November 10, 2020

Android and iOS: Coding Differences

Android and iOS are two very different operating systems. Here is how they differ from each other.



iOS and Android are the two most widely used operating systems in the world. There are camps that malign and praise both systems for their features, optimization, and capabilities. Just taking a look at both will show a novice some clear differences between the two. That’s because there are obvious differences between the two systems that lie in their source code and their applications. 

Even the applications that are designed for the two systems have clear differences in design and functionality. So what are the major coding differences between Android and iOS? 

Programming Languages 

Android makes use of Java for its apps while iOS uses Objective-C/Swift. 

Testing Environments and Methods 

Testing Environments and Methods

The mobile app development process requires the crucial testing stage. This includes apps for productivity and for games as well. For testing, iOS uses something called a Simulator, while Android uses an Emulator. 

The iOS Simulator is considered much faster than the Android Emulator. However, the latter is a more realistic testing environment due to it being a virtual machine. This is why the iOS simulator fails to render realistic representations of Apple devices. This results in a need for more real world tests on actual mobile devices. 

User Interface 

iOS and Android code differ most visibly on the user interface level. For the UI, developers use XML files on Android. These are quite similar to the XIB files used on iOS. At first glance, the animations and transitions on iOS seem to be smoother than they are on Android. The reason for this is that Apple’s focus on smoothness, aesthetics and user experience is paramount. This is why Android has been able to feature widgets, app trays, etc. while iOS has only recently adopted them. 

Back Button 

Since the beginning, there has been no back button on iOS and there has been one on Android. The former has always used either a Home Button, or a swipe to go back. The latter has either used buttons, or now, an upward swipe from the corner of the screen. On Android, the Back Button is actually used for navigation as well. 

Thus, apps that are designed on either platform need to take this into account. 

App Development 

The cost to develop an app on iOS is slightly higher due to the low demand for apps on the platform. Also, the requirements to launch an app on iOS are also much greater.

Sources 

https://en.yeeply.com/mobile-app-development/?rel=EN-LNK

https://ddi-dev.com/blog/programming/10-differences-between-android-and-ios-app-development/

https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/24/21299924/ios-14-iphone-wwdc-2020-apple-home-screen-widgets-app-library-clips-pages-complexity

https://en.yeeply.com/blog/how-much-does-it-cost-to-make-an-app/

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