Differences between Android and iOS Apps

Updated on 22. October 2021 by Jan Bunk


Image with text: Which platform should you choose for your app? Android vs iOS

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There are many options when it comes to purchasing a smartphone. But there’s just two main options for their operating systems, Android and iOS. Almost every new smartphone is going to be running on either Google's Android or Apple's iOS operating system.

However, there's a huge difference in the market share of these operating systems. Android has been able to capture 87% of the smartphone market share, whereas only 13% of smartphones are running on iOS. Both operating systems are great but there are a few reasons that explain why Android is the market leader.

Operating System Updates

The iPhones and iPads are usually automatically updated to the latest version of iOS quickly, which is very different for Android devices. This is because Apple only has to manage the updates of its comparably small number of different device models. In contrast, individual Android smartphone manufacturers release their own updates - on their own schedule - for lots of different models, which takes a while. However if you converted your website to an app with our service you won’t have to worry about compatibility, as we take care of that for you. We always ensure our apps work just as well on the most recent operating system versions as they do on older ones.

Hardware, Specifications and Compatibility

There are a very limited number of Apple device models, so there's just a few different combinations of hardware pieces. With Android phones, there are devices with every imaginable hardware combination, from different memory and storage to varying screen sizes, display resolutions and camera qualities. On the one hand this is great for the user of the device, as they can get exactly the kind of phone they want. On the other hand it makes it more difficult when developing the app, as you have to take all of the hardware variations into account. Luckily for you, we have taken care of that completely for all the apps created by us. We always make sure that they are compatible with almost any device, no matter how powerful or common the built-in parts are.

Battery

Battery life and capacity is something that is very important to most smartphone users. Without good battery capacity and well optimized apps you will be forced to charge your smartphone frequently which can be quite annoying. You don’t need to worry about battery usage of apps we created for you though, as we always follow the best practices and make the apps as efficient as possible. Other apps that aren’t focused on low battery usage often get uninstalled because they drain the user’s battery too quickly.

Storage Space

Many Android smartphones allow you to expand your storage space using micro SD cards. iPhones unfortunately don’t offer this, but only allow purchase of smartphones with bigger disk space at high prices. That’s why it's especially important that we make sure all apps we develop take up as little storage space as possible. When users run low on space, they tend to uninstall the biggest apps first. The apps created using our website to app converter are well optimized in this regard though, often achieving an app store download size of just 12 megabytes.

Differences between Android and iOS for App Publishers

Now let's take a look at the aspects which you actually need to take into consideration when you're deciding whether you want an iOS or an Android app. Our recommendation will always be to get both, as that offers the best price/value ratio and you won't have to disappoint any of your customers.

Installing Apps from Other Sources

Currently the iOS platform is very closed off still and only allows installation of apps through the Apple App Store. That means you have to publish your app in the Apple App Store if you want people to be able to use it. This might change in the future with more regulations, as lawmakers around the world are noticing the monopolistic position of Apple.

Android instead allows you to install applications from sources other than the Google Play Store. This allows you to promote your apps through other mediums, for example through alternative app stores like Aptoide, the Amazon App Store. But maybe you don’t even want to publish your app in a store? You can just directly send the app file to anyone you want to share the app with and they can install it in a few clicks. This means there's no need to go through the hurdles of submitting your app for publishing in the Google Play Store. However, this shouldn't deter you, as we will help you as much as possible with publishing your app in any app store.

App Stores

The Apple app store has comparably high yearly fees ($99) when it comes to listing your apps for distribution. The Google Play Store on the other hand has a small one time fee of $25 which allows almost anyone to list their applications without any worries. Therefore it makes sense that the Android app store is larger than the Apple store. This can also be seen by looking at the number of apps currently available on both of these stores.

  • iOS apps in the App Store: 2.2 million
  • Android apps in the Google Play Store: 2.87 million
Source: Statista

This also implies (and experience proves it) that it's more difficult to get into the Apple App Store. Recently Google has been putting a lot of effort into improving the quality of apps in Google Play though, which you can see in the following graph, that shows that they are not afraid to delete (about 1 million) apps that they consider low quality:

Graph showing the number of apps in the Google Play Store
Number of apps in the Google Play Store Source: Statista

There's no need to worry if you turned your website to an app with our converter, as we make sure your app is of top quality and accepted in the app stores.

As there's more app stores, we have written a more detailed comparison on how each app store treats it's app publishers.

Target Audience and Acquiring Customers

Apple is a luxury brand, so their devices are more expensive. In consequence they’re mostly owned by the middle and upper class in western countries. This means your app can only be used by this target audience. This can be beneficial for you, as these users tend to have a higher disposable income. On the other side it can be limiting, as with Android your app can be used on smartphones in any price range. This broader target audience will make it easier and cheaper to get downloads for your app.

Conclusion

Both operating systems have their pros and cons, but you need to decide yourself which operating system allows you to reach your target audience best. If your budget allows for it, the optimal solution will always be to have an app for iOS and Android, which is also the best price/value option.

Turn your website into an app now!

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Author Jan Bunk
Written by
Jan Bunk

This website is operated by me, Jan, and my team. I have previously developed a bunch of apps for clients and my own projects. Back in 2019 I noticed that none of the existing website to app converters provide the kind of service I'd expect as a customer. That inspired me to develop a better solution - webtoapp.design. By now, the apps I've created with my team have already been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times from the app stores.