Which Should You Develop First: Android or iOS?

Posted by directworksmedia | October 22nd 2015

The battle between Android and iOS has been around for quite some time now. We have heard both sides but the question is still relevant today for those who want to develop their own app. Which one do you choose? What factors do you need to consider before choosing a platform? The best answer to this question is: it depends on the very nature of your business and its needs.

For example, a larger company has more resources to develop an app across many platforms - even those beyond iOS and Android - to reach all of their audience. On the other hand, startups with less resources just choose one platform and maximize their potential from thereon. No matter how big your business is or which platform you build your app in, your apps should be able to function properly to satisfy your users.

To know which platform will suit you better, let’s look at some key factors such as demographics, market, and ease of development that will determine the pros and cons of developing in iOS and Android.


mobile users

Meet the Users

When it comes to market share, Android is the leading player. The average Android user can be found in developing nations and are older than iOS users. iOS users are typically aged 18 to 24 and make more income. Although Android has the largest global share, iOS users have higher levels of engagement and actually spend more for apps.

Advantages of developing in Android

Think Android is the way to go for your app? It has its advantages.

  1. The most obvious reason to develop in Android is its large market share. Remember that Android is easily available on various devices across all prices and manufacturers. This means that there is increased opportunity to reach out to a broader audience.
  2. Android is open source. Because of its open nature, it’s easier for developers to customize Android based on their needs.
  3. If your app is going to be free but you still want to make revenue, look no further: Android has a higher percentage of ad-supported apps.
  4. Unlike the App Store’s rigorous app submission rules, Google Play has a fairly relaxed app submission policy.

Disadvantages of developing in Android

Even with its advantages, developing in Android can still be challenging. Here’s why:

  1. Two words: time and cost. Android typically takes 2 to 3 times longer to develop than iOS. This spells out a need to devote more time and money to your app. As for any business and development team, these important resources are crucial to success.
  2. Your app might drive less revenue. While it’s true that Android hosts more ad-supported apps, its users tend to engage less with their apps. Android users spend less for apps.
  3. Android’s accessibility to a wide range of devices is a double-edged sword. Ensuring that your app runs on and supports different devices can be tedious work. Unless your app has been tested on a vast number of Android devices, your app’s quality could also be compromised.
  4. Android’s open nature makes developers more vulnerable to threats such as malware and piracy.


Advantages of developing in iOS

Convinced that Android is not for you? iOS might just be right up your alley.

  1. iOS apps make more money. As Steve Jobs said during the launch of the iPad 2, Apple has returned $2 billion to developers. iOS users also generally make more purchases on their phone.
  2. iOS apps are simply easier to develop in terms of money and time. You’ll save a lot of valuable resources. Another bonus perk is that Apple has great range of development tools for developers to enjoy.
  3. You only have to develop within a limited type of devices: iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Testing and support will be much easier.
  4. iOS apps generally offer a better user experience over their Android counterparts. Writer Manisha Sukhyani points out, “The perfect blend of software and hardware is extremely comfortable in usage, keeping maximum users busy with functionality.”

Disadvantages of developing iOS

Despite its perks, iOS can have little setbacks, too. Consider these things before choosing the iOS route:

  1. The design process might be more time-consuming since iOS users have high expectations when it comes to UX.
  2. Obviously, your market will be limited to iOS users since iOS apps only run on Apple devices.
  3. Speaking of market, Apple devices only represent 15% of the smartphone market. Android rules with 21% market share.
  4. Because of its stricter app submission rules, it’ll take a longer time for your app to be given the green light for release.


mobile users

How to make a decision

As mentioned earlier in this article, the platform you choose to build for depends on your business needs. Consider your business plan carefully before you decide which platform you’d really prefer. However, the unofficial rule of thumb is: iOS first, Android later. Majority of app development agencies will agree that iOS apps offer the advantage of being more profitable, easier to build, and having better support for developers and users alike. In the end, it’s the overall quality of your app that will truly matter regardless of the platform you choose.

Ready to build your app? Don’t hesitate to drop us a note!

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