meaning apps targeting European and Asian users will see more usage there. This has led to many apps that are simultaneously region and device-locked.

However, in the United States, iOS and Android are nearly equally used, with iOS having a slight edge over Android. As a result, apps targeting the American market tend to be cross-platform to maximize profits.

Both platforms have their advantages and disadvantages to developing for and understanding the ins and outs of both their infrastructure and publishing processes can help make aspiring developers’ dreams of success a reality.