One of the biggest questions in iOS and Android app development is which platform to publish on. Discover what you need to know before publishing your app.
There are over 270 million mobile phone users in the United States alone. That number is set to go up by 6 million in the next two years.
The staggering level of saturation for the mobile phone market is very telling as to the opportunity app developers have today. With the right product, you can literally reach over 80% of the American population.
That depends of course on the platform you’re publishing your application on…
Therein lies the age-old debate of iOS and Android app development.
“Which platform is better?” “Which is easier?” “Which one will my dev team find the most success with?”
While there’s no one size fits all solution to which platform you should publish your application on, below are some considerations to help push you in the right direction.
1. Who is Using What Platform?
One of the most important aspects of the iOS and Android app development debate is “What audience are you going to reach on which platform?”.
Both platforms are a little guarded in regard to who exactly their users are but we can still paint some broad stroke inferences.
Android phones are in more pockets around the world than iOS phones. That’s because a lot of different devices utilize the operating system and some have extremely low price-points.
Given that affordability, you can expect that lower-income individuals are more likely to be using Android phones.
With iOS, the cost of entry is steep. Apple is relatively quick to discontinue support for older devices and newer iOS devices can cost near or over $1000.00.
For that reason, you can expect iOS users to have an overall higher average income in comparison to Android. Consequently, iOS users are also more willing to pay for their apps.
2. How Much Time Do You Have?
Time is money when it comes to the development cycle of applications and it just so happens that time is a primary point of difference with iOS and Android app development.
When you’re building applications for iOS, you have a limited amount of products to worry about. If you’re just focusing on mobile phones, you have maybe 3-4 devices you need to ensure your application works on. A few more if you’re looking to create a universal app that is inclusive of tablets.
With Android, your attention is far more fragmented. There are 24,000 different Android devices on the market.
That means that reaching Android’s massive user base is actually a lot more complicated than it seems. In order to take advantage of the larger market share of Android, you’ll need to make your app cross compatible and test it on a variety of devices. You will then need to maintain updates on all of those devices for the foreseeable future.
For that reason, if you’re short on time or resources, iOS could be a better long-term development bet.
3. What Tools Do You Have?
What we love the most about Android development is that they make it extremely easy for budding app creators to start building. Android utilizes a dedicated studio for developing apps which can run on just about any computer.
Apps are also built with Java which is one of the most common programming languages in the world.
iOS is much more guarded when it comes to building. First off, you’ll need to leverage Xcode in order to build apps for iOS devices and Xcode will only run on Apple computers.
Furthermore, iOS development leverages a proprietary coding language called Swift which represents yet another barrier to development.
If you’re not familiar with Xcode or Swift, you’ll need to factor the time you’ll need to get acquainted with those tools into your development timeline.
4. What Kind of Red Tape Exists?
Here we will expand a little bit more on what kinds of hoops you’ll have to jump through in order to get coding on Android and iOS.
With Android, you don’t have too much to worry about. The platform allows you to develop and publish on the platform without any memberships or paid subscriptions. Also, the approval process for applications is almost non-existent.
You could publish your app for review and it could be live in as little as a couple of hours.
It’s a whole different ballgame with iOS.
You’ll need to join their developer’s program which costs money. You’ll also need to create your app in accordance with strict guidelines and wait sometimes weeks for your app to be approved to go live.
All of our iOS and Android app development considerations above boil down to one big question, “How much money can I make?”
While we can’t answer that question outright, we can say that both platforms will take 30% of your profits as their fee for app publishing.
Beyond that, given the small number of devices you have to worry about on iOS and the willingness of iOS users to spend money, we think that the money-making potential is a little better on iOS than with Android.
Wrapping Up iOS and Android App Development Key Considerations
If you’re looking to build a mobile application, you’ll immediately need to grapple with the question of what to choose between iOS and Android app development. Our key takeaway is that there is no cut and dry solution.
If you’re looking to launch your first app at no essential costs, Android is your best bet. If you’re looking to release a more polished app onto the market and are hoping to make more money in the long run, iOS could be better.
Our advice is to consider our points above and go with whatever platform works best for your intent and budget.
To fulfill your need to know about everything mobile device related, check out more of our content on Mobile Tweaks today!