One of the first things our clients ask us before we start the process of bringing their idea to life is which mobile platform should they focus on first?
It is with no question that they will eventually have to exist in both IOS and Android but it is very important to understand why the answer to that question can vary depending on circumstance.
99.99% of the time, we have found that the answer for our clients is IOS.
In this post, we’ll go through the different elements that you need to consider when deciding whether to develop IOS or Android as your first mobile platform.
By now, you have probably came up the perfect description of your user. You have done your market research, read all the articles, and spent countless hours identifying the needs, pain points, and benefits that you can bring to your user with your mobile product.
But more importantly, where is your user located?
Since the popularity between platforms is different from one country to the other, it is crucial to know exactly where the highest point of impact needs to be.
According to AndroidPub, Android has more market share in developing nations like Asia and Africa while IOS leads the market in developed country like US, Australia, Europe, etc.
A competitive advantage in building your app in one platform over the other is another one of the factors to be considered.
Since Android as an operating system is open source, your application might require special libraries that allow for more control over the operating system and other underlying components that may not be available on IOS.
How about bringing Android users a unique experience?
Shifty Jelly is an example of a company that found their competitive advantage by developing on Android after finding a gap in the synchronicity of major features between platforms.
Usually, IOS releases new systems and libraries that perform certain features, Android follows suit and vice versa. When IOS released their Podcast application that allowed users from all over the world to upload their audio shows, Shifty Jelly noticed that Android was failing to keep up.
So, what did they do?
They created their own Podcast application on Android and successfully launched one of the most popular podcasting apps to this day.
It is without a doubt that there are more Android users than IOS users around the world. However, Apple users spend much more money in the App Store than Android users in the Google Play Store. In the second quarter of 2016, the average IOS user spent almost 100% more than the average Android user.
Knowing this, it becomes clear that if in-app purchases or even your value per user are factors that are crucial in the beginning stages of your startup-you should definitely shy away from Android.
Time and cost of development
As we mentioned earlier, Android as an operating system is open source. By being open source, it opens the door to a variety of different hardware manufacturers like HTC, Google, Motorola, and Samsung. Each of these manufacturers then has the freedom to produce their devices in different shapes, sizes and more importantly-hardware.
This creates an ecosystem that is made up of hundreds of devices and is therefore the primary reason why the time and cost of development of Android is much higher than that of IOS.
Since your app could behave differently on each device, combined with the fact that Android development takes more code-the development, testing, and release cycles of Android are much longer.
What we’ve covered in this post is a very high level view of the main factors that need to be considered when deciding whether to develop your mobile application on Android or IOS.
As we mentioned earlier, we recommend all of our new clients to begin their journey by building their MVP on IOS. Not only will the development costs be lower but they reap the benefits of going into an ecosystem where people are much more likely to validate their idea through spending money on their offerings.
In the next post, we’ll explore the mindset that goes into building your minimum viable product.