Saturday, June 22, 2024

Android vs iOS Development: Which Is the Best Choice for Your Custom App?

Have you come up with the next big mobile app?

Ideas are a dime a dozen. It can be hard to take the next step, but you have to choose to move forward. So the question is: how do you decide between Android vsiOS development?

According to StatCounter, Android has 75% of the global mobile phone market. If you only care about the total market share, then you have your answer.

You probably have your preference too. But there is information that can help you make the right choice.

Let’s take a look at some platform differences that will help you decide.

Who Will Be Your Audience?

We mentioned in the introduction that Android controls 75% of the global market. But what if your target is only the United States?

iPhone users are much more common in Western markets. Here are some characteristics of iPhone users you may find interesting:

  • iPhone users have more graduate degrees.
  • More iPhone users have an income of more than $125,000.
  • More iPhone users have professional jobs.
  • iPhone users spend more time on their device and are more engaged.
  • iPhone users make up more of the younger demographic.
  • Women are more likely to use iPhones.

There are fewer statistics on Android users, but here are a few common trends:

  • Android users tend to have computer and technical jobs.
  • More Android users follow technology news.
  • Android is more common in newer markers like Africa and Latin America.

Consider Your Security Needs

Are you building your application for an enterprise audience?

Enterprise customers have a very different set of needs than regular users do.  You need to consider the security model of each option to find the best choice for them.

iOS has a closed system. Apple strictly enforces standards, and as a result, it ends up being a more secure system.  Major corporations like IBM and Salesforce partner with Apple because of this. It’s just harder to break.

Android, on the other hand, is open source. It’s much harder to control the quality of applications on the market. Even if you build your app to be secure, you can’t anticipate the security of other applications and how they could affect the phone.

Just take a look at a recent malware problem on Android from a popular app with 50 million downloads, or a camera application that steals files.

You have to ask yourself: Will my audience buy my product on a less secure device?

Figure out Your App Budget and Release Timeline

Do you know how much the average iOS or Android application costs to develop?

App development costs can vary significantly based on your program scope. Building an Android app can compound the price because of the large amount of device fragmentation. At any time there are multiple Android versions on many different phone models.

A mobile operating system gets new features with each release. With Android, however, consumers are upgrading slower.

As a result, you get a lot of users on old hardware. Older hardware may not have the latest and greatest, so you need to make sure your app works with it, and that takes both time and money.

The Apple ecosystem, on the other hand, has a seamless experience. Each device has a consistent UI that won’t change. It takes out a lot of the testing to make sure different devices look and perform the same.

There is no standard UI on Android that will give your application this benefit. It’s up to you to make sure each device is seamless.

Not having a standard does give you more freedom, though. You aren’t restricted with your choices and can add features that may not be as easily done on iOS.

How Will You Monetize Your App?

There are four primary forms of monetization for an app:

  • Paid one-time downloads
  • Monthly or yearly subscription services
  • In-app purchases
  • Display Ads

If your goal is to monetize your custom application with a paid download or in-app purchases, then you may be better off building an iOS app. iOS users spend twice as much money on applications compared to Android users.

If your monetization strategy is ad revenue, however, an Android app may be a better bet. While iOS users will spend more, Android sees double the download numbers than Apple sees in its app store. Free applications make up more of Google’s store, so it has far more ad-driven apps.

What About App Store Fees?

Speaking of money, you also need to consider the app store fees.

Each store has fees. For Apple apps, you are looking at $99 per year, and Android will cost you a $25 one-time fee.

Both stores then take a 30% cut off any profit made through the store.

Android vsiOS Development: Final Thoughts

You have a lot of information to consider here. Keep in mind the most important takeaways:

  • Figure out exactly who you want to download your app.
  • Determine how much money you can spend and how soon you want to release your product.
  • Decide if you need to be on a more secure platform.
  • Figure out how you want to monetize your product.

There is no clear winner here. It all depends on what you need for your product. Figure that out, and you will have your answer.

What do you think the right choice is in the Android vsiOS development debate? Let us know below what you think.


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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.

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