Mobile App Development: Should you pick iOS or Android?

Mobile App Development: Should you pick iOS or Android?
April 29 2016

Reasons to create an app can be many: may be your business need it, you may have some idea for the startup, or just think that something small can earn you a passive income. So, whatever your motivation is, one thing remains the same and that is the process which all apps follow. Here we will highlight the factors which everyone needs to consider when it comes to deciding which platform one should build an app for. There are two most popular platforms available for this: Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Of all the factors the first thing to decide is the geographical market which you wish to target. For example Apple holds the majority of market in US but Android is the winner when it comes to Asia.

There is no question regarding two facts related to both platforms:

  1. There are more Android devices around the world than there are Apple devices.

  2. Apple users spend more money in the App store than Android users spend in Google play.

There are several reasons for this but the central reason is that Apple sells only premium products and Android is available on a variety of devices which ranges from price range- moderate to high.
The result is that the average Apple user tends to have more disposable income and happens to be engaged with the technology more in comparison to the average Android user.

As a result, Android tablets are also available at a fraction of the cost in comparison to Apple products as a result many parents have begun to buy Android tablets for their kids. So, in case you are releasing an app for children then the app store can be totally off-limits to you.
Devices which are at the top end of the Android market like Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5, Google Nexus and Moto X have hardware which is superior to Apple’s which is now tempting Apple fanboys.
The opportunity can also be competitive and can serve as an advantage when you set out to build an app for one platform over another. A company named Shifty Jelly saw such an opportunity when it built a podcasting app for Android.

While Apple built its own Podcast app the company noticed that no such app existed on Google Play so it took the opportunity and build one. The app was successful and they generated profit from it.

Apart from this there are also practical differences in building the app for one platform over the other.
Apple’s iOS uses the language swift to build the app whereas Google’s Android uses Java for the same purpose. As an obvious result, the code between the two platforms cannot be shared.
Apart from this, there are other factors which make it easy for developers to build an app for Apple than for iOS.

Operating system fragmentation

Apple controls the updates of iOS and all the latest updates are received by the users. Whether they update it or not is up to them. Also, there is only a single version which is available in the market.

On the other hand Android updates are controlled by individual mobile manufacturers and as a result, all Android devices are not running the same version. There are versions within the same latest release and these versions are challenges for the developers because the app behaves differently on every version. Another challenge involved is that the hardware as the app can behave differently based on the hardware available in the mobile irrespective of the Android version. This multiplier effect has created an eco-system of hundreds of devices and an app may or may not behave properly depending upon the Android version and hardware.

These are some aspects which one must consider before deciding whether to build an app for Android or iOS.