Android vs. iOS: for which of these platforms you should develop a mobile app first

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Launching a native app to grow your business: that’s what you’re going to do next.

You know it will be effective by helping you to put that product/service that you’re selling under the right spotlight. But, you also know that it will be efficient only if you develop it for the platform that suits best your business interests.

So, here it comes your first dilemma: Android or iOS? For which of these platforms should you develop a mobile app first?

This article is aimed to help you have an overview on the pros, cons, and the tech and non-tech challenges of each of these platforms.

  • mobile app development market;
  • top questions to define your business needs;
  • about Android app development;
  • about iOS app development;
  • Android vs. iOS: a comparative analysis;
  • outsourcing vs. in-house development;

An overview of the mobile app development market

98% of the global market share for OS is represented by Android and iOS, Android owning a large part.

The latest market’s analysis estimates that by 2021 Android’s market share will reach 85,5% and 87,4 % in 2023, while iOS ’s market share will reach 14,5% in 2021 and 12,6% in 2023. Android’s dominance is obvious, and, at least for now, nothing announces a significant change in these numbers.

However, market domination is not the only thing you must look at when you plan to develop a mobile app.

Quiz your business needs first!

  • Who is your audience? (country/region, age, degrees, etc.)
  • How much time can you invest in this mobile app development?
  • What is the budget you are willing to invest in building this app?
  • How much time are you willing to wait before getting the app to the Store?
  • For how many devices (with different screen sizes) do you expect to make your app available?
  • High amounts of users, or fewer users with more engagement? At what results are you going to look?
  • Your app will be pay-to-download, or you intend to use other strategies for monetizing it?
  • Higher security or more flexibility for extended features? What comes first for your business?
  • What is the budget you are willing to invest in maintaining the app?
  • Do you have enough resources available to invest in mobile app development?
  • If NOT – are you taking into account outsourcing the project?

Get a closer look at Android app development!

Technical Description

Operates as: an open-source ecosystem

Development language: Java, Kotlin

Voice Command: Google Assistant

Speed: fast download

Development’s difficulty level: High

Security level: Average

Fragmentation: high fragmentation (there are hundreds of devices – different screen sizes and OS version – that use Android)

Release: fast publishing on Google Play

If you’re looking for great exposure to a broad global audience (including in Asia, Africa, and Latin America) for your mobile app, Android is the right answer for you. It may be important to know that Android is preferred by technical users and also by more men than women.

Another interesting clue from the audience perspective is the fact that (according to a study), Android users are less interested in adopting new operating systems – 50% of Android users run an OS for more than 2 years.

What makes Android so great is being more flexible when it comes to the features and functions (allowing you to respond better to your audience’s needs and expectations).

But all the advantages come with a cost. Time costs: usually, developing an Android mobile app takes longer than an iOS project. Financial costs: having a high-level fragmentation (for hundreds of devices ) developing an Android app costs more.

Check out our portfolio to see some Android Apps examples

See portfolio

What about iOS? What makes it so valuable?

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION

Operates as: closed source (with open-source components)

Development language: Swift or Objective-C

Voice Command: Siri

Speed: faster than Android

Development’s difficulty level: Average

Security level: Higher than Android

Fragmentation: lower than Android (there are about 20 different types of Apple mobile devices)

Release: faster than Android but hard adoption in Apple store (standardized Apple rules)

If we made a portrait of the general iOS user, we would say that:

is a woman, young (18-24 y.o.), lives in Western Europe, Australia, or North America, has or aspires to higher education degrees (than Android user), earns 40% more than the average Android user, and, above all, this user is more willing to spend on apps and shop online using apps.

As you can see, even if iOS apps reach a significantly smaller slice of the market (than Android), the users’ engagement level seems to compensate for it greatly.

Also, for iOS apps, the development process will be faster and less expensive while providing a more secure experience (especially from the Data Privacy point of view).

Beyond this bright side, some disadvantages come along with the development. For instance, the Apple App Store has pretty rigid rules when it comes to publishing a new app. High quality is expected, and, also, the review process takes far longer than the one for the Android apps, And, at the end of the process, there still may be some risks of your app being rejected if it doesn’t meet Apple’s standards.

Check out our portfolio to see some iOS Apps examples

See portfolio

Android vs iOS: a comparative analysis

Android iOS
Audience & Market Market share Great Small
Users’ engagement Low High
Updates Slow adopters Active adopters
In-app purchase Low High
Pay-to-download Low interest High interest
Monetization Better with ads Better with subscriptions, freemium models, or in-app-purchases
Timeline For developing 30%-40% longer process than iOS Resonable
App store acceptance time Fast publishing on Google Play Hard adoption in Apple store (standardized Apple rules)
Development Operate as Open-source Closed source – with open-source resources
Development language Java, Kotlin Swift and Objective-C
Development complexity High Middle
Customization Flexibility in adding features and functions Limited flexibility
Security Low High
Fragmentation High fragmentation (there are hundreds of devices – different screen sizes and OS version – that use Android) Lower than Android (there are about 20 different types of Apple mobile devices)
Social media integration Not as easy as on iOS Easy to post and share updates
Costs Development Higher than for iOS Less expensive than Android
Maintenance Middle Middle

Is outsourcing the app development the right solution for you?

Dedicated Team Model is the approach based on bringing together business analysis, project management, and skilled external employees’ absorption. By taking over an entire project, a dedicated team will cover all the needs and risks that can occur on a project: from setups operations to project management and team’s architecture and functionality.

How it works

Debriefing

client’s specific needs on the project

Defining

the team architecture and the project’s estimations (time, budget, etc.)

Staging

project’s evolution

Developing

project stage by stage

Managing

the project

Reporting

and communicating results to the client

Services covered by a Dedicated Team (for software outsourcing):

  • high-level management
  • project management
  • task management
  • activities and processes supervision
  • project stages and workflow development
  • team architecture
  • logistic management
  • recruiting/selecting/integrating professionals in the project team

The dedicated team pricing system is simple and allows easy estimation. Based on an hourly rate, the client pays monthly bills according to the team size and structure.

Main costs a client has to take into account for working with dedicated team are:

  • Hourly rate according to the team structure
  • Travel expenses (if applicable)
  • Management & communication for the project

Costs like…

  • professionals’ salaries
  • associated hiring taxes
  • logistic investments
  • benefits, taxes
  • recruiting investments

…are supported by the company that provides the dedicated team.

Looking for a professional team for your next software development project?

Count on our 127 skilled developers to turn your ideas into functional solutions.

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