Mobile apps have penetrated every sphere of our life now. There are millions of mobile apps across the two leading platforms, respectively, iOS and Android. While Android has the widest presence with a most diverse range of devices, iOS with its proprietary iPhone and iPad devices is still regarded as the most coveted platform simply because of the exposure it enjoys high net-worth users.
Both platforms have their respective pros and cons. If, as a mobile app development company, you are indecisive about prioritizing the right platform for your app, this post explaining the pros and cons of each platform can help you.
Google Play Store vs Apple App store
Should you build the apps for both platforms and unleash them across both platforms at the same time? Well, while cross-platform development is a good choice because of faster development and cost advantage, building native apps for the separate platform has its own advantages such as enhanced performance, easier integration with platforms, and ability to utilize the native device features. This is why most ambitious apps focus on building one app for a single platform at a given time. Now, we are back at the initial question, which platform should you prioritize?
Before explaining the respective pros and cons, it is good to look at some stats and figures to understand the value proposition of both app marketplaces. As per the Statista, between 2018 to 2019 Android Play Store had a market share of 74.45% among the apps, whereas iOS only enjoyed a market share of 22.85% of apps.
Android app development technologies
Android app development traditionally required a solid command of Java and C++. Recently, Kotlin has emerged as a more efficient programming language alternative to Java. App developers also have access to Android Jetpack, which is a toolset of prebuilt components. Apart from that, Android developers also can use the Android SDK development kit, an Android Studio based development environment.
Advantages of building Android apps
Let us gave a quick look at the key advantages of building Android apps.
- Android us an open-source system, and this allows developers to enjoy access to an increased number of features.
- In respect of design, Android developers have access to well document Google design guidelines to help deliver great interface and user experience.
- Fragmentation of the platform helps Android developers to render the app across a broad range of devices ranging from mobile devices, IoT devices, wearables, etc.
- Releasing Android app updates is easier and less time-consuming.
Disadvantages of building Android apps
- Android is too fragmented platform makes it challenging for the developers to maintain consistency in terms of design and device-specific UI elements.
- Because of the vast variance if device types and capacities, there are serious testing challenges for Android apps.
- Android development is considered costlier because of the fragmentary nature of the platform.
- As of now, most Android apps earn less than their iOS counterparts, as Android users are less financially committed to the apps compared to iOS apps.
iOS App Development Technologies
iOS app developers traditionally were required to have a solid command over C, C++, and Objective-C languages. After the Swift language was released to help iOS developers, it quickly became the de-facto language for building iOS apps. Other important out of the box development tools that iOS developers can access include iOS platform SDK, XCode integrated development environment (IDE), and Swift Playgrounds development environment.
Advantages of building iOS apps
- Apple iOS has more high net worth users under their fold than Android. The average spending by iOS app users is much higher than Android users.
- iOS platform is least fragmented in terms of device and thus ensures a very consistent user experience for all iOS apps.
- Apple, by providing very careful guidance concerning UI design through a style guide, ensures quality design while helping to keep design time lower.
- By maintaining a stricter App Store approval policy iOS App Store maintains a high-quality standard that helps to brand.
Disadvantages of building iOS apps
- iOS being a platform for a single set of high-value devices, consumer-focused apps cannot reach a wider audience through the platform.
- The app released in the iOS platform takes a long time because of the mandatory real-time testing.
- iOS apps offer less scope of customization due to several rules, restrictions, and preconditions.
What considerations are essential to make a choice?
Now that you have come to know about the key advantages and disadvantages of building apps on each platform, it is essential to know which of these aspects weighs heavier for your app in particular and which are less critical. Well, for this, we tried to explain here the critical considerations for choosing your app between iOS and Android platforms.
- App Audience: Do your users mostly use Android phones, or do they use iOS? In the region, you are targeting as your priority market, which of these two mobile platforms has dominance? Based on the answers to these questions, you need to make a choice.
- Competitor Apps: Your leading competitors can provide you some insights about the ideal platform, to begin with. If most of your successful competitors are giving clear priority to iOS, then there must be some rationale behind it.
- App Revenue: In recent past Android platform in the overall count has increased its revenue by many folds, but still, iOS leads in generating app revenue. Now, the question is whether for earning revenue, your app should first target iOS or Android.
- Development Cost: For a small business app or the app of a startup venture, the development cost is a decisive factor. The question is whether the development cost for each platform is worth the revenue and market exposure it offers? It would help if you also considered for which platform you have some ready resources to build the app.
- App Update: Releasing regular updates for an app is essential to stay credible and functioning as a business. For your app, which platform looks easier to release updates? Make a detailed evaluation of the update requirements for each platform.
Finally, there is no straightforward answer to this binary question. The choice between iOS and Android for new app projects depends upon a whole array of factors.