Thinking about investing in a new mobile strategy for your business? Well, you’re about five years behind. Not only does mobile usage outpace desktop usage overall, but mobile app usage is also greater than total desktop usage.
According to the latest Nielsen report, 89% of all mobile consumption in the US is spent in apps, compared to 11% for websites
Many businesses have now shifted from focusing solely on developing a mobile responsive site to developing their own personal apps to improve their customer relations.
While most businesses agree that a mobile app offers unique value over other marketing channels, many can’t decide which OS system to prioritize. The population of the US and the world remains split between two very different OS’s: Android and iOS.
Obviously having an app over Android and iOS would be ideal, but nothing is ever that cut and dry. That’s why we’ve outlined a few considerations to take before developing an app for either iOS or Android.
Where’s Your Audience
Follow the money! What devices does your target audience interact with the most? Obviously, this should be the first determination before undertaking a process as expensive as app development.
One way to find out this information is through traditional market research and user polls. A more thorough way to access this information is using Facebook’s ‘Audience Insights.’ This feature will help you discover what devices your audience interacts with the most.
Most likely your audience will be pretty much split down the middle. This means we must get into the nitty gritty of app development to see which OS offers the functionality your app requires and the highest returns.
Apple’s hardware is fairly straightforward. There are only so many iPhone’s in existence and many of them improve upon the latest model’s hardware specifications.
In terms of the physical specifications, Apple devices typically have a better internal battery life and a higher pixelated camera. These specifications are important if your app requires a lot of processing power and a camera to interact with customers.
On the other hand, Android devices are highly fragmented, which could make development costs a little more expensive.
In terms of physical specifications, Android’s interface offers many advantages, whether your app utilizes push notifications or leverages messaging services.
You’ll need to evaluate what functionality your app seeks to offer before targeting an OS that can fully maximize that.
iOS and Android use very different SDKs and both app stores have different requirements for approval. Many developers prefer iOS because of the xCode IDE, which offers easy-to-use features for app development. Many businesses also prefer iOS because updating software is easier when it’s being run on so few different devices.
Android’s primary advantage comes from its openness. Apple’s App Store has very strict requirements of what is acceptable and generally promotes consistent firmware through its apps.
On the other hand, Android’s Play Store offers very little requirements for an app to make it to market. This it ideal for businesses looking to experiment with different firmware and SDKs to save money.
In today’s world, security and privacy are a major concern for customers. Android’s openness proves to be its achilles heel in this arena. As of late last year, only 0.7% of devices had been running Android’s latest OS, Oreo 8.0. This was compared to Apple’s iOS 11, which was installed on 59% of devices at the time of the study.
This phenomenon is obviously owed to Android’s large device fragmentation. On the flip side, Apple tightly controls its environment from the firmware apps need to comply with, as well as the latest OS specifications. iOS is generally more trusted from a security standpoint among customers and developers alike.
With all of this said, it’s important to remember that most of this comes down to cost. With stricter requirements, developing apps over iOS is typically more expensive than Android. Of course, this comes down to the app design itself and the app developer.
iOS app development in Philadelphia may be cheaper than an Android developer in New York. It’s important to shop around.
Both OS’s offer their own unique set of advantages. Regardless, developing a native app for any platform is bound to offer value for your customers in some form and increase customer retention. The choice between the two primarily comes down to your intended app’s features, costs, and what devices your audience prefers.