One year back, this question, “iOS or Android” would lead us to say almost without any hesitation, “iOS first, then Android.”
Today, the situation has changed and is bit more complicated. Android is the dominant mobile operating system on a global perspective (though the two are much closer in marketplace in the U.S.) and it beats Apple to the 1 million apps mark with android app developers making the most of it. Moreover, with more and more players having the Android license, it’s quite tough for Apple Inc. to compete with everyone.
We suggest all the mobile application development companies to plan on both Android and iOS apps, if you think you need a native mobile app. But that nowhere means that you will have to launch both the apps at the same time, but both should be on your ultimate timeline.
Where to go first: iOS or Android?
If you can’t afford to develop iOS and Android apps simultaneously, you have to make the decision of what system to target first.
Here are some factors to consider when deciding which platform to target for an initial release:
- What are your current users using? Have a look at your visitor stats and compare what portion of your mobile visitors are coming from Android or iOS. If you see a higher mobile engagement rate from iOS users, it’s a good idea to start with them first. On the other hand, if most of your users are on Android, starting there might make more sense.
- What are your tablet plans? Although Android is the dominant mobile operating system with android developers available throughout the world, it has not taken off on tablets in the same way. Google might boast that Android tablets have almost half the global market, but when you look at how those tablets are used — or at the usage share amongst tablet apps, it’s clear the iPad is the winner. The one exception is Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which runs a forked version of Android — and thus is sort of in its own category. If you plan on creating a tablet experience, focus on iOS first.
- What are your developers familiar with? Even though most companies end up contracting out a good chunk of their mobile development work, it’s worth talking to your team and seeing what they are most familiar with developing in. Developing for iOS requires a Mac (you can work around this but at some stage you’ll need a Mac) and Android’s developer tools — while improving — are not at Xcode levels just yet. If your android app developers are cool with this, go for android first.
- Do you want to charge for your app? The adage that Android users never pay for apps isn’t quite as true as it used to be, but it’s absolutely true that iOS users are more willing — and more likely to pay — for an app than Android users. That shouldn’t put you off of using Android — there are still plenty of ways to monetize that system — but on initial basis, it needs to be considered. Also consider where you can accept payments from both platforms. Google is continuing to increase the number of countries that support paid Google Play apps but this is an area where Apple still has a substantial lead.
With so many advantages, most of the android app development companies are heading more towards iPhone app development. And those who were already into this are emphasizing more on iOS. Being a leading Android application development company India, we would like to suggest going for Android if you are a beginner and iPhone if you want to be a brand in near future.