A question we are continually asked by clients kickstarting app projects is whether to build on iOS or Android first?
Ideally, developing on both platforms is optimal, allowing you to capture the broadest market. However, budget and time constraints often force businesses to choose between the two for initial roll-out and then develop on the remaining platform at a later date. We’ve listed some key factors which should help you decide whether to start developing on Android or iOS.
Arguably, the most important factor in deciphering whether to build on iOS or Android first is considering and understanding your audience as there are major differences in the users Android and iOS attract. It is important to understand the geographic and demographic factors that define your audience in order to understand which platform would suit them best.
"Android devices have the greatest global market share." - Medium
As Android is open-source, it offers more flexibility enabling you to customise your app by incorporating features that your audience would like to see or benefit from.
With that said, when it comes to security, iOS is far superior. Android’s open environment is more susceptible to pirate apps and malware, whereas iOS’ closed ecosystem and strict regulations ensure it is far more secure, thus is preferred by businesses looking to disrupt the enterprise app market, the fintech sector or the mhealth market.
So, when choosing which platform to develop on first it is important to consider what you value more; flexibility or security? Often, this will depend on the market or industry sector you are trying to penetrate.
Android users are far less likely to purchase apps from the Google Play Store as opposed to Apple users who frequent purchasing apps on Apple’s App Store. Consequently, free apps with in-app ads tend to perform better on Android. If you want to monetise your app, through subscriptions, freemium models, or in-app purchases, then sticking to Apple is clearly your best option.
"Statistics reveal that the Apple App Store generates twice as much revenue as the Google Play Store, despite only having half as many downloads." - Medium
Although revenue from Android apps is growing, Apple is expected to remain the dominant App Store even if Google Play Store eventually overtakes the App Store in revenue.
The conclusions we draw from app store purchase data varies depending on the type of apps users are purchasing and the industry/market they fall under.
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