Developing for iOS or developing for Android: Which is better?

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Should I choose Android or iOS for my next mobile app? This could be one of the popular questions in mobile app development industry.


Every mobile app developer — whether new or experienced will ask himself this question before beginning a new project. There are a number of factors that help you choose the right platform for your mobile app development. Some of those factors are –device type, revenue models, demographics, development speed, development cost, release cycles etc.


Before we compare iOS and Android —- and dig into deeper understanding of which is better platform, let’s have a look at the factors that play an important role in your decision.


1. Device type

When developing an app — it is important to consider the type of device, which yourusers have to interact with your app. Screen size and resolution is an important factor that you need to consider when choosing the platform. If you choose to develop for Android, screen size and resolution are important. The reason is the increasing number ofdevices with Android OS that come in different shapes and sizes. Android development is the best option, if you can overcome the obstacle of making your app work on multiple devices.


2. Demographics

Demographics tell you a lot about your targeted users. Currently, Android holds largest global platform share compared to iOS. Users of iOSare rich and a bit older compared to Android users. With a higher level of education and greater engagement, iOS users tend to spend more money on apps. Though Android provides the widest possible audience, you should first find out what platforms your users really prefer.


3. Revenue model

Another factor to consider when choosing mobile app platform is where the majority of target audience is. Android has greater percentage of ad-supported apps. On the contrary, iOS development platform depends predominantly on purchase. Even though iOS apps ask users to pay for app, they still earn more revenue. According to reports, iOS app developers make 70% more than android app developers.


Factors which decide you should build for iOS or Android


4. Development time

Before beginning mobile app development, it is must to consider the time to develop the app. Spending more time on app means —using more resources and waiting longer to gain returns on your investment. Remember that Android app development takes longer than iOS app development — and you need to test your app across a wide range of devices, during android development. Once you find and fix the problem, you need to test it once again on all the devices.


5. Release cycles

Android is locked down by carriers, which makes their release more difficult. Hence, the adoption of latest version is much slower than iOS. Android developers will be able to focus on supporting newest version of operating system. You can expect to reach broader audience. On the contrary, iOS developers can stop supporting older versions with iOS higher adoption rates and reduce their development cycle times.


6. App development cost

The cost of developing an app varies from platform to platform. The longer it takes to develop an app, the higher is the cost. Android apps drive lower revenues compared to iOS. The cost of developing mobile app is based on the number of hours that project may take. Mobile apps are usually divided into 3 categories – small, medium and large. Large apps usually take 6-9 months. You can calculate the cost of developing mobile app based on an average rate of $30/hour if you are outsourcing it.


Once you have understood the importance of above factors, you can decide whether to choose iOS or Android for your next mobile app development.


Now, the question is – Which is right for you: iOS or Android?

Well, to answer this question — let’s compare the features of iOS and Android, and see which platform is right for you.


iOS or Android Development?

There is a lot of difference between Android app development and iOS app development. You will have to do lot of documentation to help you out. There are different elements and options to choose from that help you before you actually dive into the process of app development.


In iOS app development, you will be using Xcode IDE with iOS SDK. Xcode supports multiple programming languages and is less prone to errors. You can use Xcode along with JavaScript or Objective-C for developing an iOS mobile app.


On the contrary, developers need to use Android Studio for developing Android app. You are going to be programming in Java using Android SDK.


Now, the question is – which is better – Xcode o0r Android Studio? Well, there is no clear consensus regarding the superiority of Xcode or Android Studio. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses.  If you want to develop for both the platforms, you have to install two IDEs and learn two different programming languages. You need to think and do some research on other factors, before committing to one.


Designing guidelines

The next important thing to compare is the designing guidelines. The designing language on iOS is completely different from that of Android, and hence is the expected interface.


iOS has a less clear design compared to Android. The designing in iOS involves negative space, transitions and large images with lot of translucent elements. iOS is little flatter and this can be seen in the way it uses cards.


Android is much precise on how it wants users to go about adopting the language. It uses material design, which means treating UI elements as they were made from physical material. This design even uses cues like shadows, animations and Z-axis to communicate how user should interact.


When it comes to design, Google has provided some clear guidelines for developers. There is more guidance on Android material design and hence, Android is considered better than iOS in terms of design.


Play Store or App Store?

In order to reach target audience, you need to publish the app in relevant stores. If you developed iOS app, you should publish it in Apple’s App Store — and if you are developed Android app, it should be published in Google’s Play Store.


To publish an Android app, you just need to sign up and upload the APK.It costs around $25 to upload on Google Play Store and that’s it. Your app will go ‘Live’ in a couple of hours.


On the contrary, you need to pay a recurring fee of $99 to publish your app on Apple’s App Store. Moreover, your app will be tested by experts of the industry — before going live. It will take a couple of days to go ‘Live’. Sometimes, the app gets rejected. However, there are plenty of reasons behind the rejection.


In short, it is easier to publish an app on Google’s Play Store than Apple’s App Store.


Which is more profitable?

Today, mobile app development is a big market — and one can earn huge profits by building a successful app. When it comes to earn profits, each platform has its own share in the market. As we all know, there are many more Android devices – which results in large number of downloads. Despite of large number of downloads — Play Store lags behind App Store.


Android allow you to reach a broader audience than iOS. However, Apple users are more loyal and engaged compared to Android. They tend to stay with Apple, rather than switching to other platforms.


According to a recent report from App Annie – App Store brings 75% more revenue compared to Play Store. The reason behind this is that Android users are much interested in free apps, while iOS users spend more on in-app purchases.


This is something you need to think about seriously, when choosing between iOS and Android. You may lose out a lot of potential revenue – if you develop only for Android. If you have two similar apps on both the platforms – you are likely to earn more from iOS.


Wrapping it up!

Whether it is iOS or Android app development, each platform has its own pros and cons. As said above, there are lots of factors that help you to decide between iOS and Android. The importance you give to each of these factors will help you decide which platform is best for you. You should think about all the aspects before making the final choice.

I hope this article help you choose between iOS and Android. If you want to share your thoughts, please comment below!

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Rahul Singh

Sr. App Developer

Rahul has been associated with the apps industry for more than 9 years now. He has seen the apps economy grow from its nascent days to a full fledged industry with its complete ecosystem as of today. His interest lies in pursuing and getting to know the best app development technologies, processes and platforms. He is truly an app enthusiast. In his free time he loves playing console games and reading history.

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