The most popular mobile platforms used today are iOS and Android. That is why several applications specifically are developed only for these platforms. Both are hot, but Android seems to be in the front when compared in terms of the sales. However, when these operating systems are looked at from an App developer's perspective, the ranking order may look different.
During the application development, some important factors to be considered are accessibility, memory management, learning curve, profits, and inherent advantages presented by a platform. So, let us compare iOS and Android on these parameters.
To develop apps for iOS, you always need a Mac. While on the other hand, Android Software Development gives you freedom in terms of the operating system. Android is an open source platform. Its SDK can be installed on Windows, Linux, as well as Mac, whereas iOS can only be installed on Apple devices. Thus, it can be clearly seen that Android offers more flexibility compared to iOS.
For better functioning of the apps, it is necessary to have an efficient memory management. This memory management can sometimes become a tedious task for application developers. Android has an automatic memory management feature which can be done through Garbage collector. Also, Objective-C offers safe memory management through Automatic Reference Counting (ARC). As per many developers, ARC handles the memory management much better than Garbage Collector. In this, iOS app developers gain with better memory management tools.
iOS App Development requires Objective-C as the programming language, whereas for developing Android apps, Java programming language is used. Today, Java is a popular language and thus one can find numerous Java code samples on the Internet. Besides, the popularity of Java exists beyond Android development, and is known by the majority of the developers. This, however, is not same in case of Objective-C. To develop apps for iOS, developers need to learn Objective-C. Thus, the learning curve for developing apps for iOS is much higher in comparison to Android.
Fragmentation seems to be a serious issue for application developers. This threat of fragmentation issues is highly faced by Android application developers due to diverging variants of the platform. Sometimes, the fragmentation issue leads to improper working of the apps on some devices. iOS App developers do not face significant fragmentation issues. This is because if such issue occurs, Apple device owners can quickly upgrade to new iOS.
Software Development Kit:
A software development kit (SDK) is essential for application development. Android developers have Android SDK, while Apple offers iOS SDK. Android SDK contains an emulator, while iOS SDK contains simulator. Android emulator can mimic both hardware and software, but the iOS simulator can only mimic the software. You can specify exact hardware requirements to the emulator with the Android SDK, which is not possible with iOS SDK. iOS SDK is fast, and thus you can test and debug the code much quicker compared to Android as its emulator is slow in processing. Thus, when it comes to overall application development, the iOS SDK scores more.
The sale of Android devices is greater compared to Apple devices running iOS. Thus, if looked at the revenue generated, iOS developers earn more income as Apple device owners are ready to spend more to purchase apps. Whereas on the other hand, Android applications are generally distributed free, and the income generated through ads is not significant.