Businesses all over the world are going for mobile apps as a means for earning higher revenues for their businesses and also driving a higher level of employee productivity. As more and more users are increasingly using smartphones, tablets and other similar types of mobile devices, the mobile apps are simply acting as a means for building the user base for their respective businesses.
App development happens to be one of the fastest growing domains in software development. However, it is not easy for the app developers to choose whether they want to develop a hybrid or a native app as well whether to go for Android or iOS platform.
The most popular among the OS, which are usually used by the app developers are Android, iOS and Windows. But, the recent trends point out that the Android or iOS are the two most common trends in app development, 96.7 % of the marketplace is occupied by these two platforms alone. Out of this, Android always occupies a higher percentage of the total market share.
So how do you make the choice?
Here are some of the factors that can help you make that decision.
TIME FOR LEARNING
It takes time for the app developer to learn both the Android and iOS OS, as acquiring a new technology is not easy. iOS is the more mature of the two OS, as it comes with predefined standards and rules. Following the rules makes it difficult for the approval of the iOS apps. However, the learning time can be shortened with iOS as it comes equipped with tools like Swift programming language.
On the other hand, for the Android development, the output from the code is complex and thus it becomes difficult for the novice programmers to pick up the complexities. The developers with Java as their skill set finds it much easier to adopt it as Android is based on Java.
Android is a preference because it is an open source platform. There are certain apps that runs better when Android is chosen as a platform. There are apps that run on custom ROM and rugged hardware, which can be a plausible reasons for choosing Android for app development.
iOS is from Apple and is much costlier in comparison with the Android OS. Android on the other hand is widely accepted in the lower income, developing nations and certain segments of urban population. On the contrary iOS is preferred by the higher income groups and the highly qualified clients.
COSTS AND COMPLEXITY
iOS makes building the UI and UX simple because you’d have to build the app for only iPhone/iPod and iPad. With Android, you’ll end up having to build for many devices, from different manufacturers and not to forget, several OS fragmentation across all of those devices. iOS is much more UI/UX friendly with easier frameworks to work with. Thus, this gives the developers a chance to focus on making the user’s experience a great one. The cost of making and testing apps on Android is much higher. But it has become a more manageable problem with improved development tools that make porting easier. This helps developers decide which Android devices to focus on.
PROFITS AND PIRACY
It is known that iOS is a closed platform. In simple words, Apple has complete control over its devices and software. They design all their hardware and software which permits them to use strict guidelines for how they interact with each other. This is particularly good for developers because there are a limited number of devices that support iOS and even when launches a new device, their design is not that different from their previous versions of hardware. However, Android falls back here. The huge amount of Android devices and operating systems that are in the market significantly increase development costs because the app has to be optimized for different screen sizes and OS. While iOS has a closed system, Android doesn’t, thus making piracy of apps a very common problem. This causes the revenues to suffer. This is probably why iOS developers are making more money.
The iOS apps generate more revenue than the Android apps, 70 % more than the Android based apps. The iOS apps are more paid types, rather than the Android apps which are ad-supported types.
When to Choose iOS First
Our general advice is to start with the iOS platform first. Further, many apps should first launch on the iPhone itself. The reasons typically are driven by demographics, cost, and speed to market. Additionally, during the first stages of any app, there should be a significant amount of learning about what's working and what's not working. Trying to apply all that learning across two platforms—especially a more challenging one in Android—is time and cost prohibitive. For this reason in particular—and this depends on the amount of capital raised—most early-stage startups today begin with iOS, then move over to Android.
When to Choose Android First
Android first makes sense if you're target audience is squarely focused on Android, especially in developing nations or certain segments of urban environments. It also makes sense when you're tapping into or customizing an element of Android's operating system that's not accessible on iOS, when you may need to select the hardware itself that the app needs to run on, or when you want full control over all hardware and software elements (these two items combined).
As covered above, it often takes longer and costs more to develop Android apps. Beyond that, there's minimal—if any—approval time while still being able to get the app to upwards of 1,000 testers during beta testing on iOS. Finally, it's possible to have seen dozens of approvals for an iOS app in the App Store by the time an Android app is just launching
When to Start with Both Platforms
Starting on both platforms is more likely going to be a consideration for companies that have more resources and are well-established. The reason generally comes back to the learning element mentioned above. Even when pockets are deep, unless an app is dead simple, it will need to go through a series of iterations before it becomes the right experience for its audience.