The App Store has spawned some pretty good looking applications for iOS devices; apps for iPhone and iPad are largely renowned for their simplicity and alluring design. With that said, you’d think iOS applications that have an Android sibling – from the same developer – would be just as pretty, right? Wrong.
Here’s a gallery of screenshots that compares iOS apps with their Android versions and highlights some of the differences:
Facebook – (Free) – Social Networking
The main menu within the official Facebook application is surprisingly different on each OS. In Android, the icons don’t seem to be aligned properly, and there’s big grey area at the bottom that looks to be a complete waste of screen space.
Meebo – (Free) – Social Networking
The difference between these two is pretty clear; the iOS user interface is vibrant, clear and looks a lot easier to use. Your contact list is bigger and better suited to a touchscreen, and your conversation window features a nice stream of speech bubbles, as opposed to just a list of text.
LinkedIn – (Free) – Social Networking
The LinkedIn application looks to be much easier to navigate on iOS, with a lot more options from the main menu. Admittedly, I quite like the darker theme on the Android device here, and I don’t think the icons look too bad, but the iOS version allows you to customize your theme to suit your preference.
Speedtest.net – (Free) – Utilities
Speedtest.net have clearly put a lot more effort into the design of their iOS app than they have their Android version. The only downside I can see from the iOS version is that damn iAd at the bottom.
CNBC Real-Time – (Free) – Finance
There is a clear difference with CNBC app here: on iOS you have tabs to access your stories, markets, news, and videos. On Android you just get a list of stocks, which many users have criticized on the Android Market as being nothing more than a web app.
That’s just a small sample of some of the applications that look vastly different between each platform. There are plenty of other examples out there, and I’ll happily include more if you make some suggestions in the comments.
It’s clear there’s sometimes a big different between iOS and Android applications when it comes to design and user experience, but why is that? Is it due to the limitations of the Android OS, or do developers simply put more effort into iOS applications because they think it will be more successful, or that iOS users care about the way an application is designed more than Android users do?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Screenshots above are courtesy of Android Gripes.