Developing for Android vs developing for iOS : Which platform to build for first?

When you want to create an application, you often tend to want to develop it for at least the two most popular platforms: iOS and Android. However this is not always the best solution. The costs of developing a mobile application can be high, and choosing its first platform wisely is very important.

make the choice between Android and iOS, here's a few of the main factors to consider:

A very good example is Instagram. You might not know, but the very famous Instagram application was not available at the same time on iOS and Android. In fact, it even took 2 years before Instagram was available on Android.
Creating an iOS app seemed more relevant to developers. They preferred to develop and optimize their application on iOS and then carry it on Android. When we know that Instagram now has about 600 million users, we understand why it is important to know on which platform to focus or not.

Where to start ?

Creating an optimized application on a platform is a real challenge in itself, and is already costing enough money. Creating an iOS app and Android simultaneously adds complexity. Not to mention the financial aspect since one no longer speaks of a single app, but of two.

platform to build and design professional native apps

Developing first on a single platform will save you time and money. Especially since the first version of an application is very often subject to changes. Creating your application on a platform will allow you to not pay double when you want to make changes or updates.

Create your application on a pre-selected platform, optimize it, and then expand to other platforms and devices.

Choose between iOS and Android

If you choose to create your application for a platform, you will usually have to choose between iOS and Android. Indeed, these two operating systems account for more than 90% of the smartphone market.

Even though Android currently dominates the market share with more than 80%, Apple dominates the shares of profits. iOS has about 15% market share, but generates 85% more revenue than its Android companion.

What It Take To Build An IOS or Android App

In addition, Apple users are generally more loyal than Android users. This means that in general iOS users will stay at Apple rather than switch to Android.

In order to prepare you the best to make your choice, here are some points to take into account:

1. Depending on the target market

Apple is known for focusing on a premium market with high-income customers. On the contrary, Android aims to reach as many people as possible. For example, Android will be much more popular in emerging countries than Apple. While iOS will be more present in rich countries.
You will understand, if you are targeting developing countries, focus on creating an Android application. On the contrary, prefer iOS for developed and rich countries because Apple products will be more popular.

2. If you want to make money through in-app purchases or via your paid app

On this point, iOS has a clear advantage. Indeed, Apple’s platform generates 85% more revenue than Google’s platform, Android. In addition, iOS users are better able to spend money through the application’s built-in purchases.
As an example, here are the statistics of the game Monument Valley developed on iOS and Android in 2014.

As you can see from the previous two charts, iOS is undoubtedly the winning platform for revenue generated through the application. This can of course be explained by several factors. The main thing is that Apple is targeting a premium market which is therefore more apt to shell out money to get applications. Not to mention the fact that Apple’s platform is much more popular with regard to integrated purchases.
If you want to monetize your application, you will prefer iOS to Android because of its community. On the contrary, if you want to reach a mass population, prefer Android because of its larger community.

3. If you want to create an application with an integrated store

We remain in the field of monetization and therefore in the field of preference of iOS. Indeed, studies have shown that iOS users are 20% more able to go to E-Commerce sites in order to make purchases there. To this must be added the fact that 23% of iOS users prefer to make purchases via their phone rather than via the computer. For Android, this figure drops to 17%.

In the end if you want to create an application with an integrated shop, prefer iOS to Android. The Apple platform has a real advantage over its main competitor.

4. Fragmentation

For those who do not already know, fragmentation is the fact that some users use older versions of operating systems while others use the latest versions. What’s wrong with this, would you tell me? The reality is that this problem of fragmentation can cause real worries if we do not prepare ourselves. In addition, some devices are not compatible with all the latest versions of the operating systems. This adds further complexity to the problem.

iOS is a closed platform. This means that Apple has total control over the devices and software that can be used via their operating system. This allows them to keep a strong control over fragmentation on iOS. Indeed, today there are only about twenty different versions for Apple devices. Maybe some twenty different versions seem to be consistent.

To stay in the numbers, it is important to know that if we take the last 3 iOS versions, we reach about 95% of users. As for Android, if we count the last 3 versions, we barely reach the 65%. You will have understood the first worry is the fact that we reach users less easily on Android than on iOS. But most importantly, the fact that Android is extremely fragmented makes development more difficult and longer. The application must be compatible with as many versions as possible. And when we know that there are more than a hundred versions, we suspect that there is work.

Therefore, for an Android development it will be necessary to add costs and time to optimize the application on a maximum of versions. It will also be necessary to predict the test costs which will be higher than on iOS since there are many more different devices.

5. Visibility on app stores

As you probably know, iOS and Android do not share the same Store. This means that the rankings are not the same and that the work done on one platform will have to be repeated on the other. However the different app stores do not work in the same way.

which one is better app store or play store for app visibility

Let’s start with the iOS operating system. The App Store was created specifically for Apple devices and therefore remains very closed. In addition, Apple devices can download applications only from the App Store. The store is equipped with a ranking system with a very complicated (but rather efficient) algorithm that includes different data such as total downloads, volume of recent downloads, active users. Add to this a rating system from 0 to 5 stars as well as a feedback system and you have the basis of the App Store.

App Store ios vs android

As for Android, the schema is different. Although the main Android store, Google Play is not the only one. Indeed there are various app stores on which users can download their applications. However this wider choice of app stores is double edged. On the one hand, users have more possibilities and choices to download their applications. On the other hand, application downloads will not be targeted to a single store, and application rankings will be affected.

It is therefore more difficult to appear in the top applications on Android. In addition, it is important to know that the ranking of iOS apps is updated very regularly. This allows new applications to appear in the top if they are successful. On Android, it does not work the same way. The ranking of apps on Google Play is not updated as regularly, and so encourages large applications that are successful because they are monopolizing the top of the ranking.

Building apps for Android first ?

If your market research shows that the majority of your targets use Android. Also, if you want to add features that are not available on iOS, you will most likely choose to create an Android app first. Of course, it will be necessary to keep in mind that the development on Android may be longer and more complicated on some points, especially with regard to fragmentation.

Building apps for iOS first?

If you want to monetize your application and generate revenue, I advise you to go to iOS. We’ve seen it together, iOS is much more efficient in terms of money generated and spent on applications. However, keep in mind that if you focus on iOS, your targets should be potential iPhones holders, ie users with rather high incomes. If you want to target a mass market, Android would be more suited to your needs.

Building apps for Android and iOS together?

If you want to develop your application on both platforms from the beginning, you will need to be prepared. I would advise you to be financially stable, and to have additional resources to those required for developments. It is no coincidence that even the big names in the world of applications think twice before developing on iOS and Android simultaneously. Little reminder, Instagram waited 2 years before launching on Android. This did not prevent the application from attracting users. Indeed, more than 100 million before the app is available on Android !!!

In order to make the most relevant choice depending on your application, you will need to study the market, costs, trends, demographics, features you want to use. It will be extremely important to launch your application on the platform most suited to your objectives.

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