Basic Design Differences in Native iOS and Android Apps

For creating the best kind of native app design, you first need to learn the differences between the platforms: iOS and Android. The platform will definitely be different in terms of how the native applications look, and in addition to that, there is also a difference in the structure and the flow. In order to provide the best user experience, you must be careful about these differences in the design patterns of different platforms.

Both Android and iOS have their specific operating system features which are unique to their own operating system. There are several guidelines by both Apple and Google that suggest making use of only platform-standard navigation controls be it tab bars, table views, page controls, collection views etc. Users are familiar with how each control works in the platform that they are using. Using standard controls will be extremely helpful here because that way your users will be able to navigate through and interact with your app easily.

There are several differences between the interaction design of both iOS and Android that tell you a lot about why apps on both iOS and Android are different from each other. Let’s a look at these points.

Navigation Patterns

The action of moving between screens in a mobile application is called Navigation. These navigation patterns are important to consider as both Android and iOS have native app design guidelines that are unique to their operating systems. Android devices always have a navigation bar at the bottom of the screen. The button on the bar helps in going to the previous step.

But Apple doesn’t have a navigation bar. There is no back button in native iOS app design. But the internal screens have a navigation bar which comes with a back button on the top left corner. The left-to-right swiping feature on Apple also works on almost all iOS apps. The difference between both the platforms must be noted to be consistent while developing an app.

Button Styles

According to the guidelines, there are two types of buttons: raised and flat. The text on these buttons is normally in uppercase. There are times when you will find uppercase button text in an iOS app, but mostly there will be a title case. Then Android has floating buttons while iOS has call-to-action buttons.

Bottom Sheet and Action Sheets. The bottom sheets in Android are modal and persistent sheets. There are two types of content in modal sheets: an app list after tapping on the share icon and sheets with different icons. There is similar content in iOS. But they are quite different from what you see in Android.

Typography

iOS uses San Francisco as the system typeface, while Android makes use of Roboto. Chrome and Android apps that don’t have Roboto make use of Noto as the standard typeface. The typographic and layout conventions of each platform should be looked at in detail and paid close attention to.

Microinteractions

When it comes to design, grabbing a user’s attention in the first look is extremely important. In order to offer a beautiful experience, you can make use of micro interactions and animations. Interaction needs a user’s focus and they must be used only when they are really required. Excessive animations are ignored by both iOS and Android because users get easily distracted by them. The transitions from one screen to another must be smooth and familiar. The whole experience must be unobtrusive. Users are used to the platform-specific transitions and those are completely normal for them.

iOS. The users are used to smooth transitions and physics-based scrolling. iOS users get a feeling of disorientation if any movement or interaction on the device defies the law of physics.

Android. The classification of interface elements is done into incoming, outgoing, or permanent. Navigation transitions are extremely important for an interface.

Wrap Up

Among all these design interactions, there are definitely a few exceptions of iOS that use material design guidelines while some Android apps use human interface guidelines. But using native components is probably quickest and simplest way for designing a mobile application. These are some differences that every iPhone and Android app developer is familiar with and used to. If you want to know how to design a native app, get in touch with us! 

Keval Padia
Keval Padia is the founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile game development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.