Eight Android and iOS UI Design Guidelines in 2021

The application industry is overgrowing as having a smartphone in hand is very common nowadays. There are millions of apps available from which users choose their favorite ones. The app world is divided and dominated … Read More

iphone app development android app development

The application industry is overgrowing as having a smartphone in hand is very common nowadays. There are millions of apps available from which users choose their favorite ones. The app world is divided and dominated by Google and Apple. Both platforms’ App store consists of millions of apps, and the number is increasing continuously. The number of apps and the number of developers on both platforms are also skyrocketing, showing their logical creativity.

Apple and Google follow their respective design guidelines for applications. They have their predefined design principles, which they adopt in every application. So, when you are developing an application, you should study a particular platform’s design protocols to maintain consistency and standard. It helps to design and deliver a consistent and user-friendly interface with adherence to the platform standards.

The trend revolving in the development sector and gaining traction for few years is app development with the same layout and design on both platforms. But some newbie or inexperienced developers neglect design principles and pattern differences between both platform’s UI components. It brings a lot of confusion on the consumer side and also for the developer. No matter how beautiful and valuable the application they developed, it is not the best if not adhering to the standard.

However, to solve the issue, the developer must learn the difference between Material Design (Google) and Human Interface (Apple).

The Benefits of Customizing Android and iOS Designs for Specific Platforms

When you customize the application according to the platform, it immediately gives a similar feeling to the user to which they are habitual. A user does not find it challenging to navigate the new app because its design is consistent with the other apps. Ultimately, the app’s user experience gets enhanced, and the arrangement of objects itself tells what they tend to perform.

Conversely, when the developer does not follow the platform design rules, the user faces unfamiliarity with the app and finds it difficult to use. The user experience advantage which could have gained here is gone. Fortunately, to tackle these UI and designing issues, Apple and Google both provide their official integrated development environment (IDE) consisting of many standard UI components, followed by their app releases.

The article will describe and compare Android and iOS based on designing user interfaces to bring more clarity.


  1. Dark Mode in Latest OS Versions

Dark mode has changed and refreshed the whole look on both iPhones and Android phones. There are many advantages of using a dark mode application like saving power, better readability, and visually appealing. Google officially released their Dark UI with the Android 10, while Apple flipped it with the iOS 13 release. In Android, some native Google apps still lack dark mode capability. In iOS, there is a collection of places where iPhone users can use the dark theme, and also, the dark theme uniformity here is better than Android.

Nonetheless, Dark UI is very refreshing on both OS, but iOS is slightly better in the color scheme. The blending of color in iOS is visually attractive and gives a minimal aesthetic look. Android, on the other side, also looks good, but at some places, it misses the shot. Colors seem off-balanced at some places and make text difficult to see and read. User play with the brightness setting here to see the text.

On the other side, iOS have picked colors very well. They are punchy and popping out, enhancing readability. Icon also appears cleaner and better.


  1. Navigation

Android phones consist of three buttons at the bottom side: back, home, and recent buttons. These three buttons are responsible for the whole navigation process in any Android-based smartphone.

In Apple, after iPhone X, gestures replaced the button. App designers have to consider these navigation styles to ensure smooth operation.


  1. Typography

It is recommended to use the platform’s default system font. Even both platforms themselves recommend that. iOS font scheme is based on San Francisco, and Roboto is with Android. Overall, the text size is similar, but Google’s material design have a bigger font size difference with the layout. iOS have a bold font face for text hierarchy. Plus, white spaces between text are also better in iOS, whereas Android is a bit behind in this league.


  1. Logo

By nature, titles and logos are aligned to the left in the navigation bar in Android. With iOS, the title or logo are placed in the center except from iPhone 11 and onwards.


  1. Back Buttons

Android app design and iOS app design share some similarities when it comes to the back button. They seem and feel similar. For Android, the back button is on the upper left side. However, some Android-based phones consist of a back button on the lower left side. Coming to an iOS, a back button placement is also on the upper left side with an arrow symbol and text showing the page title.

With the latest updates on both OS, performing a right swipe gesture from the left edge lets you navigate to the back.


  1. Search Bar

From a designing perspective and functionality-wise, the search bar also looks identical on iOS and Android. The search bar placement is on the upper side to let the user execute the query without intervention. However, sometimes, iOS hide the search bar, and user have to drag from the top to unveil it. Whereas Android does not hide the search bar, and it becomes easy for the user to spot it.

The one distinction between the iOS and Android search bar is the ‘cancel’ feature. The android application utilizes the back arrow to remove or cancel the search, while iOS have a dedicated cancel button to do the same.


  1. Menu

There is a traditional hamburger-style menu on Android phones, and it is ubiquitous in most apps’ interfaces. Apple have the tab bar approach, on the other hand. Many iOS app developers prefer to use a hamburger-style menu, and also it does not violate the design guidelines. The primary focus is to offer a consistent user interface and experience according to the industry’s standards.


  1. Icons

Both systems have the icon scheme based on 8dp (density pixel). It is common across both systems. Android apps primarily utilize filled icon and iOS use the single line to offer the more appealing visual and aesthetics. But there is no restriction here for using filled or single line icons. The ongoing development trend on each platform shows that it does not disturb consistency in any way.



They are just eight differences; many are still need to explore. With differences, there are also many common things. You will indeed find the Human Interface Guidelines in android app development and Material Design Guidelines in iPhone app development.

Hopefully, you have realized that using Android and iOS native elements and style fastens the app designing process, brings consistency, and enhances the user experience and interface. Both systems consist of a humungous user base, and it is about the style and habit that a particular platform has adopted for the applications. Any design which users like is a good design without any second thought.

Putting the article to an end, always adhere to the platforms’ guidelines to make the quality product.

Author: admin