iOS and Android are two of the most popular mobile operating systems in the world, and each has its own unique features and advantages. We wanted to talk through some of the main differences between iOS and Android, as well as the pros and cons of each for users as well as how this impacts business owners as they market their businesses. We’ll also touch on the key differences with Android app development and how this differs greatly from iOS app development.
End User Perspective
From an end user standpoint, Apple’s iOS operating system has typically been seen as an easy-to-use interface with consistent design elements across all Apple devices. This makes it easy to navigate and use the device for a large segment of the population. Apple’s iOS is also known for its strong security features, such as its app review process, hardware encryption, and biometric authentication. All of these provide a very positive experience and affinity towards iOS.
Android on the other hand focuses more on flexibility to allow users to personalize their devices according to their preferences. this flexibility also extends beyond just the end user standpoint, it also has a much wider range of devices and experiences due to the open-source nature of the Android operating system and how multiple manufacturing manufacturers can use the operating system to build unique devices. android also provides a lower cost of entry into using its devices, which gives them more popularity with the public. However there are plenty of flagship Android phones that go toe to toe with Apple in terms of functionality in feature sets.
When talking about the business perspective of iOS devices vs. Android devices, we are focused on the perspective of devices that are being used in the place of business by the company itself. In our experience with consulting business on device deployment and our work with clients in retail point of sale settings, iOS is hands down easiest to deploy and maintain compared to Android or even Windows devices.
When it comes to deploying applications to these devices, this is where it can get a little more complicated. Apple’s iOS devices can use a type of service known as a Mobile Device Management (MDM), which is a way of managing corporate and employee-owned Apple devices used within an organization. MDM solutions can query Apple devices for various information, update and install software as well as device settings, monitor compliance with organizational policies, and remotely wipe or lock devices.
Android also has MDM features as well, but there are some key differences:
- OS updates: Android updates may vary depending on the device manufacturer, while Apple updates are consistent across all devices.
- Consistency and flexibility: Apple devices have a more uniform operating system, hardware, user experience, and features, while Android devices offer more customization options.
- Security: Apple devices have built-in encryption and security features that are enforced by MDM solutions, while Android devices may require additional security measures.
From a developer standpoint, there are major pros and cons to both iOS and Android. one of the major pros for Android app development is the cost of developing that app. Android allows for the deployment and installation of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Because of how we develop our websites and how we structure our client website platform, PWAs are incredibly easy and affordable to deploy and maintain. For clients of ours that are looking for things like curbside pickup or internal custom applications, PWAs are the way to go. PWAs can also be compiled and deployed into an MDM environment for Android, which makes Android an ideal solution for organizations with modern low-cost internal applications.
iOS software development is a mixed bag when it comes to businesses. While Apple doesn’t support PWAs the same as Android, there are ways to deploy custom internal applications exclusively for your business that circumvent the App Store restrictions. The cost to maintain these applications is a little higher than PWAs due to the native code base that’s required for apps on iOS but are still fairly affordable.
The real issue we see with native applications for iOS is the high cost of initial development as well as high ongoing maintenance costs to provide a custom application for your business within the iOS App Store. This is only an issue if you are looking to deploy custom applications to consumers directly. Because of this high bar, iOS is known for higher quality apps compared to Android. There are some significant changes hopefully coming to iOS in the coming months, currently iOS 16.4 and enables push notifications for PWAs. as of the writing of this post, 16.4 is currently in beta and we are not too confident that this will change the need for a customer facing native application for iPhone and iPad when it comes to businesses.
In summary, both iOS and Android have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and the choice between the two depends on a variety of factors, including personal preferences and business needs. The best choice for users and business owners will depend on their individual needs and priorities as well as their business goals in relation to their customers.