Difference Between Android and iOS


Main Difference

Android and iOS are two different mobile operating systems that are necessary to run the smartphones. The key purpose of both is same, to work as an operating system for a smartphone, however, both work with different style. The main difference between Android and iOS is that Android is developed by Google and it is an open source operating system while iOS is developed by Apple Inc. and it is a closed operating system with some open source components.

What is Android?

Android is a mobile operating system that is developed by Google and is based on the Linux kernel. It written in C (core), C++ and java (UI) and was initially released on September 23, 2008. It is designed for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, TVs, cars and wearable devices. The Android OS uses touch inputs that relates to the real world actions like swiping, tapping, pinching, and reverse pinching to manipulate on-screen objects, and a virtual keyboard. Although it was primarily designed for touchscreen input but now is being used in games consoles, digital cameras, regular PCs, and many other electronic devices. By now, it has the largest installed base of all operating systems. A survey conducted in 2013 revealed that 71% of mobile applications developers create application for Android while a recent survey conducted in 2015 revealed that 40% of full-time professional developers see Android as the ‘priority’ target platform.


What is iOS?

iOS or iPhone OS is a mobile operating system is developed by the Apple only for the Apple hardware. It is the main operating system being used in the Apple’s devices including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It was released on June 29, 2007 for iPhone only and later on has been extended for iPod Touch, iPad, iPad Mini, Apple TV, etc. At present there are over 1.4 million iOS application in Apple’s App Store half of which are for iPad. The contribution of iOS in smartphone mobile operating system units in 21%. The user interface of iOS is based on the concept of direct manipulation, using multi-touch gestures. Interface control elements of iOS contains sliders, switches, and buttons. Interaction includes gestures such as swipe, tap, pinch, and reverse pinch, all of which have specific definitions within the context of the iOS and its multi-touch interface.


Key Differences

  1. Android operating system is developed by Google while iOS operating system is developed by Apple.
  2. Android is an open source operating system while iOS is a closed operating system with some open source components.
  3. Android operating system can be declared as universal operating system as it is for mostly all kinds of smartphones except Apple hardware. While iOS is restricted to Apple devices only.
  4. Android is more customizable and can change almost anything while iOS is limited unless jailbroken.
  5. Android is written in C (core), C++ and java (UI). iOS is written in C, C++, Objective-C, and Swift.
  6. Android OS family is Unix-like while iOS OS family is Unix-like, based on Darwin (BSD) and OS X.
  7. Market share of Android smartphones is 82% while of iOS it is 15%.
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss