What platform is better to build a mobile app on? iOs or Android? Check out the tips we gathered to help you make your choice.Yulia_germanofil Poltavets
According to IDC, these two OS are the most popular platforms among all new smartphones shipped in recent years. No wonder, Microsoft gave up on producing its Windows Phone, another famous brand BlackBerry produces its devices on Android platform now, and there are almost no other options for business considering developing own mobile app.
Often, a business orders an app development on two popular mobile platforms – IOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android. Such a variant is very expensive and the company does not always need it. In addition, if you build an application on both platforms at once, you will encounter the following difficulties:
1. Time limits of the app creation increase due to the need to work on several areas at once.
2. If applications appear at the same time, and you find a problem in one of them, then you will need to fix it on all platforms at once. This is also additional costs and thief of time. Therefore, you need to launch a pilot version on one platform and analyze how the audience will meet it. It helps prevent the retry of errors on other mobile platforms.
When people make a choice in favor of a mobile device, they make a very important step, the consequences of which may be irreversible. If, of course, they soon do not want to change the device. From now on, the user becomes literally a hostage of the operating system on which their smartphone runs. They will not be able to reinstall the system. Now only those applications are available that are created specifically for iOS or Android.
And if people give preference to some device for some time, they become real adepts of one or another mobile platform. They get used to the interface, and then hardly agree to change the operating system because it will give them a lot of unnecessary trouble. The application interface for iOS is different from the interface for Android, and therefore application designers follow special guidelines from Apple and Google, which support users’ behavioral habits. Users lay aside old habits reluctantly.
Play by the rules of the mobile market. Of course, you can immediately create an application for all platforms of the world. But the application implementation for a specific platform is a separate development, requiring the work of different developers and individual study of the interface design of each application. That is, you order the development of not one application on two platforms, but two applications with different code and design that are very similar to each other. Therefore, before ordering the development of a mobile application, it is worth weighing the pros and cons and choosing the appropriate option for you.
Will it be an application development on iOS, Android, or on two platforms at once? Or first on one, then on another platform, after you see the first result? Then which mobile platform to start with?
To help you, we tried to collect all the data on mobile platforms that can become arguments for or against and help you make the right decision.
Speaking about the development of Android applications, we should note the popularity of this OS. Even in comparison with its main rival Apple, Android’s market share is huge – more than 70%. That is, seven out of ten owners of smart devices use an Android-based gadget!
Choosing a platform from Google a priori means reaching a much larger audience. Google’s OS is not only used on smartphones and tablets, but it is also used in cars, players, e-books, set-top boxes and other devices related to the Internet of things.
In addition, today, Google has fixed most of the annoying defects of Android: the insecurity of the system, the OS slowness on low-power devices, etc.
Application design, in turn, finally managed to come to a common denominator (the company calls it – Material Design). The company developed guidelines for developers, so now your applications will look great (of course, only on the condition that while developing Android applications your development team will follow them).
Google met the needs of numerous teams of Android developers, significantly simplifying the development of Android applications, and released a convenient development environment – Android Studio based on IntelliJ Idea, which helped increase the speed of development, as it represents a big step forward compared to existing solutions on the market.
This means real budget savings for clients since now developers create Android applications at a much faster pace.
Since its appearance in the OS from Google, it was much easier to implement additional application functionality, since the system is much more open than iOS (which often allows one to create much more interesting solutions for Android).
Widgets, system add-ins, integration with other applications and services, etc. – the system does not interfere with your ideas! Of course, only if you have a team of Android developers capable of implementing these ideas.
However, we should also talk about the problems that your Android development team may encounter while creating the application. One of them is a fragmentation of the platform – hundreds of devices with different technical characteristics are working on Android.
A large number of devices means longer and more expensive testing of the application. However, it is worth noting that today it is not such an urgent problem since more than 70% of users have Android version 4.4 KitKat and higher. But even here you can find “problem in the problem”.
Different manufacturers can release their own solutions for Android. The most famous ones are Touchwiz from Samsung, Sense from HTC, Miui from Xiaomi, etc. Each has its own characteristics and differences from the standard OS, which somewhat complicates the task for the Android team of developers.
Despite the fact that, according to statistics, iOS has 2-3 times fewer users than Android, Apple’s OS is characterized by users who are more likely to part with money (which is undoubtedly beneficial for iOS developers).
Of course, in recent years, the situation has changed somewhat, but at the moment ARPU (average revenue per user) of the Apple platform is 3-5 times higher (although on Android the lower ARPU is offset by the number of users).
It is not difficult to guess what the developers of iOS applications value most in their platform. Therefore, if you focus on the premium segment, you should select the development of iOS applications.
Apple also has a much smaller pool of devices than Android, so when developing an iOS application, the development team immediately knows which devices they will have to work with.
By the way, in the tablet market, Apple can boast 3 times larger share than in the smartphone market – about 25%. If your application does not have a strict binding to smartphones, you should probably consider developing an application for iPad.
But Apple also has its drawbacks. From the problems of developing applications for iOS, we can highlight the careful moderation of the application when it is loaded in the AppStore.
It usually takes much more time than on Google Play, especially if the application has complex functionality with many features. Also, due to the relative closeness of the system, the implementation of some functions on it is simply impossible – Apple is literally obsessed with the security of user data.
Owners of iOS devices spend more money than the owners of Android smartphones. This is pushing developers to create more paid applications. From an economic point of view, it is more profitable to create an application for iOS first. With a high probability, more users will buy it.
On Google Play, applications with embedded ads are more popular. If the application is free and with ads, then Android is more suitable for this.
They say that you should not put all your eggs in one basket. But this is not the situation. If you are creating a new application, it will be more logical to try it out on one platform, and only if it is successful, launch it on the second one. Unfortunately, no one is protected from errors.
In case your brand is already famous, the choice of solutions for Android and iOS will give you more reach for sure. Ultimately, it is up to you to choose.