Ever since the advent of smartphones, a discourse has started over which operating system is the best for mobile app development. This debate involves the two competitors – Android and iOS. As Android is open source, Google’s flagship operating system (OS) usually gets the nod from small businesses looking to contend against recognized players.
Android and Apple iOS – these two companies account for more than 90% market share of smartphones. Though Android presently leads market share at more than 80%, Apple iOS accounts to about 15% market share. Apple iOS leads the profit share, by generating 85% more revenue for app makers as compared to Android.
According to a study, the total of around 1.3 million Android apps and near about 1.2 million iOS apps are presently available for download.
So basically, it is hard to choose between Android app and iOS app. Following checkpoints will guide you in making a choice between the two.
- Demographics of your Target Market
You should consider both market share, the versions of the operating system people are using, and how much do they spend on an average. For instance, if most of the target users are Android users in China, build your first version in Android. On the other hand, if your target market is businessmen in the U.S. with latest iPhones, then you should start with developing iOS app.
- Are you making a retail app?
It is observed that iPhone users are more prone to make purchases on their phones. To be precise, around 23% of Apple iPhone users make purchases on their phones, while 17% Android users make purchases on their smartphones. It is also seen that about 15% iPhone users are likely to visit online retail websites.
- Is your market South America, Asia, or Africa?
Apple emphases on the first-class smartphone market and consumers with high income, whereas Android is focusing on substantial adoption. For example, Android has a huge benefit as compared to Apple in developing markets of South America, Asia, and Africa.
- Think of your Budget
According to a recent survey of top app developers, the cost to build an iOS app varies with a median cost of almost $38,000 to over $171,000. Android apps cost about 21% less to develop for most of the market. However, in some cases, the cost to develop the same app can be higher for Android devices owing to larger number of devices that you will need to design for as compared to Apple.
- In-app Purchase:
While the advantages of building for the Android OS are alluring, there are benefits to programming for iOS, which can’t be overlooked, particularly if your revenue depends on in-app purchases. The spending power of Apple users is roughly five times more than that of Android users. Thus, most of the mobile app developers focus more on developing for iOS first.
Some apps are comparatively easy to develop on one platform. It is recommended that you start with the easier platform. For instance, Android makes incorporation with other apps easier through Intents. iOS has an easy way to incorporate payments, and influential image processing libraries.
Last but not the least, you should consider how you will get your app into the hands of the first few thousand users. Android apps can be distributed easily by distributing an APK file and without using Google Play, whereas the process for iOS is comparatively slow. Still, users that are less-technical find it simpler to install an app from the iTunes Store.
Both Android and Apple have their pros and cons. Android lets you reach a larger audience but Apple’s audience is more loyal and engaged.
Hopefully, the checkpoints discussed above will help you in deciding which platform is best for you to start with.
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