Android vs. iOS development is a debate that is continuously raging in the digital sector. And now that you’ve decided to acquire a mobile app for your business, the debate should be settled as to which platform you want to go for.
Android vs. iOS development
For beginners, it is important to understand that Android apps and iOS apps function differently. Hence, if you make the mistake of launching your app on the wrong platform, your marketing goals and target audience insights could be affected.
In this discussion, we’ll assume that you want to build a native app. Hence, picking between Android or Apple will be required because the code for native apps doesn’t work both ways.
This is why it is important to understand all the factors before you pick the right operating system for your business tool.
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Android vs. iOS development comes down to the following aspects that should help you decide which one to go for.
Talking about the purpose of the application, we start with the basic features.
The app code will answer to this question.
As we’re all aware, Apple works within a closed tech ecosystem—i.e., the company controls the entry in its platform.
All the content input should be supported by the ecosystem in order to be eligible. In other words, as a developer, you need to be well-equipped with the ins and outs of all the major iOS features.
One of the biggest advantages of working on a platform like Apple is you get more control and stability. On the other side, there will be further restrictions as well.
Apparently, from the user’s standpoint, a device which runs in a closed ecosystem translates into a higher price. Obviously, why Apple phones are much more expensive than their Android counterparts.
An open source ecosystem! Something that attracts a large number of developers to make apps for the Google play store.
The flexibility to customize and plethora of functionalities for content input and user experience tempts developers and users to opt for Android apps.
On the downside, open source platforms are less secure, comparatively. At times, updates are hindered by mobile network operators.
But, this opens the door for developers to innovate and work relentlessly for better security.
You can simply acquire Android’s source code for free and add it to your app’s hardware. In doing so, you won’t be needing to jump through multiple touchpoints over the course of your app development work.
Monetization is the real deal
Why are we making a mobile application? To make money, yes!
If monetization isn’t your cup of tea, then you need to reevaluate your objective right from the start as to why you’re making an app.
You can make money through your app by either subscriptions, in-app purchases, pay per downloads, or advertisements.
Which monetization method you wish to follow will decide the platform that’s best for you.
If you want to charge users for downloading your app, using iOS is the right option here.
Apparently, the difference between the two is clearly prominent in the graph above. In other words, Apple users are used to the sight of seeing more paid apps than that of Android faithful.
And if users come across your paid tool, they’ll be naturally inclined to go for a free app with similar functions.
Hence, you should understand that charging users to download your app is a thoughtful, costly prospect.
You’ll register a higher CAC (customer acquisition cost) than if offered for free. Fortunately, users will experience more engagement and you’ll make more money at the same time.
Generally speaking, if someone is paying to use a product, he/she won’t abandon it that easily.
Choosing Android is the best option if you want to monetize your app through ads and in-app purchases (note, money from in-app purchases isn’t normally significantly huge).
Developers and businesses make less money per purchase as the usage is spread over more people.
Obviously, one of the biggest advantages of using the Google play store is getting more downloads for free.
On the contrary to the iOS aspect, your Android users won’t be as engaged as they aren’t paying a penny to use your app.
Hence, majority of your revenue lies in attracting users who’ll use your app the most. With time, you can charge them for app upgrades and other premium offers for a better user experience and additional features.
It is one of the most neglected aspects, especially when developers are in the process of deciding which platform to opt for.
It is important to learn which software version your users are using within both iOS and Android.
Undoubtedly, your code should be smartly written as to be compatible with the newest release in the market.
Most iPhone users use the two latest operating systems in their phones. A fortunate exercise for developers and designers as they can precisely predict what the next OS version should be capable of.
All you need is to stay updated with the upcoming needs for updates, bug fixes, and features that could enhance the user experience for the better.
Talking about updated platforms for Android users is otherwise. Most users aren’t using the updated versions of their operating systems.
Since the diversity among users with different OS is huge, you cannot make the mistake of discarding older versions.
Understandably, catering various versions of operating systems makes the development process more complex and time consuming.
Remember the good old days when Blackberry sat on the throne in the smartphone industry?
Apparently, everyone at the C-suite level was expected to carry the expensive, classy Blackberry phone.
Fast forward a decade later, the younger counterparts, Apple and Samsung, have dethroned the old rulers and are now the top choices for enterprise adoption.
There is no doubt that Apple’s devices are considered superior in terms of security, the closed ecosystem we discussed in the beginning.
Not to mention that corporations like IBM have collaborated with Apple for their own official devices.
As a limitation, with increased security comes less features.
Since Android phones come with more features, the security aspect is inversely proportional.
The edge Android users have is that they have numerous devices and features to choose from. While Apple users will either go for iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch to access your mobile app.
That’s probably a major reason why Android dominates the global market share and boasts around 2.8 million apps in the Google play store.
This concludes the major comparisons on the unending debate on Android vs. iOS app development.
Deciding when to go for an iOS app, and when to go for the Android app, is a separate discussion in itself.
Meanwhile, the above pointers should help you create your mobile and app development strategy suiting your digital goals and branding and audience preferences.
Imran Abdul Rauf is a Digital Marketing Strategist, employed at CMOLDS, and specializes in content marketing, email marketing campaigns, lead generation, and other aspects of digital marketing. A content enthusiast by the day, and hardcore gamer by night, Imran is also a regular guest contributor at some of the top tech and digital marketing platforms.