How to choose between iOS Vs Android App Development

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Jan 28, 2020

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Mobile applications have come a long way since the first iteration of Apple’s App Store that had only 500 apps back in 2008 – and they are not the only contenders in the marketing arena anymore.

In the war of the platforms, it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to choose one to debut their app.

On the face of it, Google’s Android has a whopping 88% of the market share, making it very attractive for businesses that want significant reach and a massive number of downloads from the get-go.

But on the other hand, can your business afford to ignore the excellent monetization opportunities presented by Apple’s iOS platform?

Of course, the easiest solution would be to make an app that works on both platforms, but not every company has the financial resources for that.

This is why, when it comes to android versus iOS app development businesses don’t have the slightest idea where to begin.

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Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when making that decision.

Keep track of android versions to match the hardware

The Android OS comes installed on phones from many manufacturers – and each has given their own twist to it. This phenomenon is known as hardware proliferation.

For example, Samsung has its own operating system known as Tizen OS, while the Chinese phone manufacturer, One Plus, has the Oxygen OS – but they are all built on Android.

So, when a business chooses to develop for this platform, they face challenges when it’s time to test the app. They’ll have to make sure that it works on all devices, across all Android versions, and all vendor-specific OS types.

Things are easier over on the iOS side. There’s no such device proliferation – only different versions of the iOS, but testing is easier because of device uniformity.

Android users may lag because manufacturers release updates as and when they want to – they like to add unique features to their own Android OS updates. IOS users, on the other hand, are faster at adopting new software versions because it’s one OS and one manufacturer delivering them.

Develop for the right audience

Android may have a larger market share, but it’s interesting to see that iOS users spend more than Android users, especially in the North American and Western European regions.

About 80-90% of the total revenue from in-app purchases for these regions comes from iOS users.

Therefore, when choosing between Android versus iOS app development, it is vital to know who your target audience is. Choose right UX research methods to find out. 

For example, if you want to promote in-app purchases for your prospects in North America or Europe, choose iOS because that’ll bring you users who are willing to spend more.

Consider the device screen size when designing

Screen and device sizes are also an important consideration when selecting the app development platform.

Apple screen sizes are limited and can be easily found – but there’s a huge range of devices of different specifications using their own version of the Android OS.

Its important to include this as part of UX research activity and base the UX design on the findings.

Screen size determines how your app will appear on the – and developers need to keep this in mind when selecting between android versus iOS app development because only an app with the best UX design has any chances of success these days.

Performance testing for apps on each platform

When it comes to testing, iOS has a rigorous process where Apple checks the app for battery drainage, memory leakages, and overall performance before allowing it on the Apple store. Performance is one of the important factors in delivery the best user experience.

This ensures that iOS users get a high-quality application that won’t crash unexpectedly and runs smoothly across all platforms and devices.

Google Play Store doesn’t have a stringent testing policy, so it’s common for unreliable apps to be published. They believe that the market can weed out the bad apps automatically by leaving bad reviews and ignoring them.

But that means, if your app is substandard and still makes it on to the store, the users will rip it apart with scathing reviews. It can lead to a tarnished reputation for both the developer and the company.

When users report an app, rate it abysmally and leave nasty reviews, Google eventually removes it from the Play Store.

User data security concerns

Security concerns are another vital issue when deciding on android versus iOS app development. Because of the “no-checking” policy adopted by the Google Play store, apps that could potentially compromise user data, go unnoticed.

If developers are not proactive about testing their app for security vulnerabilities when testing and users install it, their data is at risk and so is the app itself.

If customers find out that their data has been compromised, it can impact the parent company’s brand perception harshly.

IOS has rigorous vetting procedures that make sure this doesn’t happen with any of the apps they release on the App Store.

Choosing seasonal employees or contractors for internal app development

When a business is developing an app for internal use, they must consider whether the employees are seasonal/contractual employees or legal hires for the company.

In case they are seasonal employees, for example, for a departmental store, an iOS app won’t be easy to use.  They’ll have to set up separate Apple iOS IDs for each one before they can use the app.

Recognizing seasonal or contractual employees as part of the company by providing them a separate company email address poses a significant legal challenge in the U.S.

For android, there are no such legal complications. Your business can ask new employees to download the app on their phones and get to work ASAP.

So, Android wins the debate for employee-facing apps.

Hardware usage control for employee-facing apps

On the same note, if the company is providing users with mobile devices, they have the flexibility to choose which phone brand to distribute among employees, eliminating the device proliferation problem for their workplace at least.

This makes testing easier as well, ensuring uniformity and greater control for the business.

Compare app development ROI for both platforms

How much money can you make with Android versus iOS app development?

Well, the total Apple App Store iOS developer payout as of Jan 2020 was $155 billion.

Considering the fact that mobile app revenue is expected to be around $189 billion, Google is nowhere near Apple in this race.

Also, the average income for the top 100 non-gaming app publishers for iOS stands at $23.3 million as compared to $7 million in the first quarter of 2019 as shown above.

It’s also worth noting that developing iOS apps is 30-40% less expensive compared to android apps.

Endnote

A business needs to put a lot of consideration into how to develop their app and where to release it.

Missing out any of these considerations can be devastating and incur substantial costs that can exceed the budget of the company and lead to problems down the road.

If you would like to know which app development platform is best for you, book a free consultation with us today!