If you are aiming to create an app, your first headache will be related to the choice between iOS and Android development. Of course, there is a solution to launch it on both platforms eventually; however, it may be risky and expensive to do it simultaneously.
The global practice shows that developers prefer to build an app for one platform to start and then launch their masterpiece on the other one. How to decide whether to launch an app on iOS or Android first? In this post, we are trying to figure it out.
Many of you surely have your own opinion when considering Android vs iOS development.
- If you are an experienced mobile app developer and have a firm opinion about iOS and Android development, feel free to comment on this article below and we will share your valuable thoughts.
- If you are a newcomer or a person who is far from the subject but want to know a little more, then this post will be helpful and will assist you to recognize the key differences between Android and iOS development.
First, let’s briefly identify the key advantages and disadvantages of both platforms.
Android Development: Advantages & Disadvantages
What are the pros of Android apps development?
- Advanced design. Google design guidelines are available for developers.
- The open system when developers have access to more features, (that are restricted in iOS).
- Fragmentation. Someone can consider this point as a disadvantage, however, it gives you an opportunity to develop apps for numerous devices from TVs to car systems.
- Release. Android apps are easier to publish to Google Play. You’ll need about a couple of hours for the entire process.
What are the cons?
- Fragmentation (that was mentioned above in the list of advantages). Yes, this may be considered as a drawback. Android devices propose different screen sizes and resolutions today. It can be additional trouble for developers to adjust the app’s features for particular devices.
- Testing. It’s not a secret, that Android versions may vary. Therefore, QA specialists often need more time for testing apps.
- Cost. If mobile app development and testing require more time, then the price for Android apps will be higher. However, it also depends on the complexity of the app and its feature set.
iOS Development: Advantages & Disadvantages
What are the pros of iOS mobile app development?
- Revenue. The users of Apple devices used to spend more money on app purchases then Android users do.
- The number of devices. iOS works on Apple devices only, so your app should fit the limited number of screens.
- UI design. If you are addicted to Apple development solutions, you get a detailed style guide for the app UI. It makes it more affordable because your team will need less time.
What are the cons?
- Flexibility. iOS mobile app development has many restrictions so it’s sometimes hard to customize an app.
- Release. App Store offers rather strict review guidelines. TIt can easily reject any application because of a lack of value, security issues, or weak performance. Moreover, you’ll have to submit the app for real-life testing that often takes a few days.
Now when you know the main benefits and pitfalls of iOS and Android development, we can delve deeper into the main factors that need to be considered when choosing the better platform for building your app.
Android vs iOS: 5 Factors to Consider While Choosing
Your choice will come down to the following factors:
- Target audience
- Project timeline
- Preferable features
- Budget for the app maintaining
- Revenue goal
Audience as one of the key circumstance
Building an app, you must surely understand and visualize who your potential audience is. There are clear differences between potential Android and iOS users. Actually, nowadays Android has the greatest global market share, but Apple devices dominate for customer spending.
It is important to consider the geographic and demographic characteristics of your audiences. Android may be your best bet if you’re targeting a broad global audience. It is dominant in global markets, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. If your goal is to cover North America or Western Europe, Apple will be definitely better.
Do not forget about the gender factor. By the way, more men prefer Android than iOS. Women are more likely to use iPhones.
Creating an app for iOS looks faster and cheaper
iOS development is really easier, faster, and requires less money. Some specialists estimate the development time at 30–40% longer for Android.
iOS code is what makes its development easier. Android apps are generally written in Java. It includes writing more code than Swift.
Android is an open-source platform with a lack of standardization. It means that you will need to count more devices, components, and software fragmentation.
However, it worth remembering the strict rules and quality expectations that Apple App Store has. It makes the review process longer to be approved. Some apps may even be rejected if they are not up to Apple’s standards.
Features make Android development more flexible
Android as an open-source platform allows more flexibility to customize your app. You can build the features that your audience wants. The only pitfall here is that the open environment means that Android is more subject to pirate apps and malware.
The closed nature of Apple makes it more secure. That’s why iOS solutions have a larger audience in the enterprise market.
Updating OS influences on maintaining Android and iOS apps
According to Android development principles, you will spend more time ensuring that your app remains compatible with the platform. You’ll also care about avoiding bugs and crashes for users.
People who prefer Android devices are typically slower to adopt new operating systems. Apple fans are more likely to update their OS.
Key app monetization differences
Monetizing your app is not an easy process and you should be aware of the main platform differences.
Statistics demonstrate that Android users are less willing to pay for apps than iOS users. Actually, Apple Store generates twice as much revenue as Google Play (despite having half as many downloads).
Apple will suit better if you want to monetize your app without ads, whether via subscriptions, freemium models, or in-app purchases.
Android vs Apple to develop for first: final takeaways
Paying enough attention to such factors as your potential audience, their location, the features they need, your development timeline and budget will help you to define whether you should create an app for iOS or Android first.
Choose iOS if you want to build an MVP (minimum viable product) quickly and cheaply. If you want to make money with your app or build an e-commerce app, look to iOS as well. Consider Android characteristics if you are targeting global or emerging markets, such as Latin America or Asia.
Whichever platform you select, choose, you may quickly find that users on the other platform start asking for a version of your app.
So, what is your choice?
Bonus! 5 Books about iOS and Android development:
- iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (6th Edition) by Christian Keur and Aaron Hillegass
- Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (3rd Edition) by Bill Phillips, Chris Stewart, and Kristin Marsicano
- Swift Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide by Matthew Mathias and John Gallagher
- Mastering Xamarin UI Development 1st by Steven Daniel
- Xamarin Mobile Application Development: Cross-Platform C# and Xamarin.Forms Fundamentals 1st by Dan Hermes