iOS vs Android: which should you build your mobile app for first

Maybe you’ve come up with the next Uber or Instagram, or perhaps you’ve got an idea for a mobile app that will improve the way you do business. Wherever you are on the scale, one consideration you have to take some time with is iOS vs Android – which platform do you build your app for?

You see, these two platforms are quite different and have different specifications and requirements for their native apps. In an ideal world, you should have your app on both stores. However, if you want to go native in your design, you will likely need to pick one to focus on first before the other.

How do you pick?

The key is the iOS vs Android debate is to look at your target market. Android users are quite different to iPhone and iPad users in terms of their mobile app and mobile device habits. You need to work out who you are targeting based on the following elements:

  • The tech ecosystem – Android operates on an open source platform that allows for a lot more modifications and customisations from device manufacturers and end users. People with Android smartphones generally like to be able to go in and tinker with settings. On the other hand, the iOS ecosystem is completely closed and can only be used on approved devices. If you want to provide a mobile app for this ecosystem, you have to follow their rules, but you are getting access to a very loyal user base.
  • Payment options – There are a number of ways to make money through an app and how you want to do so will inform which platform to develop for first. iOS users are far more likely to pay to download an app or pay a monthly or yearly subscription to use one. On the other hand, if you want to use in-app adverts to make money, Android is a better way to go. iPhone users are not as forgiving when it comes to being interrupted by adverts as Android users are – the stats show that they would rather have adverts than pay to download an ad-free app.
  • Market demographics – Different types of people tend to gravitate towards iOS devices versus those who prefer Android. Cost of the device also comes into it, with Android being available on a lot more lower-cost devices than iOS. Do your research on who you want to use your mobile app and what devices they are most likely to have due to their location, age and financial status.

Develop for both with Netgen

At Netgen, we prefer to use a system called React Native, which allows us to create one app that is suitable for both platforms. In many cases, this is a far more cost-effective route for both the initial development and ongoing maintenance. Get in touch today to talk about your mobile app needs.

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