iOS logo and Android logo
January 25, 2016

iOS App Development vs. Android – Which Platform to Build For First

When a business is looking to invest in a high quality app for their audience, one of the first questions that many people have is which platform they should invest in first (and usually it’s between iOS or an Android app). There are many ways in which iOS and Android app development are the same, but also many ways in which they are quite different from one another. Understanding the differences between the two can help you to make the right decision for your business and customers. Keep in mind that you can always publish an app for both platforms at a later date, but when working with a limited budget you’ll probably have to make an initial choice on which to develop first. Take these facts into consideration when choosing which platform you would like to publish for first.

Currently, Android has the largest platform market share in the world. However, Android gets a lot of its market share from low performance devices, and lower-income areas in developing nations around the world. Keep in mind that iPhone users typically have higher income levels, and are more educated as a whole, which means that their spending will be much higher than Android users. For businesses planning to drive sales through the app, it may be a good idea to look into iOS app development initially.

The monetization strategies of apps on both platforms actually reflect the overall approaches from the platform companies. Android apps are typically more likely to be ad-supported, while iOS apps are more likely to require a purchase or initial investment to download the app. Paying for apps is still very common on both platforms, and ad-supported apps are a common occurrence for iOS apps too, but that doesn’t mean that the trend should be ignored. Businesses choose to follow these trends because they produce a higher return.

Adoption Rate
Although Android is an open-source solution, the operating system updates for the platform are locked down by carriers, which means that Android users have a slower adoption rate for new versions. iOS however, boasts very quick adoption rates for new versions of their operating systems. It is estimated that currently more than 84% of users have upgraded to the latest version of iOS, iOS 9. This means that if your app requires high security or has features that require the newest version of the operating system, it may be a good idea to focus on iOS app development.

Development Speed
Another important consideration when deciding what platforms you would like to publish your app on is the development speed. The longer that an app takes to make, whether you are working with an agency, freelancer or in-house, directly affects the price of your app and time to market. Android apps take an average of 2-3 times longer to build due to Android fragmentation and the release cycle issues. For this reason, it may actually be a more time and cost-effective option for businesses to publish on iOS, despite the fact that Apple’s approval process can add several days between completing app development and seeing it live on the App Store.

In the end, you have to choose what you are going to be comfortable with. There are many businesses that choose one or the other, only to find that they were not successful in their choice because it was not the right fit for their company. Make sure that you have a solid foundation of mobile development skills for a particular platform before deciding to move forward, and always choose the platform that is going to be right for your business.

If you would like to learn more about which mobile platform might be the right choice for your app, call us for a free consultation. When you contact us, we will ask about your business, customers and industry to help you make smart decisions tailored to your business when deciding whether iOS development or Android development is the best fit for you.

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