Whether you’re into online gaming, smartphone photography, or are even just a Twitterholic, there’s an app for just about every human activity. But although most apps are available for iOS and Android devices, there are some noticeable differences in how iOS and Android apps function on these mobile operating systems.
Many developers have praised the Android operating system as it is partly open-source and features a Linux-based technology that allows it to be easily customized. This is obviously a big feature for those who are more technologically minded, but many people also rate Apple’s iOS interface as being better designed and more user-friendly, despite the lack of customizing options.
Both operating systems also have different user-interface patterns that have their own idiosyncratic logic that applies to their apps. Apple’s iOS User Interface Guidelines shows how the brand aim to help developers maintain a consistent style across their app to improve the user experience through important concepts of logic, clarity, and simplicity.
But it’s not just the aesthetic and functional features of iOS and Android apps that can vary in a subtle yet powerful way. This is because both of the operating systems have distinct stores that feature different approaches to serving the smartphone user.
Whilst the Apple App Store had over 2.2 million iOS apps at the start of 2017, it’s the only place where users can download an iOS app. Whereas Android users have a choice of using Google’s Play Store as well as other sites like Amazon to browse, purchase and download their desired app.
However, the Apple Apple Store does feature certain niche genres like casino gaming apps that gamers won’t find at the Google Play Store. So if an Android gamer wanted to play a mobile slots game via the LadyLucks app, they’d have to find an alternative source of Android apps such as GetJar, rather than Google Play.
If you’re thinking about developing an app, it’s also worth thinking about which operating system is most popular to make sure that your app reaches as many people as possible. Although Android devices currently dominate around 82.8% of the market, it’s worth remembering that iOS systems are hugely popular in certain countries like the US and the UK.
And if all of this sounds a little confusing, then bear in mind that there are plenty of helpful resources to give you a hand in designing for both operating systems. The Sketch app can be a real life-saver for iOS designers, and there’s a great Android option too so that whether you’re designing your own mobile slots game or a new social media app, you’ll get a little digital assistance.