Android vs iOS Development: Which One Should You Learn?

Android vs iOS Development: Which One Should You Learn?

Android vs iOS app development…

Should you learn Android or iOS app development?

Well, according to IDC Android devices have more than 80% of the market share while iOS holds less than 15% market share.

But when you get into the details, the market share of Android vs iOS are completely skewed depending on which particular country you are in.

So it is worth taking your time to do your research, weigh all the pros and cons of Android vs iOS development before you make your decision.

In this article we are going to compare the both Android and iOS platforms from 7 different perspectives and angles.

I hope that at the end of this Android vs iOS development comparision you will be more informed and ready to make a decision to launch your career either as an Android developer or an iOS developer.

In this Android vs iOS development comparision, we are going to look at:

  1. Android vs iOS developer demand.
  2. Android vs iOS development future.
  3. Android vs iOS development tools.
  4. Android vs iOS development time.
  5. Android vs iOS development cost.
  6. Android vs iOS app demographics.
  7. Android vs iOS app revenue models.

Let’s get started…

1. Android vs iOS developer demand

Android vs iOS development: which one offers more jobs?

The supremacy wars between the two biggest smartphone operating systems has come to an end and neither of them will go away any time soon.

And the developer job market reflects this stability.

On Dice, the number of employer postings for Android-related jobs remained relatively level last year, as did the supply of the candidates applying for those Android jobs.

It was a similar situation with iOS: demand among employers for tech pros skilled in Apple’s OS remained pretty even throughout 2017, as did the supply of talent applying for those positions.

If you are stuggling to find a job then check out my other article on how to get a junior developer job without experience.

So here both Android and iOS win.

2. Android vs iOS development future

When choosing a platform to learn you should put into consideration it’s ability to keep up with the constant change with technology.

Initially you could only build iOS apps in Objective-C programming. This language was pretty verbose, much to the dislike of many developers.

They realized this and developed a new programming language called Swift which enables iOS developers to implement a lot of features with minimal code and it is THE future of iOS development.

Related:
Kotlin vs Java: Why Learning Java For Android Is Pointless
11 Best Ionic Framework Courses & Tutorials on Udemy in 2020

So if you want to develop an iOS app today, get started by learning Swift programming on Udemy.

For a long time the only language used to develop Android apps was Java.

But lately, the invention of Kotlin, an alternative language for coding Android application, has completely changed the field of Android development.

Kotlin provides a solution to the problems that Android developers face with Java. So learning Kotlin provides developers with inter-operability, safety, clarity, and tooling support.

So again here both Android and iOS win… if you decide to learn either Android or iOS you are guaranteed a career in the foreseable future.

3. Android vs iOS development tools

When it comes to developing mobile applications, development tools have a significant role on the whole process.

iOS offers the Xcode IDE for developing iOS apps. Xcode is an awesome tool with very mature features and characteristics since it come much earlier than the Android tools.

Its most important features are Code Completion, its UI design interface, profiling, debugging, core data, assets management which are very important when developing iOS apps.

Android on the other hand has Eclipse. Eclipse has been used by developers for Android app development for a long time but it generally does not provide a good experience as Xcode.

Lately, Android launched the “Android Studio,” an official Android IDE that’s considered to be better than Eclipse.

The Android Studio however still doesn’t surpass Xcode in terms of features and functionality.

So in terms of development tools, iOS has an edge over Android.

4. Android vs iOS development time

The amount of time you need to develop an app is a very important factor to consider when picking either iOS or Android development.

In terms of devices, iOS has quite a small collection of devices like iPhones, iPads & tablets that it runs on.

This limited number of devices makes for easier and shorter iOS development time because you don’t have to account for varying screen sizes and densities.

On the contrary, Android has a vast collection of more than 5000 devices from different vendors which run different OS versions, screen sizes, and densities.

This means Android app development is harder and longer because a developer has to account for device compatibility and testing in the development process.

So with all this in consideration, it easier to learn iOS if you are a complete beginner, even if you are considering building hybrid apps vs of native apps.

5. Android vs iOS development cost

In order to define the cost of developing a mobile app, we’ll look at the cost of the hardware equipment you’ll need, and the cost of publishing your app on the marketplace.

The Android Studio IDE can be installed on a standard PC, which is usually cheap to obtain.

iOS apps, however, are developed using Xcode integrated development environment, and Xcode ONLY works on the Mac, which is an expensive high end device.

Therefore, the investment in buying a Mac as well as an iPhone or iPad can significantly add to the cost of development.

Additionally, Apple App Store charges $99 publishing fee, renewable annually, while Android only charges $25, a one-time registration fee.

So Android is much cheaper to get started with.

6. Android vs iOS app demographics

What is your target market for your app or app development skills?

Knowing the demographic your are targeting is key when deciding whether you should learn Android or iOS development.

For example, while Android devices have the greatest global market share, Apple dominates the App Store for customer spending.

So if your making an app for or intend to work in North American and Western Europe then you should learn and develop for iOS.

Related:
Android vs iOS Development: Which One Should You Learn?
11 Best Swift Courses & Tutorials for Developers on LinkedIn [2020]

However, if you’re aiming for adoption in emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America then it would be better to go with Android.

So here is winner is depends on where you are or where you are targeting.

7. Android vs iOS app revenue models

If app monetization is important to you then, there are some key platform differences that you should know before you choose which platform to learn.

Android users tend to be less willing to pay for apps than iOS users, so free apps with in-app Android ads are more common.

In fact, the Apple App Store generates twice as much revenue as Google Play, despite having half as many downloads.

iOS app users mainly focus on app purchases while Android app users mostly rely on in-app advertising as a way to make money.

So if you want to develop a free application with ads as your revenue stream, Android is a your option.

So deciding on your revenue or business model will help select the right OS platform to learn or to develop in for your project.

In conclusion to this Android vs iOS development comparision, I’d say it all boils down to you as an individual.

What tools are available to you and what’s your target market with your app or skills?

Both iOS and Android have something to offer in the mobile development app world.

Each operating system comes with it’s own strengths and drawbacks, but both are very popular platforms across the world.

I hope this Android vs iOS development comparision has helped you decide on which mobile platform to learn first.

However, with the growing popularity of the Google Dart & Flutter framework, soon it will be easier to build for both platforms using the same without compromising functionality and user experience.

Are you an aspiring or an experienced mobile app developer?

What was your experience when choosing between iOS and Android app development?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Geoffrey Barnes

Hey, I’m Geoffrey, a mobile app developer with experince in Xamarin and React Native. I also double in as a freelance tech writer and blogger during my free time. On this blog I share my experience about mobile app development.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Shravi joshi

    Hi… These blogs offer a lot of information about ios app development. Your blog is incredible, it helps a lot to build a ios app. I am delighted with it. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post.

  2. Rupinder

    Thanks for Sharing, Great Article, This Blog is very informative and Helpful for Others, Thanks and keep sharing.

  3. B

    Thanks – this gave me all the information I needed! Google search results for ‘best way to learn to build an app’ quickly pointed to Swift (as did the many tutorials, which is odd, since, as you noted, the market of android users, myself included, is much greater). So I didn’t really ‘get’ all the options till I edited my search to ‘is it harder to develop an app for android’ and results within the last month (oy vey!)! But quickly I got my answers from you and am my way to learning some Kotlin with the Android Studio (after reading your very helpful native vs hyrbrid post!) (and if I actually do it, then to swift).

    Thank you!
    – Coder once upon a time….
    I have a BA in CS (Java) but then programmed in C# for work (and SQL and HTML) – mostly web stuff and databasing. But I changed careers out of programming in 2005 – so slightttllllyyyy rusty, but have been interested in making an app! It’ll be like riding a bike right???

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