5 questions to consider before choosing an app platform
If you have an idea for an app, the first significant consideration is which app platform to use.
Both Android and iOS have positive growth potential, so there’s no need to be concerned about the platform’s longevity, but there are a few factors to consider, including app performance, budget, audience reach, and platform security.
1. Who is Your Target Audience?
Statistics show that people’s demographics, behaviors, and personalities play a role in their tech choices, so it’s important to consider who you envision using your app before choosing a platform.
- Individuals who work in the tech and medical fields are more likely to use an Android device, while business professionals are more likely to use an iOS device.
- iPhone users tend to have higher levels of education and more income than Android users. (This income disparity makes sense when you consider the devices’ costs; an Apple device costs roughly five times that of an Android device, making it less affordable.)
- Early tech adopters and so-called "power users" tend to have iPhones.
- More men tend to use Android devices.
- Android users tend to be over-represented in hard liquor drinkers.
So, if you are developing an app related to finance, it would be best to select the iOS platform for development, but if a liquor review app is your focus, Android would be best. If selling in-app purchases are integral to your app, developing for iOS is a better choice, as the more affluent iPhone user is more likely to make those in-app purchases.
2. Where is Your Target Audience Located?
The location of your target audience matters. Most iOS users are in Japan, Western Europe, Australia, and North America, while Android users are heavily concentrated in Latin America and Africa.
If you are developing an app targeted toward an audience in Australia, such as an app that supports backpackers in the outback, your best bet will be to go with an iOS app because more Australians have iPhones. However, if your app is meant more for a Latin American audience, such as food delivery in El Salvador, it makes sense to develop your app on the Android platform since more of your users have access to that technology.
3. What is Your Budget?
Android apps can be developed on practically any device, while iOS apps must be developed on more expensive Apple devices. Financially, it makes more sense to start programming on the Android platform. Once you make a profit from your Android app, you can always invest in an Apple device and start creating the iOS version of your app.
Android has lower fees for selling your app. Android charges a one-time fee of $25, while Apple requires a yearly $99 fee.
4. How Much Time Do You Have?
Because iOS relies on Swift, the Apple programming language, and there isn’t as much customization available, the time you need to invest in developing an iOS app is often less than the amount you’d need to invest in an Android app.
In addition to allowing less customization, Swift is standardized, which means you can spend less time testing for bugs and refining the user interface and user experience as a whole, saving you more time. Often Android apps require more time for testing and quality control.
In addition, while it is easier to get your app approved and available on the Android marketplace, Apple approves apps much faster.
5. Does Uniqueness or Security Matter More?
Android is open-source, which means there’s more opportunity for customization and flexibility than the iOS platform. So if you are trying to develop something completely new or have a strong vision of what you want the app to look like, Android is the better platform for your app.
Unfortunately, because Android is open-source, it is more vulnerable to cyberattacks than iOS apps. However, if your app deals with sensitive information such as finances, iOS offers more security for your users.
Choose One Platform to Start
The good news is you are not limited to one app platform forever. Once you have had success with your app on one platform and have worked out the bugs, you can easily start programming the same app on the other platform. However, avoid developing an app on both platforms at once since working out the bugs simultaneously will slow down your app release.
Chloe Kirby is a writer and digital marketing professional. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and her Master’s Degree at Goldsmiths University in London, England. Chloe has professional experience in e-commerce, digital marketing, copywriting, and is interested in Android app development. For the last year she has been working in New York City.