IOS and Android Development: What to Choose?

8 min readDec 14, 2023


The battle of iOS vs. Android development has already become a classic confrontation in the software development world. Fans of each operating system are confident that they are creating the best apps while the opponent loses in many ways.

Though it’s impossible to identify the unanimous winner, this guide will help you better navigate app development for both Android and iOS. By the end of this post, you’ll know the key differentiators, pros, and cons of each approach, and will be able to decide in favor of one (or maybe figure out that your business needs both)!

Key differences between iOS and Android development

Navigating the landscape of mobile app development for iOS and Android involves understanding the nuanced differences between the platforms. Let’s dive deeper into this question:

Programming languages

iOS developers primarily use Swift, a modern programming language introduced by Apple. Swift is designed to be concise and clear. This means that the language is quite easy to learn, which enhances developer productivity.

Android development traditionally relies on Java and Kotlin. For an extended period, Java has served as the principal language in Android development. It’s known as versatile and object-oriented, providing compatibility across different platforms. Kotlin is relatively newer but fully interoperable with Java. Thus, developers can use both languages within the same project.

This difference in programming languages not only impacts the overall developer experience on each platform but also influences your choice of a dedicated development team you’ll hire for the project.

App distribution: App Store vs. Google Play

iOS apps are exclusively distributed through Apple’s App Store. This curated marketplace has strict guidelines for app quality and content. Since the App Store aims to maintain a high standard for user experience and security, the app review process can be quite time-consuming.

Android apps are published in Google Play, which is relatively more lenient in its approval process. Google Play allows developers to launch an app more quickly, ensuring a more flexible environment for experimentation and updates.


Perhaps, this is one of the most notable differences between iOS and Android development. Fragmentation refers to the diversity of devices within a given platform. In this context, developers have to take into account various screen sizes, resolutions, and hardware specifications, which leads to a more complex development process.

The Android ecosystem boasts a vast range of devices from different manufacturers with varied parameters. Unlike Android, the iOS ecosystem offers a limited number of devices, all under Apple’s direct control. This uniformity simplifies development and ensures a consistent user experience.

iOS app development: pros and cons

| Pros of iOS app development |

  • Great user experience

iOS is renowned for providing a consistently smooth and intuitive user experience across its devices. Apple’s emphasis on design guidelines, such as Human Interface Guidelines (HIG), ensures an aesthetically pleasing journey. This commitment to user-centric design fosters high-quality products.

  • Higher security

iOS development is synonymous with a robust security framework, making it a preferred platform for apps handling sensitive data. Apple’s closed ecosystem, strict app review process, and robust encryption protocols contribute to a more secure environment. This is particularly crucial for applications dealing with financial transactions, healthcare information, or personal data.

  • Unified ecosystem

Developing an iOS app means working within a single ecosystem, where devices, software, and services seamlessly integrate. It simplifies app creation as developers don’t face the vast diversity of screens seen in the Android ecosystem.

| Cons of iOS app development |

  • Strict launch guidelines

One of the most notable challenges in iOS vs Android development lies in app store publishing guidelines. While maintaining a high standard for app quality, Apple App Store’s stringent review process can steal much time. Delays in launching mobile apps and further updates can seriously affect the overall app’s competitive edge and user engagement.

“In my experience, there are 5 most common reasons for publishing rejection on the App Store.

If you provided incorrect information about what data about the user the app collects and for what purposes you use it, you’ll be rejected. You must be honest and describe all possible scenarios.

Another frequent case is non-compliance with design guidelines for paywalls. The subscription information should be very clear to the user and provide access to all available plans without any hidden options.

The inability to report in-app content or specific users also plays an important role, and your application should react to all the complaints. The two last ones are the ability to sign in with Apple and, from 2021, to delete user accounts, especially in projects with personal data.

As you see, most Apple requirements support a high level of ethical criteria. Usually, working with reliable partners who have experience in publishing apps will save you from such pitfalls. At SolveIt we take into account all the risks.”

Andrei Savich, CTO at SolveIt

  • Closed-source development

iOS development operates within a closed-source environment. This closed nature restricts developers from implementing certain customizations or deep integrations. In contrast, Android, being open-source, allows more freedom in modifying system-level functionalities. For instance, Android users have the flexibility to personalize their home screens extensively which is not easily achievable on iOS.

  • Limited integration to third-party services

While iOS provides seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem, including services like iCloud and Apple Music, it tends to be less flexible when incorporating third-party apps. This can pose difficulties if you aim to create an app that interacts seamlessly with external services like payment gateways, for instance.

Android app development: pros and cons

| Pros of Android app development |

  • Open-source nature

Open source promotes the rise of a vibrant and engaged developer community. The collective effort leads to faster issue resolution, continuous updates, and the evolution of the software. Plus, such transparency contributes to a more inclusive and educational environment, allowing developers to contribute to the ongoing development of the Android platform.

  • Greater customization options

Android allows developers to access and modify the operating system’s source code. This level of openness grants developers the freedom to tailor the user interface, functionalities, and overall user experience to specific business requirements.

  • Quicker app review

Compared to the review process of Apple’s App Store, Google Play allows developers to deliver updates and new features more rapidly. The simplified process facilitates quicker adaptation to user needs and market trends.

| Cons of Android app development |

  • Device fragmentation

As mentioned earlier, Android runs on a myriad of devices, each with unique specifications. Navigating this fragmentation can become an extended endeavor as it requires thorough testing and optimization efforts to achieve seamless app functioning.

  • Security concerns and bug issues

When it comes to security, Android’s open-source nature is considered more as a drawback. The flexibility to modify the source code can lead to inconsistencies and unexpected behaviors across different devices. Developers need to invest more time in addressing these concerns to deliver bug-free products.

  • Slower monetization

Android apps often face a slower monetization process compared to their iOS counterparts. While the Android user base is vast, users on this platform are less inclined to make in-app purchases. This difference in user behavior is notable in apps that rely on freemium models or in-app purchases for revenue. As such, developers targeting the Android platform must carefully strategize their app monetization models.

iOS and Android app development cost

It’s not justified to claim that the Android app development cost is higher than iOS, or vice versa.

The budgetary considerations for Android and iOS app development vary significantly based on many factors. One primary factor is the development tools and languages specific to each platform.

The expertise of developers in programming languages, the availability of skilled professionals, and product complexity can impact costs. The design requirements and the need for adaptability also play a role.

As you already know, the fragmented nature of the Android ecosystem can lead to increased development and testing efforts, contributing to higher costs compared to the more controlled iOS environment.

But when it comes to some development tools, the situation is the opposite. As an example, each iOS project requires an Apple developer account, and this comes with a notable cost. A standard subscription entails an annual fee of $99, while the Google Developer Account charges a one-time payment of only $25.

Moreover, iOS and Android app development costs are influenced by the location in which you are hiring developers. As per information from Glassdoor, the average hourly rate for developers in the US starts at $90 for iOS and $80 for Android. But if you opt to hire developers in the Eastern European region, hourly rates start from around $60 and $55 for iOS and Android app development accordingly.

Choosing between iOS and Android app development: the SolveIt’s experience

“The logic of decision-making about the platform should respond to the further business aims of the product. Technical solutions are a powerful tool on the path to the commercial success of the application. Let’s show you how they actually complement each other using these 2 recent cases.”

Andrei Savich, CTO at SolveIt

1Case one. The client turned to us to develop an app in which users can conduct video broadcasts and communicate with each other. The initial request was to test the client’s hypothesis and develop the idea further over time.

One of the standout features of the app was the UI animations. Having studied the initial requirements and possible implementation options, we suggested that the client choose iOS as the target platform. It’s optimized for motion effects that should work smoothly and efficiently on all relevant devices. It is more difficult to achieve the same performance on Android devices, as there is a large fragmentation and many variations of versions of the operating system. Plus, iOS users are more likely to try new apps and services, which will allow them to reach their target audience faster.

2Case two. A telecommunications company contacted us to develop an application for their customers that would allow them to diagnose problems with their Internet connection at home.

So it was supposed to compile various information about the quality of the connection, conducting various tests directly from the user’s device. The Android platform allows you to collect a large amount of telemetry from the device and transmit this data to the support service, and we opted for it. The thing is, iOS doesn’t provide access to a large amount of such information, as it considers it private.

Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to choose a platform simply because they don’t have enough technical expertise, and that’s okay. The most competent solution would be to use the services of a CTO, which will form the technical direction of the project.”

Andrei Savich, CTO at SolveIt

The decision to follow a certain approach should be made during the discovery phase of your project. Here are the most common scenarios you can take as reference points when choosing between Android vs. iOS development:

When to choose iOS app development

Scenario 1: You prioritize app monetization

Learn which platform to choose according to your goals in the full article here.