Have a great app idea? The next question that’ll come into your mind is ‘which platform/OS to build it for at first’. The idea to build it for every platform that exists is very provocative. But making it possible is not a piece of cake. Developing an app for a platform takes up lots of time, money and attention. So doing it simultaneously for multiple platforms may even result in failure.
Hence, for every application development company’s common strategy is to – build on one platform first, test it, get feedback, make iterations and then build on the other.
The Key points to Consider
The first thing to consider is in which region the app will be used. If the app is being developed for the United States or Europe, iOS should be the chosen one.
Once the region has been fixed, the age of target users also should be taken into account while developing an app. In Asia, the young generation tends to use android phones more because of them being cheaper. The business holders usually use iOS, Blackberry and Windows phones. But recently the last two are losing their market share significantly. So one should choose between Android and iOS.
The cost of a mobile app depends on the features of the project. The larger and more complex a project is, the more it is going to cost. If the app being developed is aiming to cover a large number of devices and OS versions on Android, it will require more time and resources. So it will cost more. If the scope is similar to supporting an equal number of devices and OS versions on iOS and Android, the cost will be similar. So the cost really comes down to features, not the kind of platform we are using.
Altogether there are only 25-30 different types of iOS mobile device. But for Android, there is a huge number of hardware variants to take into account. Developers face this challenge both in device level and in component level. Again, there’s greater fragmentation at the software level. Without any special consideration, an Android app can take two times longer to develop than an iOS app.
While choosing the developing platform, the revenue model is to be taken into account as an important factor. Usually, Android users download free apps whereas iOS users pay for most apps. So for Android, an advertising-based revenue model makes sense.
The iOS platform is rather restrictive with their developer guidelines. So Android is the first choice of the developers when it comes to releasing process. The release cycle is much longer for iOS than it is for Android. The App Store reviews all the app very carefully before launching it in the store. The review takes up a considerable time. If the app doesn’t pass then it has to be submitted again for another review after making the correction.
In summary, we have to consider the following key points to decide whether it is Android or iOS:
The winner is iOS if-
- The target market consists of more dedicated users
- The revenue model is driven by paid app downloads
- Cost of development is a considerable factor
- If you’re focusing on developing the app for the latest version
The winner is Android if-
- The app being developed is targeted more to emerging markets
- The revenue model is advertisement-based
- Cost of development is not an issue
- If you’re focusing on developing the app covering most of the user needs
When to Start With Both Platforms?
For the well-established companies having lots of manpower and resources, it’s okay to start working on both platforms simultaneously. But the wisest decision would be developing the app perfectly for one platform, observing the market data and in case of hitting critical mass on one platform, moving it to the next platform to increase your total user base size.
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