Why iOS Apps Are Significantly Larger Than Android Apps: Explained

One of our regulars here at MobilityArena got bored after using Android smartphones for about ten years and decided to give Apple’s iPhone a try. I could relate with this. Sometime last year, I contemplated the same too. In my case though, I am not sure whether I was bored with Android phones or I was just bored from spending so many months recovery from surgery. 

Anyway, I also contemplated a switch, but I remembered the frustration that I experienced the last time I made such a  switch to iOS that I promptly got rid of the idea. But our fellow Mobilista went through with is plan to switch and got himself an Apple iPhone XR.

iOS apps are insanely larger than Android apps
Why are iOS apps larger than Android apps?

While setting up the smartphone and installing apps, he was shocked at how much bigger iOS apps are than their Android equivalent. The difference in app sizes is huge. I was taken aback too as I compared apps in the App Store with their equivalent in Google Play Store.

Let’s pull up a comparison table to make it easy to compare.

Android apps vs iOS apps: Size Comparison

App NameSize on AndroidSize on iOS

As you can see from the above table, the difference in size between iOS apps and their Android equivalent ranges from about 4 times the size to 10 times the size, depending on the app. So, off the bat, iPhone users are burning more data to download apps and will likely burn more to keep those apps updated as well.

To install all the above-listed apps on Android requires only 238MB of your data subscription. If you were to download the same list of apps on an iPhone, you would need 1.36GB. That is about 6 times more data. Mad; right?

Of course, this also means that iOS apps take up more of the phone’s internal memory for storage. If you are an app junkie, that is a lot of space you will be using up for your iOS apps.

PS: Note that the size of some of these apps vary with the device it is being installed on, but regardless of that, there is always a big difference between the sizes of apps from both platforms..

Why are iOS apps bigger than Android apps

Why are iOS apps bigger than Android apps?

At this point, it is only natural to ask why iOS apps are that much bigger than Android apps. There are a number of answers to the question and they all have to do with the development. For one, iOS apps require multiple versions of images and artwork for different display sizes. Thesa all add up and contribute to why these apps are much larger.

Also, the binary codes for iOS apps are encrypted, which makes for poor compression. The programming language for iOS apps also requires multiple libraries (coders will understand this). Most of the issues are technical and beyond the scope of everyday users. What is important is that you realise that there is a huge difference in the sizes of apps across both platforms.

Switching from an Android phone to an iPhone is not only expensive in terms of cost of acquisition, it is also expensive in terms of daily usage. You will burn more data downloading and updating apps. One way to go about it is to do your app downloads over a WiFi network or an unlimited data plan, if you can afford one of those.

Apple ios 13 home screen iphone

Thanks to Mobilista, Olusheenor, for sharing his initial experiences with iOS apps with me. I look forward to getting more feedback about his experience and sharing here on MobilityArena. WHo knows? I just might still make the switch myself.

If you do want to buy an iPhone, we helped you answer the question, Which Apple iPhone should you buy?.

4 thoughts on “Why iOS Apps Are Significantly Larger Than Android Apps: Explained”

  1. The difference between iOS apps and Android apps is way too much in size. I wonder the pleasure people using iOS devices are gaining, the device that won’t allow you to download anything you want from internet and also consume too much data on app downloading or updating. I doubt it if I will ever own one.

  2. Mr mobility
    I agree with you about the size. However, in terms of stability android is no where the iOS. I have used both together over the years before finally ditching my note 9 and have stopped experiencing crashes since I went 100% iOS.

  3. thank you very much for this article!! I got bored with my android too and contemplated the same. To be honest, my phone is completely fine and almost never crashed even if I got it 2 and a half years ago. Well, I will buy a new android than, not an iPhone!

  4. Noted that the App Store lists sizes of installed apps, while Google Play lists their file download sizes. The difference would be much smaller than these numbers suggest.
    That said, anyone want to explain what’s better in today’s 350 MB Gmail versus the 35 MB Gmail app from 2013? Predictive text that every keyboard also does?

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