Designing Differences: Native iOS Apps & Native Android App

As an amateur or a professional native app developer, you should bear in the mind the difference in designing Native iOS Apps & Native Android Apps. This distinctiveness of each platform is what, firstly, helps create the best native app design. Secondly, it helps provide the best user interface experience.

As of 2019, the Apple Store has 2.2 million apps available for download and around 2.8 million apps are available in Google Play Store. 

Apart from the visual appeal and functionality experience, the apps are built on guidelines Apple and Google. The guidelines state the use of platform-standard navigation control, i.e, 

  • page controls, 
  • tab bars, 
  • segmented controls, 
  • table views, 
  • collection views, and 
  • split views  

We will discuss the difference pattern based on the following parameters-

1. Navigational Pattern- 

This defines the movement within the app and is the key difference indicator. 

  • Android Apps-

There is a universal navigation bar at the bottom of the screen and by using the back button,  the user can go back to the previous screen.

The  apps use a side drawer or tabs for cruising within the apps

  • iOS Apps-
Designing Differences between Native iOS Apps & Native Android App

A universal navigation bar is absent. Instead, the internal screens have a back button, top the left corner, to go back to the previous screen.

There is also the ‘left to right swiping’ gesture to go to the previous screen and navigation work in all apps

There is only one physical touch button, that the user back to the home screen.

Knowing these differences helps you maintain uniformity with other mobile applications.

2. Application Icon-

Icons are distinct identities of mobile applications and that is how the users identify the brand. It needs to be beautiful and memorable to attract attention.

  • Android Apps-

The developer follows Material Design principles. Meaning you can add shadows and a wide range of colors.  Another key difference is that the icons here have a transparent background and can have any shape.

  • iOS Apps

According to the iOS-specific guidelines HIG for app icons, they follow a flat style. The icons have rounded edges but are submitted in a square shape by the app owners. The icon should be opaque with a definite background.

3. Button Styles

In Material Design Guideline there are two styles of button- Flat and Raised. Another type is a floating action button in Android and Call to Action in iOS.

  • Android Apps-

The buttons are generally flat and raised.

Buttons have text in uppercase according to the Material Design Guidelines.

  • iOS Apps-

The buttons have rounded corners with title case text.

Floating buttons are also added to represent the main action to be performed

4. Touch Targets and Grids

  • Android Apps- 48dp/48px @1x 
  • iOS Apps- 44px@1x

5. Typography

  • Android Apps-   

Roboto is the standard typeface &  Noto is the standard font for all languages in Chrome and Android that are unsupported by Roboto.

  • iOS Apps-  

San Francisco is the system font. The font is both readable and neutral.

Apart from designing differences between native iOS apps & native Android apps, there are a few exceptions. Such as, some iOS applications follow Material Design Guidelines (Gmail) and some Android apps reflect the Human Interface Guidelines (Instagram). 

To sum it up, it is important to notice that you can build a mobile app much faster by using native components for both platforms. Whichever platform you pick, focus on careful detailing & smooth micro-interactions. These are vital for the success of your native application.

At Orfaox we will design a native app for you. We adhere to specific guidelines for Android and iOS. Have doubts and want to know more, get in touch with us today.