So you are going to develop a mobile application. You have a breathtaking idea, you have considered all the details of your future application, you have already chosen the right vendor. But do you remember to choose a mobile OS for it? No? It’s a crucial point. Developing the same applications for different operating systems will take more time and cost more money. Anyway, even if your budget allows you to do so, this might not be justified in the end: no matter how perfect your application is, you will continue to improve it on the base of your first users’ feedback, and all these improvements will cost you as twice as more in case you have to implement them for several versions of the app. Therefore, we suggest you starting with one OS, and only after some sort of a trial period thinking about others.
So which one is better?
There are several mobile operating systems but discussing them all makes no sense, as only two are the leaders that share almost the whole market – Android and iOS. These giants are different in many aspects and have own advantages. If you want to make the right decision, you should be aware of the peculiarities of each system in terms of their popularity, development process, and profit.
It’s not a secret that Android is the most widespread mobile operating system in the world. It has been the first among others for many years and takes the same position this year: as of October 2018, Android has 74.69% of the global mobile market share [Statcounter]. The situation is unlikely to change on a short-term horizon. There are various forecasts about the future of the OS, but many agree that even if the share of Android falls, its current position won’t be affected. Speaking about iOS, it shares 22.34% of the global market; in other words, about 3.5 times less than Android.
Thus, it might at first glance seem that developing your application for Android operating system is more beneficial. Not a bit of it! On the global market, Android is the undoubted leader for sure. But if we analyze the mobile markets of each region, we will see that Android dominates in the world but not in particular countries. In developed countries, the palm of victory belongs to Apple products, and thus to iOS, while the leader in developing countries is Android. Therefore, choosing a platform, you should bear in mind the location of the application release.
Besides the location, you should also think about the targeted audience. The information about age, gender, education, occupation, income level, views, and beliefs of potential users is important not only for the application itself but also for choosing a platform. Study your target auditory carefully to answer this question.
Android and iOS are completely different operating systems, so the requirements for these applications are also different. Particularly, the apps for Android are mostly written in Java and apps for iOS – in Objective-C and Swift. These languages are easy to learn and widespread among developers, so you’re unlikely to have any difficulty in hiring specialists of both types. The difficulty will start with the development process itself. The thing is, iOS developers create applications for few platforms, while Android is used with many devices of different screen size and aspect ratios, thus requiring more time and efforts from a development team and more money from you. However, Android development has a great advantage over iOS: the opportunity for dynamic app development, as Android development platform allows using third-party tools to implement a variety of new things.
Despite the fact that Android has more users than iOS, proud owners of Apple products are considered to be more solvent. In the first half of 2018, App Store revenue was as twice as more than the revenue of Play Market on half the downloads [Sensor Tower]. Thus, publishing your application in App Store will help you make big bucks for sure. Another issue is to get there. App Store has very strict rules for app publication. First, you need to pay an annual fee in an amount of $99 ($299 for companies). Then you have to upload the app and wait for about 2 weeks while it is checked for every single bug. The possibility that your application will be rejected is very high.
What is required for publishing the app in Play Market? You need to pay $25 as a one-time fee, upload your application, and that’s it: the app will be available for Android users in a couple of hours. Here the risk of being rejected is very low. Thus, if you are going to publish your application in App Store, it is good to work with developers who have the relevant experience. Or choose Play Market and enjoy fast publication.
What about users?
When choosing the right platform for your application you should take into account what users think. The users’ view on Android and iOS is not unique, obviously. One may find the supporters of both systems, as well as their haters. Supporters of Android admire the possibility to set the system in accordance with their needs and to download the variety of apps, criticizing the high price of Apple devices and the expensiveness of App Store applications. iOS users say they love its user-friendliness, amazing design, and high level of security.
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of both systems will help you choose the most suitable one for your new app. Think about your expectations, goals and the target auditory, consider your possibilities and budget, and the result will be a perfect platform for your application which you and your future users will love.