iOS vs. Android: Which Platform to Build for First?
So, you are a tech geek, want to benefit from your ability, but struggle to build your first app. When it comes to a basic platform, the option will be down to two – iOS or Android. It is not only the users who are perplexed by choice but many app developers sometimes also need to take extra time before deciding which platform to build for first.
The answer for such question has been a debate for years now, and while some opted to base their decision solely on cost, you might need to ponder on other preference. See that although some specific apps are bound to draw quite benefits –the medically-oriented app, for example – they are also required to be built, and can work only on a specific platform. Consequently, it is not only cost that worth the thoughts, but also compatibility, the demographics of the users, as well as the potential revenue that need to be considered. And the list goes on.
In this article, I'll try, to sum up, other possibilities, so you'll have an easier task to choose.
Who’s Your Target Customers?
Speaking of which, the users make the real gap between Android and iOS. As you can see, this factor is what you should consider carefully, because it will determine whether you’ll lose or gain. For example, if you target larger audiences with massive adoption, then Android will do you good. Markets like Asia, Africa, and South America are the ones to share.
On the other hand, while Android has the upper hand on quantity, iOS is proven to generate 45% more revenue per user than Android. Android users are versatile, and they like some changes on their devices so customizing with live wallpaper or custom launchers are common. Meanwhile, this contrasts iOS users who are more likely to stick to their platform and to look for different apps.
According to the IDC report, iOS users also spend more time on the internet, and they have 4 to 5 times higher spending power compared to Android users. Therefore, most game developers focus more on iOS.
32% Differences of Paying Customers between Android and iOS
Although both platforms have similar user engagement, iOS wins on loyalty aspect. By judging on the averages per session length, the duration of the users to interact with the app, and the total number or session per user, iOS leads by 2% of retention capacity.
In addition to that, iOS through its Play Store generates revenue about 75% that shows iOS users are willing to pay more for their apps. However, Google though Android are targeting more customers though Android One program, while Apple is trying to get back on its feet and working to reclaim its lost market.
This should be one of the biggest considerations to build a crossed-platform app, so you don't have to lose any potential profit.
The Release Cycle and Features of Both Platforms
For some reasons, most users find that Android devices has a better user interface and are much simpler to use. However, this doesn’t guarantee simplicity for app makers. The iOS platform is more flattering rather than clearly defined which is proven by the lack of a back button on its iPhones.
Though Android has the upper hand on the UI, it seems that the users are more likely to update to the latest version of the platform of iOS. Android is said to be locked down by OEMs and carriers despite its open source ability. It is reported that more than 80% of iOS users are now on iOS 8, while less than 10% of Android users are upgrading their operating system to the v.05 Lollipop.
If you are hoping to build in-app purchase or paid app, iOS is the better option. Not only because of the users’ spending power, but the fragmentation is better on iOS apps. Android is built for many different devices with different screen size and resolution, different DPIs and aspect ratio.
How does that affect your work? As an app developer, you need to tackle down that issue by building a flawlessly-responsive design that will run smoothly on different devices. Imagine the hard work.
Fortunately, that can also mean a challenge for some people, and by the fact that Android is an open source; you’ll have countless access to the OS itself. Some apps can also exclusively run on custom ROM, which means only Android users can use the app.
The Enterprise Market Apps and Flexibility of iOS and Android
Thanks to the partnership between Apple and IBM, the users now enter industry-specific tools and apps designed for enterprise market that guarantees security, integration, analytic, device management, and cloud service that backed up by iOS 8 operating system. Even without that deal, iOS still dominated the enterprise market by 67%, while Android is struggling at 32% as iOS is confirmed as the most secure mobile OS, as reported by CNET, and Security is the highest standard for enterprise customers.
However, it doesn’t mean that Google just sits back and watch as their competitor advanced. In recent news, it is reported that Android acquired Divide, a device management startup that will accelerate security issue on Android devices while also in talk of a partnership with HP to provide more assistant for a virtual access of enterprise data.
The Flexibility of Both Devices
Speaking of the flexibility, the choice is pretty tight. You’ll see that the use of iOS and Android devices particularly tablet, it seems that most enterprise customers are more into iPad than Android tablet. As the iOS is limited for iDevices only, Android can open many possibilities for the users who love the platform’s openness and will allow them to have greater control over their devices.
However, let’s not forget the fact that iOS has better security, a major appeal for enterprise users.
When to Choose a Platform and When to Move to Another
So, should you start with iOS or Android platform? To come to your decision, building an app should not be based utterly on one factor. See that it depends on your target market, the calculation of profit, type of the app and so on.
For instance, if you are aiming for a broader audience, Android is the choice. But if you have your eyes set on more loyal customers, building an app using iOS platform will generate more revenue. When it comes to cost, both are fairly similar, but perhaps it requires a greater amount to build on Android since you need to test on different devices for the same app.
Most startups are stick to iOS for their first project, simply because there is less challenge and more intelligible. Starting with both platforms also means greater profits but think of the efforts needed to entertain your customers flawlessly.
Try to focus on one platform first, and while you see the graphics of your customers increase, maybe it's time to expand to another platform.
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