If you plan on developing a mobile app, you’ll have to make a difficult decision: iOS or Android? A lot of developers will choose to launch on one mobile operating system and eventually maintain apps on both platforms to ensure maximum reach.
Target Market and Revenue
If you’re planning on maximizing your reach, Android maintains 64% of the mobile market, while iOS has a 32% share of the market. Android is the platform to choose if you want the largest market reach.
Games and general apps are a great option for Android because they’re used by a larger demographic.
Professionals tend to stick to Apple products. But it’s also very interesting when you look at revenue. If your app is designed to generate revenue, you may want to consider iOS even though the company has a smaller market share.
The company Redwerk offers iOS app development and reports that Apple’s App Store generated nearly double the revenue of the Google Play store in 2018. During the third-quarter of 2019, this figure still remained the same.
The main difference? Android apps make a lot of their money from ads, while iOS users are more willing to purchase apps and make in-app purchases.
Development Pros and Cons of Each Mobile OS
Android uses Kotlin programming languages, Java and C++ to create apps. Google has released several tools to help with development, including:
- Android SDK
When developing on Android, there’s access to more features that what iOS offers due to the system being open. Developers will have to follow Google’s guidelines closely when developing apps, but this makes apps and games less buggy and more stable.
Google Play makes releasing apps faster and easier, too.
But when developing for Android, you have to deal with fragmentation (it’s good and bad), more difficult testing and higher development costs.
iOS is closed source, so you’ll be forced to only work on Apple devices. Programming languages used in iOS app development include Objective-C and Swift. Apple has also released their own suite of tools to help make development easier, including:
- iOS SDK
- Swift Playgrounds
Developing on iOS is beneficial because Apple users spend more money overall than Android users. Premium apps generate revenue faster and help absorb the costs of development. Since iOS is a closed source, it’s also easier to accommodate all of the available devices and screen sizes that Apple offers to consumers.
UI design is also easier thanks to Apple’s detailed style guide.
But developing for iOS also has its own drawbacks. Releasing on the platform is strict, so developers will need to pay close attention to review guidelines. Apple is known to reject apps that are not secure.
Security plays a key role in-app approval, and while it can be tedious to meet all guidelines, it also means that apps are more secure.
Platform restrictions are the biggest issue with iOS. Developers have more flexibility when developing on Android than they do on iOS.
The main determining factors that you need to consider when choosing iOS or Android to release your app on are:
- Revenue. Do you need to generate revenue faster? If you need faster revenue, Apple is the ideal choice.
- Education. Apple users are 37% more likely to have degrees while 80% of Android users are more likely to be high school graduates only.
- Salary. Apple users earn more money than Android users. With the high price of iPhones, it makes sense that iOS users are 67% more likely to earn over $200,000 a year compared to their Android counterparts.
If you have to choose which platform to develop apps on and need to generate revenue quickly, iOS will be the right option for you. Otherwise, it may be beneficial to develop apps for both platforms.