iOS vs. Android: Which app to develop first

Deciding which platform to develop your app first is a tough decision related to some important factors. If you are planning to develop your app and you can’t decide between iOS and Android, you have to consider all aspects and then start the development process.

While your goal may be to launch on both platforms eventually, it is risky and expensive to build an app for both iOS and Android simultaneously. Therefore, it is wise to develop the app for one platform first and then after analyzing the feedbacks, start developing for the other platform.

iOS, Android, develop

Here is a list of all aspects you have to consider in order to choose your first app platform:

  • Purpose of the mobile application and features offered
  • Statistical analysis of mobile market data
  • Collating the market share, target audience, geography, etc. with your product
  • Timelines for your project
  • Budget for both iOS & Android

Apple and Google platforms behave differently from each other. For iOS app development, you are restricted to use their ‘closed ecosystem’ with better control and stability with app features. However, the Android app development is supported by open-source concepts with a larger user base but it is comparatively less secure.

The advantage of releasing your app for free on the Android platform is that you’ll be able to get more downloads. But your users may not be as engaged since they’re not investing anything into the download. So the key to this strategy is coming up with a way to get money from people who use the app the most. Charge for app upgrades and premium services to enhance their experience.

So if you’re going to charge for downloads, the Apple App Store is the place to do it. That’s because those users are used to seeing more paid apps and less free apps when they’re searching for something to download. Whereas Android users don’t see as many apps that require payment to download.

According to industry research, Android developers are paid slightly less (around 10%) than their iOS counterparts. This also implies that Android developers are easier to come by; in part probably because you don’t need an Apple computer to start playing around with Android app development. Therefore, as a matter of cost, the Android app seems to be more economic than iOS apps. If there is a limited budget, then aiming for both the platforms can be costly in the beginning, especially for the iOS applications. It is generally accepted that developing and operating an Android app is more affordable than an iOS app. Android covers a broader market, is open-source and has a very large community of developers.

iOS, Android, develop

Your target market is also a crucial factor in decision making. If your app is aimed at people outside of the US, then Android is probably your best bet. If most of your target demographic lives in the US, where iOS has a much stronger position than in the rest of the world, then going with Apple’s system may be the better choice. You have to do much research about your target market and then decide which platform to choose.

To choose your ideal OS, you need to define what end goal your app aims to achieve and which audience is important to your business model. Consider your target audience’s geographic and demographic characteristics when deciding which platform to develop for first. If you’re targeting a broad global audience, Android may be your best choice.

Although Android is open source, it, unfortunately, is locked down by carriers and OEMs.On iOS, you can focus on supporting the newest versions of the operating system with relative certainty your app will still have a broad reach. That focus allows developers to build against newer APIs, stop supporting older devices sooner, and generally, reduces testing and development cycle times.

Your monetizing strategy is an important factor in deciding which platform to develop for first. It is a well-known fact that iOS apps make more money. Even though Apple has fewer users and generates fewer app downloads, the App Store brings in much more revenue. On the other hand, Android apps tend to monetize successfully with an ad-based model.  

iOS, Android, API

 Your timeline can play a huge role in choosing which platform is best to develop for first. Developing for Android generally takes more time due to longer release cycles and device fragmentation. Building an app that is compatible with multiple Android devices generally takes more time: there are thousands of Android devices that have a variety of screen sizes and OS versions running. While building for iOS can sometimes be quicker, it can also take longer for the App Store to approve your product with the strict regulations and quality expectations in place. In contrast, Android apps typically take a day or two to get approved and updates can be pushed within a matter of hours. The testing process for an Android app takes more time unless the app is designed to work only with very few devices. This is caused by device fragmentation and the variety of screen sizes and configurations.

When considering the right mobile platform for your business, remember that every detail matters. Again, choosing the right platform for your mobile app depends on the app content you intend to create an overall business goal. It comes down to looking at your target market, as well as core user demographics and choosing the option that best fits your business. If you do not plan on making any money from your application just yet, you can build for Android first. You do not have to pay high fees to have your application on the Play Store. However, if your app stands a good chance of making waves with iOS users, then you can go for it.

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