Should I build an app for Android or iOS?
At Appy Monkey, we are frequently asked whether it’s better to have an app created for the Android or iOS operating systems. If you are considering building an app for your business, there are several things you need to consider before you decide between Android and iOS. The things you need to think carefully about include the features that you want, your budget, how quickly you need the app to hit the market and the requirements of your audience. Of course, it is possible to offer apps for both platforms, but this can be very costly.
In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of each option so you can decide whether iOS or Android is right for your specific needs. Let’s take a look at the most important factors to consider right now.
1. Features and security
The iOS platform is widely regarded as much more secure than Android. If the app will be used to take payments or source other sensitive information from customers, you may wish to consider opting for iOS. Android is renowned for its flexibility due to the way that it is an open-source platform. This means there are infinite customisation opportunities and it’s perfectly possible to include the exact features your audience are seeking.
Far more iOS users have upgraded to the latest version of the Apple operating system. You also need to ensure that the app works and displays effectively on as many devices as possible. There is a diverse range of devices running the two systems, and this means there is also a wealth of screen sizes to cater for. One negative aspect of Android is that it can be very vulnerable to attacks. You also need to think carefully about operating systems, as many people are still using older versions of Android. It’s wise to avoid developing an app for a version of Android few people have upgraded to. Many Android users are still using versions of the platform that have been around for several years in spite of the various subsequent refreshes.
2. Your spending power
The size of your business can also determine whether iOS or Android is right for you. Some developers choose to create apps for iOS first then build one for Android. You can cut costs by almost half by creating an app for iOS instead of Android. One of the reasons for this is that it is easier to write in Apple’s coding language, Swift. Android’s language, Java, requires considerably more writing. However, Android is cheaper in other areas. You only need to pay a one-off fee to Android to publish your app, but you will need to pay a much higher annual cost if you are an individual developer and even more if you are a company.
3. Your audience
Some countries have a huge amount of iOS users, whilst Android is significantly more popular in other territories. If you wish to focus on users in places like Asia, Africa and South America, it makes more sense to focus on Android. However, it may be more beneficial to build an app for iOS if you are trying to appeal to users in North America or Western Europe. Maybe you wish to focus on an international audience? Then Android might best for you. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t rule out iOS if your app is based on enterprise or e-commerce, regardless of the area you are targeting. Although location is important, this shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Budget is an incredibly important consideration.
You also need to think about whether your audience will want to spend money when using your app. You may wish to include in-app purchases whether your app is free to download and use or not. Statistics claim that iPhone users tend to earn around considerably more than Android device owners.
What is the age of your target audience? If you are not targeting users from a specific age group or people on high incomes but are aiming for a global audience, Android may be the best solution. The younger your audience is, the more time they will spend using their devices. It’s said that a large number of people in their late teens and adolescence years use their devices for seven hours per day. This age group is also more likely to make in-app purchases. Older users are more likely to pay for the app itself but less likely to make purchases once they have paid for the app itself.
4. Your timeframe
Developers often need to experiment with a wide range of ideas to get the right results. Android is open source, whereas iOS is not, which means it can take longer to develop an app for the former. You need to create a timeline before you make your final decision on operating platforms and must decide how quickly you need your app to hit the market. Maybe it needs to coincide with a specific event? Perhaps you have no particular deadline in mind? As you would, expect the more time it takes to get your app developed, the more it will cost you.
If you are working with a developer, they may need a considerable amount of time to closely identify your needs and come up with the right solution. Your developer will need to think about different devices and components and more if you opt for Android. Although Apple doesn’t have as many features, the lower number of devices and platforms means it can take much less time to build an app for their system.
5. Your release cycles
Releasing a new version of your app can be a much more arduous process when you create a product for Android. You may need to spend considerable time and money on making sure your app is still compatible with Android if you opt for this platform, but updating your app regularly is a must if it is to be a long-term success. As there are so many different partnered devices to consider with Android, many companies decide to choose iOS.
6. Other platforms
If your app becomes popular on one platform, you may consider adding it to another one. However, some people opt to release versions of their apps for different platforms from the outset. Cross-platform design has made it easier to create apps for various different systems at the same time, although this can be expensive. Nonetheless, it can work out cheaper than building for one system then another further down the line. Which approach is right for you will depend on your specific needs and circumstances as well as your budget.
Whether Android or iOS is right for you really does depend on your own requirements, budget and circumstances. What’s right for one company could be totally completely wrong for another. You should opt for the solution which is best for your budget, enables you to get the right features to your target audience and delivers the finest user experience. You could even opt for a cross-platform build if you can cover the cost comfortably and there is little financial risk involved. Just make sure you opt for an app developer that has vast experience in creating apps for the platform you have chosen.
At Appy Monkey, we specialise in creating stunning apps for iOS and Android devices. If you need help bringing a great app idea to life, we are waiting to hear from you. To get in touch today, simply give us a call on +44 02080 586878 or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are waiting to hear from you right now.
If you would like explore how Appy Monkey can help you with your app then get in contact.