Android vs iOS: Which App Should You Develop First


Android vs iOS apps

Android vs iOS apps

If you are looking to build a mobile application for your business, you first need to decide whether you want to develop an Android app or go for an iOS application. Even if you plan on releasing an application for both platforms eventually, working simultaneously on two apps can be extremely costly and time-consuming. 

While many architectural similarities exist between Android and iOS platforms, they have significant differences in development, design, marketing and the publishing process. Since each platform has distinct advantages when it comes to mobile app development, how does one choose the best mobile platform for their application?

In this article, we will talk through the factors you should look at when you are building a mobile application and discuss the critical differences between Android and iOS platforms. By the end of this article, you should be able to decide which platform is best suited for your business goals.

There are pros and cons when it comes to both platforms.
Before you start building your mobile application, find here main factors you need to take into account :

Target Audience

While Android and iOS are clear kings of the mobile OS market, they attract different users. For example, Android devices have the largest market share, with over 72% of people using the OS, followed by 26% of iOS users Source: [Statista ]. This means that nearly 3 out of 4 users in the world use Android devices. But on the other hand, the Apple App Store leads customer spending at a projected $85.1 Billion for 2021, nearly double that of the Google Play Store at $47.9 Billion Source: [TechCrunch ]. 

Therefore, if you want a larger audience share across the globe, you can start building your Android app first. But if you wish to target an audience that is young and likes to spend on the application, especially in the Western regions, then the iOS platform is your best bet.

App Monetization

As we stated above, while Android has a deeper market penetration, Apple users tend to spend more on their apps. If your goal is efficient app monetization, there are some key differences about the platforms you should know about. 

Firstly, it is clear that Android users are not keen on spending on their applications and often look for free alternatives, unlike their iOS counterparts. However, Android leads the way in utility applications, where iOS users tend to spend less. Moreover, if you are looking to drive revenue through ads or referral marketing, especially through games, you should note that approximately 84% of all game installs are on Google Play, with iOS significantly losing the game battle.

The final word is, if you want to monetize your application using premium models, subscriptions or in-app purchases, take the iOS route without thinking much. However, one key thing to note is that the revenue from the Google Play Store is increasing, and with the number of downloads combined, developing an Android app first can be a powerful monetization strategy for your application.

Development Requirements

Unlike popular belief, developing an app for the iOS platform is faster and cheaper when compared to Android. Many experts estimate that it takes 30-40% more time to develop an Android application. The primary reason for this additional time is the base code. While iOS applications are coded in Swift, Apple’s official programming language, Android applications are designed using Java, which involves writing more code.

Moreover, Android developers have to build different versions of the same applications to accommodate different devices and operating systems. Developers have to account for more devices, components and software fragmentation for every application they create. However, Apple developers follow a more standardized approach, developing an app for only a few standardized devices and Os’.

These problems also replicate into development costs, which makes developing Android applications expensive than their iOS equivalent. Android developers required additional resources to adapt to multiple screen sizes, devices and operating systems. A key thing to note here is that while the difference might be negligible in minimal applications, it can be significant when you offer extensive features.

The Publishing Process

Another key difference in the Android vs iOS debate is the application publishing process in the respective app stores. It is no secret that the Apple App Store is way stricter and has a more comprehensive review process than the Google App Store.

In the Google Play Store, you can follow a simple process to upload the binary (.apk) file and then follow the steps on the Google Console to start the review process. Once all criteria have been met, and details have been shared by the publisher, it can take a few hours before your application is published on the Play Store. Google is more developer-friendly while reviewing the applications and is not as strict during reviews, resulting in shorter review times.

The Apple App Store, on the other hand, has higher quality expectations from applications and results in a prolonged review process. With millions of applications on the store, the process to publish your application on the App Store requires thorough planning before it should be submitted. While the review process takes a few days for most applications, many users have complained of being stuck “in review” for months before they get a response from Apple. You can read more about the process to publish your app on these App stores  .

Android vs iOS: Which One To Choose

As we see above, elements such as the target audience, monetization strategy, development time & cost, and the publishing process factor in when choosing the right platform for your application. 
On the whole, you should start building your Android application first if you want your app to reach a wider audience across the globe; need to showcase additional features on the app with more customization solutions; want a fast review process on the Google Play Store, and monetize your app through ads pertaining to eyeballs.

On the other hand, you should build on the iOS platform first if you want your app to reach a group of users with higher income and spending abilities; need to build a solution with less development cost & time; offer a secure experience and want to monetize your apps through premium subscriptions and in-app purchases.

Use An App-Builder For Cross-Platform Development

What if you didn’t have to choose between the two platforms and could develop both Android and iOS applications without increasing the budget and development time? Well, you can use an app builder and execute cross-platform development in less time and cost. Using an app builder, you can bypass the traditional development process and use a hyper-productive development environment to build your own application.

At GoodBarber, you can seamlessly build your own application without writing a single line of code. We offer a plethora of built-in development, testing, debugging and deployment tools to ensure your app works perfectly, irrespectively of the platform it is used on. With over 30,000 apps published on GoodBarber, you can start building your app on the platform without any worries.