Android vs iOS Testing

CC License: CC0 Public Domain / FAQ

Everyone knows the war between Apple and Android users as to which device is better. While that debate may continue ranging on, developers still have to ensure that websites, software and applications function properly on all these devices. Testing Apple and Android devices, however, is often quite different.

The Three Major Differences

  1. Open vs. Closed Systems
    Apple devices are closed systems, meaning that the kernel of all iOS devices is XNU. Most of the code is also written in either Objective-C or C/C++. Applications must be written to adhere to these strict standards, and must be approved by Apple before being released to the public. Android devices, on the other hand, use source code that is made available by Google under open source licenses. For the most part, it uses Linux OS as the basis of the kernel. Any developer can follow the Google’s general rules to create an app.
  1. Many Types of Devices vs. One
    Android updates typically have a long deployment cycle since there are so many different devices. Testing to ensure that new functionality and software will work on the many Android devices takes a long time. iOS functionality, however, can be tested and deployed all at once since all devices work similarly. The main areas of potential issues on iOS stem from OS and browser compatibility. Android apps can be made with nearly any type of application design, which adds additional complexity to the testing scope of the app for UI and UX. This means that there may be differentiations between how the software acts on different Android devices – something Apple users don’t experience.
  2. Testing on Each Device
    Testing on the actual devices is required for both iOS and Android devices. With Android devices, however, manufacturers are permitted to create customized versions of the Android platforms. This means that each device is a little different, which makes on-device testing even more important to ensure functionality across all types of Androids.

While Androids require more testing, this doesn’t mean that one device is better than the other. It just means that testing must be done differently for Androids and iOS devices.

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