Mobile apps have become a necessity for all businesses. This is because of the changing habits of consumers. They’re now more dependent on their smartphones for shopping, traveling, payment & almost everything. Smartphones have replaced laptops & PCs in the day-to-day lives of people. Thus, to succeed in the digital world, having a website is not enough, you need to make your business available at their fingertips. And while you’re making this move to the mobile app, one of the first important decisions you’d have to make is the choice of the operating system.
Android & iOS are two of the most popular operating systems globally, both enjoying their share of the user base. So which one should you develop your mobile app for? Also, why not develop mobile apps for both Android & iOS? These questions might sound tricky now, but a read to this blog will help find the answers. Scroll down for all the details you’ve been looking for.
Today, the two OS, Android & iOS, together make up almost 97 percent of the global mobile market. Seeing such statistics, it would not be wrong to say that there’s no other platform worth considering to launch a mobile app at present. However, deciding between iOS & Android can be tough. Each enjoys an insane amount of popularity no business would want to miss upon. It is said that an Android app can cost you 30% more than an iOS app. Well, the increased cost is justified too, as Android is compatible with a range of devices with different screen sizes & handsets.
Why Not Develop Apps for Both Platforms?
Building mobile apps for both platforms simultaneously can put a strain on the business & delay your entry into the mobile world. Building apps for both OS can be expensive & time-consuming. Also, you’d need to employ separate teams with expertise in the respective technologies to build mobile apps for the platforms, further increasing the cost. Thus, there’s no escape from weighing the two (of course, unless you have an insane budget :P). The best way is to go for one platform first and later start developing the second one. But which one to go for first with both having stark differences?
Factors to Decide Which Platform to Choose
Here are some factors you can into consideration to choose the platform you wanna go for first:
Target Audience: The first thing to do is track ownership percentages of Android & iOS with your target audience. It is important to get a clear picture of demographics to understand the age bracket, gender & income of people using a certain platform.
The user demographics that align with your business’s target audience is what you should go with. For instance, it could be that the iOS user age group, budget, location & gender resonates with your target audience. This would give you a clear picture of why you should choose iOS over Android. The more information you have on user demographics within your target audience, the better you’d be able to choose the right platform.
Talent Availability & Acquisition Cost: Each Android & iOS mobile app development needs different expertise. A techie with knowledge & experience in Android app development only cannot develop an iOS app and vice versa. An android app usually requires knowledge of Java whereas iOS needs either Swift or Objective-C. Another thing to consider here is the cost & time factor. As per market research, usually, developers with knowledge of Objective-C are expensive to hire. They can cost 15% more than the Android developers. That said, the Objective-C development process is 30-40% faster so you can balance out the cost by saving your development time. Why Android apps need more development time is because Android OS is used on a wide range of devices with different screen sizes & other features. However, iOS is used exclusively for Apple products. So the developer does not have to go through the process of making their app compatible with multiple devices.
Cost & Reviewing Process: The journey of app development does not stop at coding. The process to get it into an app store is time taking too. Thus, if you are running on a tight schedule and are planning to go live with your app ASAP, then iOS is not the platform for you. While Android apps can get approved within a day or so, iOS can take much longer as they adhere to very strict guidelines. Below are some criteria of iOS app approval:
- Review for adherence to a specific design, technical & content guidelines.
- Compatibility with the latest version.
- Use of Xcode 10.2 in development.
- Thorough testing & compatibility with the latest designs.
While there are instances when iOS developers could get their apps live on the store within a few hours, it is not assured as in most cases it takes much longer and can be stuck for weeks.
Monetization: Well, you need to monetize your app, otherwise why develop it in the first place? And you’d be amazed to know that while Google Play store accounts for the majority of app downloads, the app monetization percentage is 88% less than Apple store. iOS apps have fetched amazing results for subscription models or in-app purchase monetization strategies. On the other hand, if you’re planning to monetize through apps then the Google Play store is the answer for you. Also, you must take into consideration the growing revenue of Google Play store apps year on year. From $15 billion in 2016, Google Play Store apps revenues have now doubled to 38.6 in 2020.
Hope our guide was helpful in navigating your way to choose the right platform for launching your mobile app. And do not worry about missing the audience using the platform. Many companies that are now success stories started from single-platform apps. For instance, Uber, one of the most reputed apps, started their journey with iOS in 2009 and a year later, their success led them to an Android audience as well. And you will also find some businesses like Overcast & Tweetbot who started with a single platform and are enjoying their exclusive reputation.