If you’re a budding entrepreneur looking to develop your first app, the most pressing question you will probably face is whether to build on iOS or Android. Combined, both operating systems make up virtually 100% of the total app market, although it’s worth noting that, on a global scale, Android takes a whopping 66% market share.
However, this is not the whole story. Whichever operating system you choose to build for will have its own benefits and drawbacks, with iOS often coming out on top for a wide variety of developers.
Put simply, deciding which operating system to build on will depend on what type of app you’re developing, the kind of features you want to use, the market you are targeting, and the skills that you already have. Read on to find out whether you should build an app on iOS or Android.
Android vs iOS: Why Choose?
First off, it’s worth covering why you have to choose a single operating system at all. For some, it might make sense to build for both, in order to cover all bases. However, this is rarely the case for small-scale developers. Creating a functioning app is a time-consuming and often very expensive experience.
To develop for both platforms, you will essentially have to create the same product from scratch twice, given the widely divergent software environments that iOS and Android are composed of. Many developers must pick a side, often with the hopes of developing for the other side if their initial product is a success.
What Kind of App Are You Building?
The kind of app you are building will have a significant role on which operating system you should choose. While Android is open-source, iOS exclusively uses Apple app features, which means you might be restrained if you want your app to have features not available on iOS. The implications of this are perhaps best explained by looking at the mobile gaming app industry, or more specifically real-money online casino apps, which represent billions of dollars of annual revenue.
This is a factor considered so important to customers that review sites, popular resources for online casino gaming fans, often dedicate an entire section to reviewing the best Android casinos and one for iOS casinos, to give users fast access to the casinos that suit their operating system best. This goes to show that in mobile casino gaming, as with all other apps, the OS you choose will fundamentally impact the kind of product you are able to produce.
What is Your Target Audience?
Now let’s get into the market statistics. Broadly speaking, iOS users and Android users are different demographics. You will need to understand these demographics so you know which OS is more likely to get you the users that you want. iPhone users have been shown to have more spending power than Android users, with studies showing that the former earn 40% more on average than the latter.
Apple users are also likely to spend more, with the App Store generating twice as much revenue as Google Play, despite having less than half as many downloads. Apple users are also more likely to be women and to hold a university degree. All of these are vital considerations when developing an app.
Where Would You Like to Release Your App?
Finally, the geographical market where you wish to release your app will play a hugely important role. While Android has a much larger global market share, iOS is dominant in the United States, Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Android, meanwhile, has a dominant share in emerging markets such as India, China, Brazil, and Indonesia.
Therefore, anyone wishing to target an emerging economy, or simply as broad an audience as possible, should choose Android. That is exactly what global developer giants such as Microsoft are doing right now. However, if you wish to release your app for a specific, affluent western market, then iOS might be your best bet.
Android and iOS both have their pros and cons. However, taking these factors into consideration should make your choice clear.