When you are creating your first app, you need to make a lot of difficult decisions. The first and the most important one is deciding which platform you’ll be developing for – iOS or Android. It’s very tempting to jump right into developing the app and to make it available for both iOS and Android devices from the start. But for most apps, it makes sense to concentrate on developing for one platform first and expand later.
Read the following guide and decide for yourself who will be the winner in the iOS and Android app development battle!
- Android vs. iOS App Development: Statistics & Data
- The differences between Android and iOS development
- So what do you choose to build your first mobile app?
Android vs. iOS App Development: Statistics & Data
Before you make a choice between iOS or Android app development, start by studying the facts. If you do a quick search online, you’ll see that most apps started as iPhone apps and then an Android version came out. But to tell you the truth, there is no universal recipe and your choice of platform largely depends on your target regions, your audience, your revenue model and a ton of other factors. Let’s have a look at some key points.
Also, it would be very useful at this point to learn more about the stages of mobile app development.
Fact of the matter is that Android devices do have the greatest global market share, but Apple does dominate the App Store when it comes to customer spending.
Android phones are becoming increasingly popular because they are affordable and the choice is huge. So, if you look at the numbers, you’ll see that there are more Android users in the world than Apple users. But don’t let this information make you jump into developing for Android – take a closer look at the geography.
According to this map, via Device Atlas, it appears that the English-speaking market, France, Japan and Scandinavia are dominated by iOS while the rest of the world prefers Android. Taking into account that most likely your app will be in English, you’d be better off starting developing for the iPhone because all of these countries (perhaps, except France) are comfortable using English-speaking apps.
So, if you’re targeting a broad global audience, your best bet is going to be Android. However, if the audience is in Western Europe or North America and/or you’re an e-commerce or enterprise app, iOS should be the winner of the Android development vs iOS development debate.
Let’s break down the iOS vs Android app dispute even more. It appears that Android is best for an audience from an up-and coming market such as in Asia, Africa and Latin America, Android users are more likely to have a technical job and slightly more men prefer Android over iOS.
On the other hand, iOS is better for the affluent and young audience in Western Europe, Australia and North America. iOS aficionados tend to earn 40% more than average Android users, tend to be younger, with higher education degrees and hold managerial jobs. Also, iOS users tend to be more engaged with their devices and spend more time on apps, also shopping and making purchases on them. Last, but not least, women are more likely to use iPhones.
Who wins the Android and iOS development battle? Depends on who you’re targeting with your app! Since we talked about market shares, why not find out about the 3 things to keep in mind when planning your app marketing?
Think about your budget when considering developing for Android vs iOS. This may come as a surprise to newbie app publishers, but developing for iOS is a lot easier and cheaper than developing for Android. One of the reasons for that is the sheer amount of different Android devices and smartphone types your app will have to support. If we’re talking about budgeting, learn the 3 things to help reduce the cost of developing your app.
So, if you have a limited budget and want to get things just right (and be sure that your app works really well on all supported devices), you should start with building for the iPhone.
Apparently, it’s faster, easier and cheaper to develop an app for iOS, with an estimated 30 to 40% longer development time for Android. When it comes down to iOS developer vs Android developer, they will tell you that iOS has an easier code. Also, Android is an open source platform, which means accounting for more devices, components and software fragmentation.
However, Apple’s closed ecosystem means that you will be developing for a few standardized devices and operating systems. With the stricter rules and quality expectations of the Apple App Store, it may take longer for your apps to be approved, that is if they are not rejected for not being up to standards.
But, have you thought about how your app is going to make money? If you are planning to charge for your app or offer in-app purchases, then consider launching for iOS because on average, Apple users spend 45% more than Google Play users and are 10% more likely to spend money on in-app purchases. However, if you plan to support your app with ads, Android works just as well.
The differences between Android and iOS development
Last, but certainly not least, we want to talk about the development differences in the Android and iOS app development process. We put them up against each other for an easier comparison.
Of course, you’ll also have to consider aspects such as user retention and the 3 best practices to increase user engagement for your app.
So what do you choose to build your first mobile app?
Well, if you took into account everything we discussed above, you should have a pretty clear idea about what to choose. Nevertheless, we will leave you with a sum up of conclusions for good measure:
- If your goal is to build a minimum viable product both cheaply and quickly, go with iOS;
- If you want to make money with the app or develop an e-commerce app, go with iOS;
- Go with Android if you are targeting global or emerging markets;
- Choose Android if your app has features unsupported by Apple;
- If you want to quickly release app updates, go with Android;
So, the choice is up to you. If you require help with your project, we can share some tips that will help you choose a great app developer.