iOS VS Android App Designs – What’s the Difference?


iOS or Android is a never-ending debate as both are the leading platforms in the mobile industry. Ever since their inceptions, there is an ongoing argument which one is better iOS or Android? However, until now no clear understandings have been found to sum it up in an answer.

The differences between iOS and Android mobile application designs may get unnoticed at first sight. However, to enrich your users with an enhanced UI experience, it is necessary to know the UI/UX design areas that will make your apps native to the devices. Before we dig deep into the design interface, let’s explore some stats of both platforms.

iOS vs Android – Stats

In 2007, Apple Inc unveiled the very first iPhone; currently, it runs on iPad, iPod, and iPhones while Android is Linux based, belonging to Google. Created by Android Inc, it is a dominant player in the market leading with massive 87% users, and iOS comes next in list with 12% users globally.

What’s The Difference in Design?

Before we talk about differences, there are considerable similarities in iOS or Android especially in the behavior of the UI components like information architecture, sliders, checkboxes, fields or list-based navigation. However, keeping aside the similarities, the differences need our attention more. Let’s scroll down below and learn the essential distinguishing factors between iOS and Android:       

1) Home Button                                                                                       

Android mobile has three buttons which allow you to overview, return to home screen, and the third button takes you a step back. Whereas, iOS mobiles have only a single home button – that is the reason iOS developers should keep easy navigation within the application to make it easy for the users.

2) Screen Sizes and Resolutions

The basic appearing difference between both is screen sizes and resolutions. iOS designs are developed for two screen sizes and three mobile resolutions while Android phones have different screen size resolutions. So, when thinking about a mobile app design idea for these platforms, one should keep the screen size in mind.

3) Navigations

  • Navigation Bar

In iOS, the navigation bar is placed at the bottom of the screen while in Android the navigation bar is aligned to the left.

  • Back Navigation:

In  iOS mobile application design ‘back’ option is placed on the top of the design which allows you to navigate backward within the screen. While in Android there are two options to go backward one is on the top left of the screen appearing on the menu or as an arrow. The second one is on the device which let you step back across the entire device.

The important thing here is that iOS conventionally places the tab navigation at the bottom of the screen while Android has it on top of the screen. Additionally, there are also some graphics differences in the navigation screen; For example, Android keeps it navigation colorful while iOS selects white or grey patterns.

4) Animation, Pattern, and Shadow:

Android uses material designs for a different type of animations which would appear as sorting cards on a piece of paper – this is the idea of material design. In iOS, the animations leave its effect without distracting the user from actual content.

5) Floating Action Button

The most distinctive element between the two is Floating Action Button (FAB) in Android which provides users the interface to avail the common options such as: ‘write a message’, ‘popping dial-up keypad’ and others. While iOS uses a simple ‘call to action’ button instead of FAB.

6) App Icons

App Icons do not count a major difference; there’s a slight difference between two. iOS apps have its own set of rules when comes to app design that is flat design pattern. It uses simple images to convey messages. All iOS app icons have the same shapes – a square with rounded corners; they don’t keep the background transparent.

Android, on the other hand, keep the background transparent and follows material guidelines for the icon.

7) App Security

iOS has found to be more secure than Android devices because when iOS get attacked, it becomes nearly impossible to access the users’ data. It’s been recorded that an increased percentage of mobile malware attacks Android more than iOS. Apple strictly controls the apps available on App Store, making all apps free from malware.

However, in 2018, Google is trying to add new features in Android to make apps more secure and better. In spite of the matter that Google is trying to increase the security level, iOS will continue to be on the lead. That’s why iOS users are charged with a higher price!

8) Other Differences

  • Fonts: Android uses Roboto as the default fonts while iOS uses San Francisco.
  • Colors: Android devices use bright color in-app icons while iOS prefer black and white patterns.
  • Shades: Android devices use a wide range of tones and shades as compared to iOS.
  • Compatibility: Google apps are compatible with iOS devices, but iOS apps are not conversely compatible.


Final Thoughts:


What have we gained from these major differences? Understanding these key elements will help the developers to work on the areas that can increase user interaction and help to achieve successful outcomes of the project.

Besides these design differences, there are also some major factors like security, privacy that sets the user interest in designs. Before thinking about a new mobile app design idea, it is recommended to research your target audience and design preferences to know what best suits your business.

What’s your thought about iOS vs Android app design? Share in comments below!