iOS, Android differences pose dilemmas, opportunities in media app development

By Q M Ashfaq Ali

The Daily Prothom Alo

Dhaka, Bangladesh


In the digital age, having a robust mobile presence is not just a luxury but a necessity for brands aiming to stay competitive.

For a leading news organisation like Prothom Alo, being accessible on both iOS and Android platforms is crucial. However, developing and maintaining apps on these platforms is notoriously expensive. The primary reasons for these high costs include a shortage of skilled developers, especially for iOS, and the increasing demand for their expertise.

For many media companies, making content available via an app is non-negotiable, but supporting both iOS and Android products can be challenging.
For many media companies, making content available via an app is non-negotiable, but supporting both iOS and Android products can be challenging.

The developer dilemma

The mobile app development landscape is dominated by two major platforms: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Each requires a distinct set of skills and expertise, contributing to the high costs of development.

Let’s look at the greatest challenges in this area:

  • Shortage of skilled developers: Finding proficient developers is a significant challenge, particularly for iOS. Apple’s programming languages, Swift and Objective-C, have a steeper learning curve compared to Android’s Java and Kotlin. The pool of experienced iOS developers is relatively smaller, leading to higher demand and, consequently, higher salaries.
  • High demand for expertise: As mobile apps become more sophisticated, the demand for skilled developers who can create seamless, user-friendly experiences has skyrocketed. This demand drives up the cost of hiring experienced professionals.
  • Platform-specific development: Developing native apps for both iOS and Android means essentially building two separate apps from scratch. This requires not just double the development effort but also parallel testing, debugging, and updates, which further inflates costs.

The importance of dual-platform presence

For a brand like Prothom Alo, having a presence on both Apple and Google platforms is non-negotiable. Each platform has a distinct user base with significant overlap, but ignoring one could mean missing out on a large segment of potential users.

Here’s why it’s important to be on both platforms:

  • Market reach: iOS and Android dominate the global smartphone market, with Android holding a larger share in emerging markets and iOS having a strong presence in developed regions. To maximise reach, it’s essential to cater to users on both platforms.
  • User expectations: Users expect to access their favourite services, like news updates from Prothom Alo, on their preferred devices. A lack of presence on either platform can lead to frustration and loss of readership.
  • Brand image: Being available on both platforms enhances a brand’s image, demonstrating a commitment to accessibility and user convenience. It shows that the brand values its audience enough to meet them where they are.

Exploring cost-effective alternatives

Given the high costs associated with native app development, brands are increasingly exploring alternatives like Flutter and React Native. These cross-platform development frameworks offer a viable solution to the challenges of high cost and time-intensive development.

Developed by Google, Flutter allows developers to create natively compiled applications for mobile, Web, and desktop from a single codebase. This significantly reduces development time and costs.

Backed by Facebook, React Native is another popular framework for building cross-platform apps. It uses JavaScript and allows for code sharing between iOS and Android.

Choosing the right solution

When deciding between Flutter and React Native, brands need to consider several factors. These include:

  • Project requirements. Evaluate the specific needs of the project. If you need high-performance graphics or complex animations, Flutter might be the better choice.
  • Developer expertise. Consider the existing expertise of your development team. If your team is proficient in JavaScript, React Native could be more efficient.
  • Community and support. Both frameworks have strong communities, but it’s worth considering the specific support available for your project’s needs.


While app development remains costly, leveraging cross-platform frameworks like Flutter and React Native offers a practical solution. These tools enable brands to maintain a strong presence on both iOS and Android without the prohibitive costs of native development.

For Prothom Alo, adopting these frameworks can ensure continued accessibility and engagement with the audience, all while optimising development time and expenses.

About Q M Ashfaq Ali

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