Rashid Amanzholov: IOS vs. Android – Key Differences And Development Strategies For 2024

Choosing between iOS and Android is a decision that can shape the trajectory of your project. With over a decade of experience in developing iOS and Android applications, I’ve navigated this landscape extensively. My journey has seen the delivery of fully functional native and cross-platform mobile applications with four successful apps on both the Google Play Store and the App Store. Let’s delve into the intricacies of these platforms in 2024 and help you make an informed choice.

The global mobile market is a battleground dominated by iOS and Android, each with its unique strengths and user bases. As of 2024, Android holds a commanding 70% of the market, while iOS claims around 30%. However, in regions like the UK, iOS enjoys a significant presence, with about 60% of users opting for iPhones. This distribution offers distinct opportunities depending on your target audience and geographic focus.


Programming languages and tools


iOS development

Diving into iOS development means working with Swift and Objective-C, guided by the powerful Xcode IDE. Swift, introduced by Apple in 2014, has become the go-to language for iOS development due to its modern syntax, safety features, and performance benefits. Objective-C, while older, remains crucial for maintaining legacy code.

From my experience, the iOS development journey is marked by the flawless performance and stability of apps, a testament to Apple’s tightly integrated hardware and software ecosystem. This environment ensures smooth user experiences, which is why iOS users are generally more willing to spend on apps and in-app purchases, making it a lucrative platform for revenue generation. Security is another cornerstone of iOS, with Apple’s stringent app review process providing a secure environment for users and developers alike.

However, the road to iOS development isn’t without challenges. It can be a costly venture given the higher developer salaries and the need for Mac hardware. Additionally, Apple’s meticulous app review process, while ensuring quality, can lead to delays in app publication, testing the patience of eager developers.


Android development

Android development opens up a world of possibilities with Java and Kotlin, orchestrated through Android Studio. Kotlin, endorsed by Google in 2017, has rapidly gained popularity for its expressive syntax and seamless interoperability with Java.

Android’s vast market share presents an exciting opportunity to reach a broader audience, particularly in emerging markets. Its open nature allows for unparalleled customisation and flexibility in app design, making it a playground for creative minds. Android Studio offers a robust suite of tools for debugging, testing, and performance analysis, enhancing the development experience.

Yet this journey is not without its complexities. The fragmentation of Android devices and OS versions can make development and testing a labyrinthine task. Additionally, Android users tend to spend less on apps and in-app purchases compared to their iOS counterparts, posing a challenge for monetisation.



Examples of successful apps


iOS success stories

Instagram, for instance, initially launched on iOS, leveraging the platform’s robust performance and user base to become a global sensation.
Shazam, another iOS success story, thrived by integrating seamlessly with Apple Music and Siri, showcasing the power of iOS’s ecosystem.
Duolingo is another example of an iOS success story. Launched on iOSit has delivered a smooth and engaging user experience, making language learning accessible and fun. The app’s seamless integration with iOS features such as push notifications and Game Center contributed to its viral success, helping millions of users stay motivated and track their progress. Today, Duolingo stands as a testament to how an app can utilise the strengths of the iOS ecosystem to transform into a worldwide educational phenomenon.


Android success stories

On the Android side, WhatsApp capitalised on the platform’s extensive reach, becoming a staple in emerging markets. Google Maps, a native Android app, exemplifies the platform’s strength in delivering robust, feature-rich applications that millions rely on daily.

Spotify, initially launched on Android, leveraged the platform’s extensive user base and flexible environment to become a leading music streaming service. By utilising Android’s customisation options and integration capabilities, Spotify offered a personalised and seamless music experience. The app’s compatibility with a wide range of devices and its ability to innovate with features like offline playback and Discover Weekly playlists have made it a global sensation in the music industry.


How to choose the right platform?


Deciding between iOS and Android requires a deep understanding of your project’s unique needs. Consider your target audience’s preferences and demographics. For instance, if your app aims at a premium market, iOS might be your best bet. In contrast, Android’s extensive reach makes it ideal for a global and diverse audience.

Budget and timeline are also pivotal considerations. While iOS development might come with higher upfront costs, the uniformity of Apple devices can streamline the development and testing process. Conversely, Android development might initially be less expensive but could require more extensive testing due to device fragmentation.

Your app’s functional requirements and desired features play a crucial role in this decision. iOS shines in performance and security, while Android offers unmatched flexibility and customisation.


How did AI impact iOS and Android development?

Artificial Intelligence is transforming mobile development, enhancing user experiences, streamlining processes, and bolstering security.

AI-driven personalisation and recommendation systems have become standard, significantly improving user engagement. For instance, Netflix uses AI to recommend content based on viewing habits, creating a more engaging user experience. Development processes are also evolving, with AI tools like GitHub Copilot assisting developers by suggesting code snippets and automating repetitive tasks, thereby accelerating development timelines.

Security, a paramount concern in app development, is also benefiting from AI. AI-based threat detection systems proactively identify and mitigate security risks, safeguarding user data. Google Play Protect, for example, employs machine learning to scan apps for malware, ensuring a safer user experience.

I bet you’ve already had the chance to experience the impact of AI in your real life. Do you like the music that Spotify suggests to you? Give thanks to AI for powering algorithms that curate personalised playlists, enhancing user engagement and retention.

Using Snapchat? It leverages AI for real-time facial recognition and filter application, driving user interaction and making the app a fun and engaging experience.

Moreover, the Google Photos app uses AI for advanced image recognition, allowing users to search their photos by objects, places, or even people. iOS’s Siri has embedded AI to provide personalised voice assistance, making daily tasks easier for users.

Choosing between iOS and Android development in 2024 is a nuanced decision that requires a thorough understanding of each platform’s strengths and limitations. By considering your target audience, budget, and functional requirements, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your project goals. Moreover, embracing AI’s capabilities can further elevate your app’s performance, security, and user experience. Whether you opt for the stability and monetisation potential of iOS or the vast reach and flexibility of Android, your success lies in understanding the unique advantages and challenges each platform presents.



About The Author

Rashid Amanzholov is a seasoned mobile developer with a decade of experience crafting iOS and Android apps for the private sector. He has a proven track record of delivering fully functional native and cross-platform apps, with four successful apps on both the Google Play Store and App Store. Rashid excels in every stage of development, from architecture design to hands-on programming in various languages. With strong communication skills and a hands-on approach, Rashid is ready to take ownership of projects and drive them to success.