Sincerely speaking, there is no easy answer to this particular question. However, the platform you decide to create first depends on several number of factors and environments that may encourage your final decision. 9 factors to consider when deciding to choose between Android and iOS native App development so as to know which you should build first.
First of all, as an IT firm, we recommend that you still to reconsider several factors before taking a decision even if your personal budget permits you to create a native app for all the existing platforms such as Android, iOS and Windows.
Secondly, developing different applications for two to three platforms at the same time will definitely cost you to spend more time and money. Most particularly if your main objectives is to basically secure your first clients.
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Depending on your geographical location, you will notice the type of mobile device the people use. On the other hand, most people are used to a single platform since most phones can accommodate two SIM cards (mobile network operators). Therefore, they can simply use their device on one specific platform to access what they want. That being said, it will be of no use to keep waiting for your native app to be launched under various device platforms in before you can get into the market. Similarly, management and maintenance for two to three platforms at the same time is much tougher. Do not forget that there are usually updates and changes required to be made, or even unforeseen bugs to be fixed after the first launch. Hence, you will agree that it’s more economical and less time consuming to get all of them fixed for only one specific platform.
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Truly speaking, it’s much easier to begin you app launch with only one platform. As you begin, you can build a functional prototype, announce it to your target audience, win your first time clients, get all their comments and feedback, and then fix all of the probable issues. After you have possible achieved all this vital experience and technical know-how, you can now start-off your vision of developing for another platform.
Generally speaking, it is recommended to start with a single platform, but back to the first question above, which one should you develop first? As experts, we won’t promote one native app platform over another, nonetheless we are sure to give you clues and some major factors that will guide you to decide and choose one for yourself/needs.
Factor 1 – Total App Usage Statistics
Notwithstanding the lot of stress and platform fragmentation that comes with building native mobile apps, Android platform remains the highest in statistics among mobile operating systems. Also they currently accounts for more than eighty six percent of the global market share. Additionally, this appealing development is likely to continue into the near future.
On the other hand, the Apple’s iOS takes second position (from statistics) in the global market share with about twelve percent. However, the iOS app developers still make virtually more money with iOS apps than with the conventional native Android apps.
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From the global statistics highlighted above, releasing your business app for Android devices first will lets your app to reach a much larger target audience. By the same token, releasing your app on the iOS platform allows you to reach more influential target audience with higher purchasing power. This will help you to have a faster return of investment (ROI).
After realizing the information above, it’s now know that “there’s more to this equation to be easily solved,” however, let’s continue. Which of the platform has more benefits? It’s draw.
Factor 2 – The future position of Android and iOS
As far as there’s a mobile platform war between Android and iOS, there tends to be an expected winner, but who do you think will win? Answering this question is not easy but as far as future projections are concerned, there’s no expected winner. As can be seen, both iOS and Android platforms are currently “in great shape” and is not expected to lose importance within the next few years to come. Therefore, making one platform favourable over another, based on the forecasts, is not significant at all. So, if you choose to develop any of the native mobile app, you won’t lose in whichever case.
Factor 3 – Location of Target Market
The iOS has smaller total market share, but despite its size, there are some countries in the globe where Apple devices leads the market and has a larger demand for its products. These are regions with developed standards of living and technologically advanced economies such as Europe, Americas, Australia, Japan, China in particular and Asia Pacific. Narrowing down the statistics, South and North America generate almost two third of Apple’s income, whereas China and Europe helps to compete for one third.
In all other cases, Android platform has the larger market share in developing countries with lesser economies such as Africa, Asia, and South America. Hence if you are developing your app for a targeted audience in a specific country or region in mind, then you must put this factor into consideration. Now which of the platform do you think is more advantageous: answer; depends on location of your envisaged customers.
Factor 4 – Your target audience
This is the foremost factor to put into consideration that really overshadows others. If you do no know your target audience, it is like shooting blindly in the sky. For you to discover your target audience, you must know your objectives. You must also know what type of app you’re going to create, and for what type of people, as well as what services it will do for them.
In this factor, we will not move too much into the specifics on how to categorize your target audience because that’s a complete article of its own and topic for another post. However, knowing the elementary demographic and behavioral characteristics of your perfect customer will be provided.
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Target audience are categorized by their age, gender, level of income, interests, attitudes, beliefs, occupation, education, family status, etc. For example, you can’t build an iOS Bible app and expect it to sell in an Asian Muslim country and vice versa. Thus, when you know the customers you’re after, it will be a lot simpler to categorize what type of device they use.
If we are to advise you on the widest possible audience, we will say that Android is more preferable platform to start off with. On the other hand, if the audience is more specific such as creating a native mobile app for healthcare purposes, then the age, gender and occupation of the customers are to be considered. In general, choosing the best platform to begin with requires a further analysis of your target audience that will accept your product.
Factor 5 – Building and Launching
The development and deployment of your application is very important. As a matter of fact, the cost creating and releasing an application largely depends on the app type, complexity, and general features it will contain within.
Since the iOS platform is the single operating system that originates from a single producer, it will be launched a lot faster due to the lack of device fragmentation.
There is an enormous entropy created with the Android device and operating system fragmentation significantly complicates development and testing for this platform and usually consumes more time and money. There are over 24,000 distinct Android devices from more than 1,200 manufacturers causing this problem. So which one is the better now? It’s the iOS.
Factor 6 – Features of iOS and Android devices
If you use an Android and Apple device together, you will notice that the Android is an open source operating system. Wholly, it offers “more freedom” to users and developers at the same time. Also, it make available more access to the hardware and the operating system itself, which is not accessible on iOS devices. The iOS generally has some file system restrictions for both users and developers. Furthermore, Android platform is very friendly and accommodating in terms of editing and customization.
Factor 7 – Revenue model (In-app Purchase or Advertising)
From analysis of device usage, the iOS users generally have a much greater Lifetime value (LTV) than Android device users. The iOS users are more willing to spend money on downloading their favorite apps than the Android users who will wait for free versions to be released. This is the main reason to choose iOS platform if you’re building a paid app, a retail app or an app that will offer in-app purchases. Here, it’s better to start with iOS because they are more willing to buy additional content or services within the app.
However, there are also other means of generating revenue from a free app (either Android or iOS) such as affiliate income, sponsorships, subscriptions, advertising from Google, Yahoo, Taboola, Infolinks, etc. Oh yes! That is specifically where a huge Android audience can be worth it. Consequently, if you’re planning to build a free native app and want to make money through advertising, then the Android platform should be a better choice to begin.
Factor 8 – Launching your product on the app store
It is easier to use Google Play Store when it comes to launching an application online because their terms are soft, whereas Apple App Store has a more strict policy and request approval period.
First of all, to publish an app on the popular Google Play Store, what you have to do is to simply create an account from the signup page. Then make a single one-time payment of $25 US dollar, go ahead and upload your completed application and that’s all you need to do. In a couple hours users will be able to download your application.
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While on the Apple’s App Store, the signup process is more official and you’ll also have to pay an annual fee of $99 US dollar. That’s not all; the app assessment process for your application typically takes about two weeks, and there’s always a very high possibility that it will be rejected after review. After you have edited your app to meet up their policy, you’ll have to wait for another two weeks or even more. Therefore, you have to completely make sure that your iOS app developers have the required expertise in launching apps on the Apple App Store.
Factor 9 – Loyalty of Users
Let talk about the last but not the least factor. Loyalty usually comes with iOS platform because Apple users are “locked” into its operating system and tend to stay with its products instead of moving to another provider. People often switch from Android devices to iPhone and iPads easier and faster than vice versa. For example, you can quickly find people who wants to sell of their Android phone to buy an iPhone. Thus, with iOS app, you will be able to target a market audience that covers more than 500 million high-end loyal customers whose purchasing power is almost seven times larger than Android users.
In summary, it’s time to wrap it up. So which platform do you think is the best to start with to benefit more? The choice is yours after you have put all the factors into consideration because there’s still no winner in the platform wars. The Android and iOS platforms comes with their own advantages and disadvantages. Even though there are various factors arguing in favor of releasing your application first on the iOS platform, it wholly depends on the feature of app itself.
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In a final analysis, there could be situations when it’s realistic to release an app on two platforms at equal time. All things considered, there are some companies that its expertise allows them to develop top-notch applications for both platform at the same time. Check this out: How to Know if You Contracted a Wrong App Development Firm.
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If you’re still confused about making the right decision or unsure of it, then write your views on the comments section so as to get guidance to achieve your goal.
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