(This article was originally published on my blog here ).
The world of operating systems has seen the race to clinch the biggest market share tighten between two giants: iOS and Android.
Asitaka, who has more than four years in Android development and currently teaches people his skills, says that “App developers are often forced to decide which platform between the two would best suits their development needs.”
You can watch and learn from one of his projects here.
Here are three critical things that will assist you to make the best choice:
- The target audience
- Your set budget
- The benefits you expect to accrue
What are your audience’s preferences? Your audience’s behavioral patterns should guide you on the best platform to choose for your app.
Currently, the Android operating system commands a bigger market share of 87% with the platform being a favorite in developing countries and among lower income earners.
This can be attributed to the introduction of smartphones running on the Android OS in emerging markets for as little as $100.
For a long time, the iPhones were out of reach for the low-income earners who could not afford the $600 that the devices were priced at.
The proliferation of the cheaper smartphones made it affordable and accessible to more users.
The Google infrastructure also plays a huge role in the popularity of smartphones by allowing users to fulfill their desires and customize their devices. For instance, the availability of different widgets and backgrounds lets users to modify and lock their home screens as they please.
The iOS, on the other hand, does not command such a huge market share. The platform has a 12.82% following and it is a favorite with the younger generation who spend most of their time scouting apps. It is also popular among the educated class and those with higher income levels.
In the U.S., for instance, an iPhone user makes an average of $85,000 annually while an Android user averages $61,000 in annual earnings; a 40% contrast.
Users have been found to spend almost twice their time on apps on the iOS platform as compared to the Android apps.
It is also intriguing that the iOS platform appeals to a target audience that put style, simplicity, and uniformity before anything else.
The iOS operating system, therefore, is the best choice if you aim to flourish in the premium smartphone market without necessarily targeting mass adoption of the app.
The Android operating system, on the other hand, is best suited where there’s need for a non-restrictive platform that offers more flexibility in publishing apps to the target audience.
The resources available at your disposal towards the development of an app also determine the platform you choose for the application.
Developing an Android app will normally require more time and resources compared to an iOS app. This, therefore, makes it more expensive in addition to the need for fragmentation.
For Android app development, responsive designs have to be built to fit in different screen sizes and be available for various versions of the operating systems while accommodating the different technical capabilities.
Another downside of the Android development platform is its incompatibility with some mobile devices as well as superior consumption of RAM. An Android app requires more lines of code compared to an iOS app with developers writing about 40% more for the Android.
The Apple brand has a strong reputation for its intuitiveness and maturity when it comes to its apps and operating system.
It boasts of its Xcode which offers excellent development tools for app builders that make the process of building and debugging smooth and proficient.
Piracy of apps on iOS is also difficult thanks to the Xcode being a closed system. The same cannot be said of the Android platform.
Your budget will also come into question when choosing the best operating system based on the app’s quality. Despite the Android Studio allowing for beta testing of the apps, its functionalities and features are still inferior.
Android apps of low quality often translate to higher costs as a result of constant maintenance which can be quite bothersome, if you are on a low budget.
Considering the long-term costs when launching a mobile app, the iOS is the best choice since the Apple Store requires a recurring $99 annual payment.
Google play, on the other hand, charges a paltry one-off payment of $25 but the maintenance costs will definitely hit the roof.
Therefore, knowing the difference between iOS and Android development costs can assist you to make a sound decision.
You will also have to consider the potential benefits that will accrue once you launch your application.
The likely gains you will reap from advertisements and the driving of in-app purchases should influence your choice of a development platform.
What is more important to you: is it app engagement or app popularity? Is evaluating Android vs. iOS difficulty essential?
If you are looking forward to driving in-app purchases, then iOS is the best choice given that most of its users are on a higher income level and will likely use twice as much time on apps compared to Android users.
Therefore, if you are chasing the money and would like to sell your apps and drive other in-app purchases, Apple users are your best bet.
The Android operating system, on the other hand, is best for advertisement related benefits. Ad-supported content performs best on the Android platform which greatly drives mobile monetization.
The operating system’s popularity with a wider base of users allows you to access a larger audience which greatly boosts your revenue streams through the in-app advertisements.
It is important, therefore, that your choice of a development platform is in line with your app development goals for you to reap maximum benefits.
The battle for supremacy between iOS vs. Android development for building apps is not likely to end any time soon.
In fact, you should expect it to escalate even further as the two operating system bigwigs try to outdo each other as they improve on their features and functionalities.
This will definitely work to the app developers’ advantage as the development platforms improve to unprecedented levels.
Ultimately, you should go for the platform that best meets your needs and helps you to achieve your app development goals.
Click here to learn about iOS app development.
Click here to learn about Android app development.