Android vs iOS – which platform is better for app development in 2021

Everyone has to start somewhere, especially when it comes to app or game development. Normally, you may build a profile whilst you study at university, building small apps and games to showcase in your portfolio for when you come to apply for jobs. But not everyone takes up further education, and many of the best app and game developers around the world are self-taught. But no matter which route you take, you will often wonder where to publish your creations.

If it comes to games, you’ve a lot more choice and that can be a big headache. You can build your game for PC, Console or Mobile. Then you have more choices to go through like which consoles? Do you aim for PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo? And if you’re going mobile, you have to think about what operating system to build for, Android or iOS. You could build for all of them, but that can be costly and takes up more time. So let’s try to help you budding developers out there by narrowing things down for developing mobile apps and games.

Now, I’ve had a little help to write this, because I was lucky enough to chat with Katie Alice Riverwood, founder and developer at game studio Prey Interactive. The good thing about this though is you know all this is coming right from the horse’s mouth, and it’s not just hearsay or based on opinions from die hard fans of either operating system. So let’s get to it…

Android vs iOS, Round 1 – Costs – “Ding Ding”

One of the biggest things as you start out will be costs. Now, there is some stuff that you can’t cut back on, like needing certain hardware and software to make your games. But when you’re looking at developing an app, you have to pay to have it put on either the Google Play store or the iOS App Store.

And in this round, Android comes out on top because it costs less to publish your apps on their store. So if you’re on a budget, it’s definitely the ideal starting place to launch your app or game.

Android 1 – 0 iOS

Android vs iOS, Round 2 – Publishing the App – “Ding Ding”

So when I asked Katie about how both operating systems compared, it was a simple answer; “iOS has a longer approval process and is more picky”. She’s actually been a part of around 100 “updates to apps through Apple and the process always took longer”, even when it came to testing.

Now we can look at this two ways. If you’re in a rush to get your app out there, then Google is going to get this published on Android devices before Apple gets it on to someone’s iPad or iPhone. So they get a point for speed.

But say if you were looking to publish an app that may involve money or personal data, something like a betting app. The fact that Apple takes longer and is pickier, would suggest their apps may be more secure. Sure users could take advantage of bonuses on a betting app using both devices, but with more rigorous testing, the app is more thoroughly investigated so if there are issues, they’re more likely to flag something up.

I think we’ll call this round a draw.

Android 2 – 1 iOS

Android vs iOS, Round 3 – User Base – “Ding Ding”

Ok, so the big question is how many people will have access to your app. Whether it is free with ads, or whether it’s a paid app, you want as many people to have access to it as possible. And it’s a one-sided round this time, with Android landing a knockout punch, dominating the market with 87per cent of the global market share, while the iOS operating system from Apple only controls 13 per cent

Android 3 – 1 iOS

The Result – Android Wins

Android took an early lead in Round 1 beating Apple on the cost of publishing an app on their respective stores. Round 2 saw Apple come back thanks to being more thorough in the publishing of apps, but they took much longer than Google, leading to each operating system getting a point. However, the referee had to stop the fight in Round 3, with Google landing a knockout blow, dominating the global market with 87 per cent control.

So if you’re a budding young developer looking to build their portfolio, it would seem Android is the way to go. They’re cheaper, get your app published quicker and they have a much larger user base, giving you access to more people to download your app or game. But maybe you’ve had your own experiences in the past, just like Katie from Prey Interactive. So if you think we’ve missed some key points, or have your own tales to tell about developing on either operating system, let us know in the comments below or on our socials. We’d love to hear from you.