iOS vs Android: Which Platform to Build Your App on First
March 14, 2022
You seem ready to work on your app idea. However, the decision to build a native app brings forth various other important choices to make. The most crucial one involves deciding whether you want iPhone app development first or should start with an Android app. Confused? We knew this. The choice between Android and iOS has never been easy. There’s a lot of difference in how these platforms and their audiences behave. When you fail to choose the right platform to launch your app, you will miss out on the primary target audience. So, is there something that can save you from a bad decision? Yes, there are solutions. But for now, we will assume that you are developing a native app. In this case, your primary concern must be to choose one from the two operating systems. Developing apps for iOS and Android is very different. Native app codes do not work on both platforms at once. Thus, you will have to build different apps for each of them. It’s a long and tedious process. Developing a native app for the wrong OS will be like boarding on the wrong flight. Before finalizing a platform to launch your app, there are several factors to consider. We have listed them below and compared how things look for both operating systems. Take a look.
1) Feature Sets
This concerns the basic functioning of apps. What is the purpose of your app? The answer to this is determined by the codes written during development. Let’s understand how functioning differs for the two platforms.
Apple operates within a closed ecosystem. The entrance to this platform is regulated, and the content is restricted to specific iOS devices. Therefore, when you get iOS app development services, it’s important that the app features are supported by this ecosystem. Developing apps for a closed ecosystem offers more control and stability. However, there are also more restrictions for developers. As far as users are concerned, purchasing a device that operates on a closed ecosystem indicates a higher price point. While this is a factor that makes Apple devices more expensive than Android ones, it also gives an idea about the users.
Android operations are based on an open-source ecosystem. Certainly, building an Android app is easier for developers. While it allows lots of functionalities and numerous modifications, you should note that open-source platforms are less secure. Sometimes mobile operators tend to block updates. Moreover, Android offers a great platform for developers’ innovations and has fewer restrictions. You can get its source code for free and port it to your app’s hardware.
Probably every app enters the market to make money. If you are launching an app with some different objectives, maybe you should rethink your decision on app development. So, how to make money with your app? The most common ways to earn money through an app include:
Pay per Download
While most people don’t understand this, it has a notable impact on whether you should develop for Android or iOS.
If you wish to charge users for downloading your app, then the Apple App Store is the best place for it. The Apple app store users are used to having more paid apps in the search results than the free ones.On the other hand, Android users have a lot of free options. An app that requires payment for download is likely to fail since the users can easily find a free alternative. Charging Apple users for app downloads would be an expensive strategy. Customer acquisition costs for such apps are higher than free apps. But you must note that paid apps also let you make more money at once. These apps are often more engaging. When the users pay for an app, there are a few chances of them abandoning it.
If you’re looking forward to making money through in-app purchases and advertisements, we suggest building an app for Android first. However, in-app purchases may not be significant enough (at least, you shouldn’t expect them to be). Android users continue to have a greater share in the market. Even when you get less money per purchase, you’re going to reach out to more people. The significant advantage of releasing a free app on the Android platform is that it gives you more downloads. However, the users may not be as engaged with the app since they’re not paying anything for it. You will have to come up with different ways like feature upgrades and premium services that enhance user experience to actually make money.
3) Release Cycles
Some aspects can only be figured out well when you consult a reliable iOS app development company or experienced professionals. Many developers fail to understand the impact that the current software versions have on their apps. Codes written for your iOS or Android app must be compatible with the software version that the target audience is using. Again, this factor differs for both Apple and Android.
The majority of Apple users run their devices on the latest iOS version. Considering numbers, 95% of Apple users have one of the two latest versions installed on their devices. This makes development easier as you know what your app should be able to do. Moreover, you may require some great ideas and features that allow updates and optimize user experience based on the software in use. In most cases, you don’t need to stress over the software version from several years back.
Android users are all over the place. The fact that not most of them are up-to-date with the latest software versions indicates the need to develop for older versions as well. To be precise, less than 20% of users have the recent version of Android software. Since you have to accommodate different versions, the development process turns out a bit complicated.
4) Compatibility With Tablets
When it comes to application development, people often forget to look beyond cell phones. Underestimating the presence of tablet usage and its impact on your apps may prove to be costlier than you think. Before you make your mind up about Android or iPhone app development, there’s something you must know. In the five years time frame, there has been a 42% increase in tablet users within the United States. Since this number continues to rise, you must pay attention to how it affects app development.
Most people prefer using iPads because of their user-friendliness. They have sleek designs and are easy to use. Children and even older generations are likely to use these tablets for various fun activities, movies, and games. So, if you’re developing similar apps, make sure they function well on tablets too.
People using Android tablets tend to have slightly different interests. Generally, Android users only use tablets for work. When it comes to tablets, iPads dominate the Android space. Even people with Android phones are seen using iPads. However, you will notice that Apple users are more loyal to Apple devices. Unlike Android users, they are less interested in having an Android phone or tablet.
5) User Adoption
Trends arrive in the market like strong winds and eventually pass by. It’s similar to how Blackberry used to dominate the market once. It was a privilege carrying a Blackberry then. But the markets and trends have changed a lot now.
Apple devices are more secure, considering that they operate within a closed ecosystem. This is one of the reasons why corporations like IBM prefer Apple for their corporate devices. Thus iOS app development services are preferable when working on corporate applications.
Android is open source. While that makes it less secure, it opens doors for more devices and features. Apple users need an iPhone or iPad to access your app. Although there are different versions of those devices, you can still not compare them to the expansive Android platform. It may be one of the reasons why Android dominates the global market share. It’s already known that Apple devices leverage iOS software, and Google devices run on the Android operating system. While Android dominates the global markets, it’s an even split for iOS and Android in the United States. Android’s popularity in global markets can be justified by the wide range of devices available. However, this doesn’t make it the best choice for app development. You must understand that mobile apps are a business. To come up with a successful marketing strategy, the choice between the two platforms is mandatory.
When to Develop for Apple First
You need to understand how your customers and Apple users behave and find a common connection. This requires research.
Research data says that men spend more money on Apple products than women. But does that mean you can right away look for an iOS app developer if your app’s target audience is men? Before you jump to conclusions, understand that research data can be misleading. It doesn’t necessarily translate to your marketing strategy. Men spending more money on Apple products doesn’t mean more men have iPhones than women. In fact, there are 5% more chances of a woman having an iPhone than a man. But you can’t make decisions based on this 5% difference. Maybe, dig deeper.
On average, people with Apple devices are known to earn 40% more than Android users. So, if your company or product targets the wealthier section, it may be a good idea to choose custom iOS app development services. Along with a stronger economic status, Apple users:
Have Higher Educational Degrees
Spend More Money Per App
Have More Engagement
Paying attention to these details would be valuable in making the right decision.
Software Preferences and Maintenance
95% of Apple users are running their devices on the two most recent software versions. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that your apps are fully optimized and work smoothly. If you have the ability to make constant updates and maintain your apps as per the best user experience, iOS app development may be a good decision.
Costs and Time
Apart from the aspects we have already covered above, time and money are the two most practical considerations when developing an app. Building iOS apps is relatively costlier. Also, sometimes it can be a long process. From development and launch to maintenance, you would have to incur various costs. Plus, there will be several other hidden costs along with third-party subscriptions and server space. Make sure you’re ready for all.
When to Develop for Android First
While developing first for iOS makes sense in many cases, there are some when Android proves to be the best choice. Android users dominate global web traffic from mobile devices despite stronger economic conditions and higher educational degrees of Apple users. This gives an idea of where the target market for Android apps exists. However, if you’re operating in the United States, developing for Android may not be the clear win. Remember we talked about the 50/50 split between Apple and Android? But there are scenarios when Android development should be your choice. 3.48% of Android users respond to push notifications. This figure is only 1.77% for Apple users. So, if you plan to engage users through push notifications, Android platforms may give you better results. We already discussed how Android apps get more downloads than iOS apps because of the payment factor. The cost per install (CPI) for Android apps is nearly half of what’s true for iOS. However, converting these downloads to money can be a little difficult. Advertisements remain the main source of income for Android apps. Still, keeping up longer customer relations is costlier and becomes a challenge. In many ways (considering development, updates, and compatibility with different versions), Android apps are 30% costlier than iOS apps. For startups and small businesses, this can make the future unclear. As an Android and iOS app development company at Narola Infotech, we witness various projects and their intricacies. We don’t entitle any one platform as the best for app development but understand that choices vary. Analyzing the possible results according to the purpose of your app, target audience, and behaviors across platforms is crucial. We hope this discussion gives you a clear idea of how these platforms function and let you decide the best.