Entering on a new app development journey can be creepy. Even when you know the outcome will be worth the wait, your team still requires committing to hundreds of hours. This journey will be massive for your company, so choosing the right starting platform for your native application is essential. To help you make the optimum decision for your company, we’ll give you some of our “agency insight” by comparing iOS vs Android app development head-to-head.
Many diverse factors should impact your decision, but the three biggest ones to consider are the potential of each platform, the app development process, and the target audience of your final application. Let’s discover each category.
iOS vs Android App Development: Audience
Let’s cut to the hunt: your target audience is the single most significant factor to consider when choosing a platform.
Every part of an app should begin with the target audience, and the platform is no different. Building your app on the incorrect platform is no different than building it for the wrong people. Consider the following factors before picking your Operating System:
Android and iOS aren’t an even 50/50 split. In 2019, Android maintained a firm grasp on 87% of the global market, while iOS only had 13%. That’s a pretty massive gap. However, the gap closes a crumb depending upon your country. In the United States, iOS took the lead at 59% market share. However, in India, Android grips a whopping 92% market share.
Better selection depends on your audience. If your customers are mainly American, either OS works fine. However, Android may be a wiser bet for a global audience.
Keep in mind that the audience does not stop at a broad national level. Maybe your app is about to launch in India-where Android has a massive lead-but your specific target audience almost exclusively uses iOS. In that case, demographics are much more significant.
Demographic data is the clandestine sauce that makes your app delicious. If your audience powerfully prefers one OS, you should probably build on that OS.
But who uses which Operating System? Let’s break down the demographics, based on the statistics from asonalex and PR Newswire:
- 29% more likely to be over 35
- 18% more likely to be women
- 14% more likely to identify as extroverted
- Prefer Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism, and Bauhaus
- 37% more likely to have a graduate degree
- The average salary of about $53k and 67% more likely to make more than $200k per year
- Spend about $100/month on tech
- 26% more likely to spend money
- Skew toward people ages 18–34
- 10% more likely to be male
- 12% more likely to identify as introverted
- Prefer Gothic Art, Street Art, and Surrealism
- The average salary of about $37k and 24% more likely to make between $50k and $100k per year
- Spend about $50/month on tech
- 29% more likely to save money
These trends are limited, but they say a lot about the user. One of the most noticeable dissimilarity is that iOS users tend to spend more money-we’ll talk about that trend in the next section.
Another surprisingly vital trend is behavior. Apple users twist slightly toward the extroverted side of the spectrum. These statistics match up with the “loyal Apple cult” stereotype, and it may even advise that apps are more likely to move by word of mouth (though more data would be needed to confirm that claim).
Of course, these statistics only embody a few basic trends. They should never restore your own research. Research your end audience. Gather as much data as you can. Use your own demographics data to forecast which OS your audience prefers.
Android and iOS users don’t just behave in a different way in their day-to-day lives. They also behave differently once they have installed the app.
To learn more about the dissimilarity, Liftoff analyzed post-install engagement with five metrics: registration, reservation, purchases, in-app purchases, and subscriptions. Here are their results:
Shamefully, iOS wins in each category except registration. Even that category is far too thin to call. The carry away is clear: iOS users are much more engaged in the app.
However, Android doesn’t fall too far at the back. While iOS users are more likely to install, subscribe, and spend, Android users are more likely to unlock notifications. If your app thrives on notifications, Android could work wonderfully.
There are a few diverse reasons that Android’s CTR is so high. The most obvious dissimilarity is that Android notifications are more noticeable. When users have an unread notification on Android, a muggy alert remains visible in the upper-left corner.
Since the notifications are always able to be seen, users are more likely to interact with them. At any time, they can access the shortcut menu and open a notification.
However, iOS has no such features. Notifications are less customizable and less visible. That’s an additional win for Android in the iOS vs. Android app development combat zone.
But does the behavior actually matter if the users don’t convert?
Android may have a bigger market share, but how many of those customers change to buyers on the app store? As it turns out, not that many.
Even though Apple has a much smaller market share, the App Store generates 80% more gross revenue than Google Play, according to Apple Insider statistics. However, Google Play is growing. Despite having much lower revenue per customer, Google Play grows 19.6% each year.
So what do these statistics mean for your revenue? Overall, it depends on your app.
IOS users pay out a lot more money than Android users. That’s not only just the app store; its in-app purchases, too. If your business model relies on consumer purchases, iOS is a very strong choice-if, not the finest choice.
However, Android still has more users. And in many cases, purchases aren’t going to be your key source of revenue. What if you’re building a free mobile app? Most of your revenue will come from advertisements. What if you’re a large brand who wants to give already-paying customers some handy tools? In-app purchases aren’t as significant.
Revenue making isn’t something to guess on. You enormously must do your research. Iron out your business model. Research your end audience. Revenue making is critical, yet delicate. An easy misstep-such as choosing the wrong platform-could topple everything you’ve worked so hard to build.
After studying your audience, consider the app itself. Certain features may work improved on a specific OS.
iOS vs Android App Development: Capabilities
Each OS comes with diverse capabilities that could impact your final product. Consider how the OS differs for the end-user to build the top possible app on the best possible platform.
Both iOS and Android have grown up into dashingly-handsome operating systems with a lot to offer. Here’s what the latest versions have to offer:
IOS 13 Key features
- Better photo app with enhanced zoom, powerful editing tools, and a new photos tab.
- Improved portrait mode with adjustable lighting sensitivity and an updated Portrait Segmentation API
- Dark Mode looks great, of course.
- Sign in with Apple lets you, well, sign in with your Apple ID
- CarPlay enables car radios to control iOS devices
- ARKit 3 just came out with iOS 13
- Updated privacy controls
- Siri update
- Performance Boost
- 3d maps
Android 10 Key Features
- Live Caption automatically captions videos and audio.
- Smart Reply auto-suggests messages and follow-up actions.
- Sound Amplifier boosts and fine-tines headphone audio.
- Better Gesture Navigation lets users get around with swipes instead of buttons.
- Focus Mode temporarily disables distracting apps.
- Dark Theme is always a nice touch.
- More privacy controls
- Better location controls
- Immediate security updates
- Family controls
Depending on your application, specific features may create or break the operating system. Apps that rely a lot on the camera, for example, may want to consider how Apple’s Portrait Segmentation API or Android’s CameraX library impacts the final product.
One of the most noticeable variants between iOS and Android is customizability. Apple keeps things easy: you use what you obtain. Users can modify wallpaper, but that’s about it. Even the default browser is locked into Safari: third-party browsers are enforced to use the Safari rendering engine, which makes them slower.
Android, on the other hand, allows users to customize just about anything. Users can alter their SMS Client, edit their lock screen, or even add a custom ROM. As an answer, Android gives you a lot more room to make a customizable experience for your user.
However, customizability doesn’t finish with the user. Android development is much suppler. Since the publishing standards are a lot looser, Android apps can do things that iOS apps cannot. As a consequence, some apps, such as game emulators and torrent downloader’s, are not possible on iOS-or at least require a lot of extra work to build properly.
Apple devices have developed a reputation for security. While iOS is barely virus-proof, it remains remarkably secure.
The large difference is that iOS is much more closed off than Android. While Android is completely open-source, Apple’s source code is hidden. Since iOS is a closed system, security threats are pretty rare. Plus, Apple blocks all third-party apps, so malware is harder to install.
Android, on the other hand, lags at the back in security. Even though Google releases security updates each month, device manufacturers tend to push updates a bit late. As a result, a lot of Android devices run a slightly-outdated version of the OS. In the event of a major security update, this lag can be a large security issue.
To make matters poorer, hackers tend to target Android devices. Since Android has a much bigger global market share, attacks scale better.
In spite of the clear iOS advantage, both operating systems are pretty secure.
IOS vs. Android Development: The Process
App development isn’t only just about the OS; it’s about how you use it. Depending upon which OS you make for first, your app development process could look radically diverse. Consider how your decision will crash the final result.
Programming languages don’t forever impact the final app, but they do impact what your developer can do for you. Unless you want to hire separate developers for iOS and Android, build sure your app development team is well-versed in the relevant programming languages.
To build up for iOS, you need to know a fair bit of Objective-C or Swift. Android, on the other hand, needs Java and Kotlin.
Swift is stylish, fast, and easy to read. Most developers choose Swift to Objective-C because it is briefer and a lot less clunky. However, Swift uses the Cocoa Touch API for UI elements, so developers who aren’t familiar with Cocoa Touch may wish Objective-C.
On the Android side of the table, you have an alike dynamic. Kotlin is newer, faster, and more concise than Java. However, Java is still a powerful tried-and-true language with a lot of life left in it. Plus, lots of android app developers are very familiar with it. As a result, Java is still tremendously popular in Android app development.
Language usually boils down to a matter of developer preference, but it’s worth noting. Since both Swift and Java are object-oriented languages, transitioning between them isn’t too hard. As a result, it may be clever to find developers who are well-versed in both iOS and Android.
iOS vs Android App Development Complexity and Timeline
IOS app development is pretty straightforward because you only have to develop for a few devices. Android developers, on the other hand, have to fret about device fragmentation.
Device fragmentation is a huge problem for Android app development. Since so many various devices run Android, not all of them are accomplished by running the latest versions. Android 10,
for example, is only available outside of beta on the Google Pixel. Some producer, such as the Chinese manufacturer Oppo, didn’t even get 2018’s Android 9 until January 2020. In truth, 11.5% of Android devices are still running Android 5.1.
As a result, building an app for Android can be difficult. Even if they make an app compatible with Android 7, a whopping 42.1% of users get left out.
However, iOS app development has its own hurdles because apps require much more vigorous maintenance. If your app isn’t upgraded to the latest version within nine or so months of its release, Apple will remove it from the app store. Plus, iPhones become obsolete much more rapidly. That means iOS apps have a shorter ledge life.
Yet, these issues don’t outweigh Android’s device fragmentation. All things considered, Android still takes longer to build.
While Xcode is free, delivering your application on iOS isn’t. Developers ought to pay a $99 annual developer fee for access to the SDK and app store. That number looks high, but it makes sense. Since iOS is a closed platform, Apple employees need to examine every app for errors, security risks, design mistakes, and rule violations before release. That process typically takes anywhere from a day to a week.
Android, on the other hand, is open-source. It means Android app developers can access the Android source code and SDK are available for free, so developers can distribute their apps outside of the official Google Play store. As a result, publishing to the Google Play store is much simpler. After paying a one-time registration fee of $25, your app will be available to download in just a few hours.
In spite of the differing review stages, both the Google Play store and the Apple App Store offer developers a staggered release. In the Google Play store, the developer sets a percentage of users who get an update. However, the App Store’s phase release is driven by time. The percentage of users that obtain an update depends upon the day.
Both the app development process and the capabilities of the platform are extremely significant for making your decision, but they aren’t the only factor to consider. Remember: your app is a product, so don’t develop an Android app for iOS users. Think about your target audience.
IOS vs Android App Development: the Verdict
Eventually, the better OS depends on your application. No written guide can hit a professional consultation, so reach out online to chat about your application.
However, native apps aren’t always the finest solution-especially if all this talk of “iOS vs. Android app development” seems confusing. If your app doesn’t require being super close to the hardware, a cross-platform solution may be the right move. Cross-platform apps are making in a cross-platform framework that “translates” the code into native iOS and Android. Of course, cross-platform solutions can’t always restore truly native ones, but they remain a valuable tool to consider.
Numerically talking, Android wins 10 categories and iOS wins 8 categories, but iOS wins in some of the more significant categories — we don’t think rooting or other app stores are as important for most people as accessibility or security, for instance. It’s very difficult to compare the two. Since Apple controls the hardware and the software, you’ll discover that iOS provides a more uniform experience across devices.
A straight evaluation of the latest versions of Android and iOS wouldn’t be the very envoy of most people’s experience, because many Android devices aren’t running the latest version. The experience you get is additionally complicated by the fact that most Android smartphone manufacturers add their own user interface on top of Google’s stock Android. As a result, there’s pretty a big difference between using Google’s Pixel 4, the Samsung Galaxy S10, and the Huawei P30 Pro, for example.
If you do choose to go with an Android device, make sure you do a small research and look at the version of Android it runs, the manufacturer’s skin on top, and the manufacturer’s record for software updates.
Ultimately, diverse categories will be significant to different people, so you should pay attention to the ones that count for you and make your decision based on that. If security and privacy are a vital factor, then the iPhone is the obvious choice. If battery life tops your record and you want to be clever to customize your phone, then choose Android. Both Android and iOS are older, feature-packed platforms with far more similarities than differences, and we can heartily recommend either.
Experienced Digital Marketing professional with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Landing Page Optimization, Adwords, Search Engine Marketing, HTML, CSS, WordPress, and Social Media Optimization (SMO). Now working with DeveloperOnRent a fast growing IT outsourcing Company