Reasons Why iOS Apps Are Larger Than Similar Android Apps

Apps found on iOS are usually bigger than those on Android. This is probably the first time you're hearing of it, but it's the real deal.

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iOS apps

The comparison between iOS and Android OS is something that won’t stop anytime soon. And most times, Apple’s iOS seems to have the edge over Google’s Android OS during such debates. Well, the ever impressive premium iPhones released yearly are significant contributors to this cause. However, one of the strange features about the iOS is the larger size of its apps when placed side by side with similar Android apps.

If you’ve ever compared the apps found on iOS to those found on Android, you’ll notice a distinct difference in size. Apps found on iOS are usually bigger than those on Android. This is probably the first time you’re hearing of it, but I assure you it’s the real deal.

For example, WhatsApp on Google Play Store takes up 30MB app size while on App Store, the same app is sized at 134.8MB. That means the WhatsApp on iOS is over four times larger than Android’s WhatsApp.

iOS App
WhatsApp iOS App
WhatsApp Android App

Another popular app, Twitter (on iOS, 181.9MB) was also found to be over ten times bigger than the Twitter app (18MB) found on Android. Asides these two apps just highlighted, iOS takes up more app size when its other apps were compared with similar Android apps.

iOS App
Twitter iOS App
Twitter Android App

When these turn of events was looked into by Indian news outlet, Gadgets 360, some iOS developers and app experts were interviewed. And when this was done, some reasons were stated regarding why iOS apps consume more app size than their counterpart.

Here are the reasons highlighted:

1. The increment in App Features Impacts App Size

iPhone and iPad users love the excessive features churned out by Apple. So, the company doesn’t mind pushing out these features at the expense of more data size.

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In line with this, one of the iOS developers, Stephen Troughton-Smith said:

Apps are getting bigger because iOS devices are more powerful, and developers are building more and more complex things for them without considering the impact the size will have around the world.”

2. Duplication of App Components / Codes

Because iOS always go for the jugular, the developers of top apps do implement more multiple teams for the app development. As a result, some of the apps get repeated in the process, thereby causing the app’s jump in size.

Troughton-Smith added:

 “A lot of the components for these apps are developed independently as components, or frameworks. For each additional component you glue together into an app, there is some overhead. Some of the teams will duplicate functionality some other team wrote. Images and other resources end up being duplicated.”

3. Apple’s Swift Language Excessive Requirements

In 2014, Apple launched Swift, a programming language that’s utilised in developing apps on iOS. The iOS app requires multiple entries of libraries and SDKs without relying on those already in the apps before.

“Apple’s new Swift language, for example, requires a bunch of components to be embedded each time it’s used, because it’s not yet ‘ABI stable’. This means developers need to embed the versions of libraries they’ve developed against, and not count on the one available on the system.”

As the app sizes get bigger, the data consumption rate also follows suit. So, you can now tell why iOS-powered devices zap more data compared to Android. This also serves as proof why iPhones’ memory sections get full on time.

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