Android vs. iOS App Development, Which Platform Reigns Supreme for Your App's Success?
In recent years, we have witnessed the explosive emergence of the app phenomenon, powered by the omnipresence of smartphones and global events. The COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, boosting mobile competition, and a general overflow in customer demand for ease of access have all played a part in driving the mobile economy to new heights.
The high consumer expense bears witness to this upward trend, with mobile app users shelling out a staggering $167 billion in 2022 alone. It is no wonder that companies are grinding at the bit to tap into this highly profitable mobile market.
Android App Development
If you find yourself puzzled by the age-old debate of Android versus iOS app development, it’s time to take a deep dive into the complications of each platform, beginning with the Android operating system.
With billions of mobile devices worldwide operating on the Android OS, this universal platform travels over 190 countries, making it the largest installed base of any mobile platform in existence. To add to its charm, Android boasts a vast range of devices, each optimized for unique use cases. And, with over 2.68 million apps listed on the Google Play Store – the official Android app marketplace – the possibilities for Android app development are limitless.
While Android App Development has its fair share of advantages, it is not without its limitations. In fact, there are several cons or drawbacks that we will inquire about today.
Pros of Android App Development:
- Large User Base
With over 70% of the global market share, Android has the largest user base of any mobile operating system in the world. By developing an Android app, developers can potentially reach a much larger audience compared to other platforms, presenting an opportunity for increased user engagement and revenue generation.
Android is an open-source platform, which provides developers with a high level of flexibility in customizing the operating system to suit their needs. This customization allows developers to create unique and innovative apps that stand out from the crowd, giving them a competitive edge in the market.
3. Easy App Deployment
The app deployment process on the Google Play Store is much simpler compared to the Apple App Store, which has a strict and rigorous approval process. This makes it faster and easier for developers to get their apps published and available to users, leading to quicker time to market and revenue generation.
4. Integration with Google Services
Android devices come preloaded with many popular Google services, such as Google Maps, Gmail, and Google Drive, among others. This integration makes it easier for developers to combine these services into their apps, providing users with a seamless experience and allowing developers to create more cultivated and engaging apps.
Cons of Android App Development:
Due to Android’s open-source nature, there are thousands of different devices running various versions of the operating system, which can lead to fragmentation issues. This means that apps may not function consistently across different devices and screen sizes, requiring developers to test and optimize their apps for a broad range of hardware and software configurations.
As an open-source platform, Android is more helpless to security threats and malware attacks, which can compromise user data and harm the reputation of the app. Developers need to be extra careful and implement strong security measures to ensure their apps are protected.
App Development Cost
Developing an app for Android can be more expensive than for other platforms, as it requires designing for multiple screen sizes, hardware configurations, and operating system versions. This increases the complexity of app development and adds to the overall costs of the project.
App Store Discovery
With a vast number of apps available on the Google Play Store, it can be challenging for new apps to stand out and be discovered by users. Developers need to invest in marketing and promotions to increase their app’s visibility and make it more likely to be downloaded and used by users.
iOS App Development
iOS app development is a popular choice for developers looking to create high-quality, user-friendly apps. Although the user base may be smaller than that of Android, iOS devices are still widely used, with over 1.8 billion active iPhones in 2022. Besides, iOS app development has a smaller user base but its user base is loyal and much more friendly as compared to the Android App User base.
Pros of iOS App Development:
- High Revenue Potential
Despite having a smaller market share than Android, iOS apps have consistently generated higher revenue for developers. According to a report by Sensor Tower, in Q1 of 2022, iOS apps generated 81% more revenue than Android apps.
- High User Engagement
iOS users are known for their high engagement levels and willingness to spend money on apps. This means that if you develop a high-quality iOS app, you have a better chance of attracting and retaining engaged users.
- Secure Platform
Apple’s closed ecosystem provides a more secure platform for app development. iOS apps must go through a strict review process before being approved for the App Store, which helps to ensure that they are free of security susceptibilities and malware.
- Developer-Friendly Tools
Apple provides developers with a range of user-friendly and powerful development tools, such as Xcode and Swift, that make it easier to create high-quality and innovative apps.
Cons of iOS App Development:
⦁ Restricted Environment
Apple’s strict review process and closed ecosystem can make it more difficult for developers to combine certain third-party services or technologies into their apps.
⦁ Costs and Fees
Developing and publishing an iOS app can be more expensive than for Android due to the higher costs associated with Apple’s developer program, app submission fees, and revenue-sharing model. This can make it more difficult for smaller or independent developers to enter the market.
⦁ Smaller User Base
While iOS users are known for their high engagement and willingness to spend money on apps, the overall number of iOS users is smaller than Android.
⦁ Less Flexibility
Apple’s closed ecosystem and strict guidelines can make it more difficult for developers to quickly make changes or updates to their apps. This can slow down the development process and make it more challenging to respond to user feedback or market trends.
iOS vs Android App Development: Who Wins the Battle?
According to Statista, Android has the edge over iOS by the number of users. As of 2022, the Android operating system holds 71.8% of the market share, while iOS accounts for around 27.6% of the mobile market.
However, market supremacy isn’t the only factor that enters the equation when choosing between iOS vs. Android app development. Next, we’ll review the main differentiating factors for iOS and Android app development.
⦁ Future Prospects
The mobile app industry is on the rise, with global spending predicted to increase steadily over the coming years. Experts predict that mobile users will spend a staggering $233 billion on in-app purchases by 2026, which is a significant increase from the $132 billion spent in 2022, as reported by Sensor Tower.
The Apple App Store is expected to lead the charge, generating a projected $161 billion in revenue at an impressive annual growth rate of 13.7%. Meanwhile, Google Play will generate less profit, with an estimated revenue of $72 billion and a growth rate of around 9% by 2026. Both platforms are set to benefit from non-gaming consumer spending, indicating a promising future for the mobile app market.
When it comes to downloads, the distribution is different. Google Play will contribute 143 billion downloads, while the App Store will reach 38 billion by 2026. Therefore, you can gain from any platform, provided that your business model can help you tap into the advantages of a specific platform.
The app monetization potential also differs in iOS vs. Android development. While Android excels at market share, iOS users tend to bring in more considerable revenue. According to Sensor Tower, consumers spend more on subscription-based app downloads from the App Store than on Google Play.
The revenue from the top 100 non-game subscription apps on the App Store increased by 31% year-over-year (YOY) to $13.5 billion in 2022 from $10.3 billion. On Google marketplace, subscription apps account for $4.8 billion of revenue.
Therefore, if your main revenue stream is based on a free download with in-app purchases, iOS will give you more opportunities to make a profit. But remember that both Google and Apple charge a 30% fee for in-app purchases.
⦁ Target Audience
Crafting mobile solutions requires keeping the end-users in mind. Demographics and geography are critical factors when choosing a platform. To understand your target audience, research your existing and potential customers, identify your competitors’ app users, and create a primary target user profile.
For a global audience, Android is the go-to platform, as it dominates most countries, including emerging markets like Asia. On the other hand, if you want to target North America, Australia, and Northern Europe, Apple’s iOS is the preferred choice. In the US, iPhone users account for over 50% of all smartphones.
It’s essential to select the platform that caters to your target audience to ensure maximum reach and engagement. By considering these factors, you can create successful mobile solutions that resonate with your audience and achieve your business objectives.
- Budget and Time for Development
Choosing the right platform is crucial for successful mobile app development. While iOS and Android have similar development speeds, the complexity, compatibility goals, and features of your app can impact the timeline. Android development may take longer due to fragmentation, release cycles, and device-specific issues, resulting in higher costs for a broad range of devices. However, selecting the appropriate platform based on your budget and goals can help achieve optimal results and enhance the user experience for your target audience.
- Publishing on App Store
When it comes to getting apps approved, Google Play is known for its more forgiving review process, while the App Store prioritizes app quality and privacy, resulting in more rejections. In 2022, the App Store rejected over 875,000 new apps and 805,000 updates due to issues like undocumented features and copied software.
Despite criticisms of its review process, Apple has made improvements, with 73% of apps now reviewed within 24 hours and direct access to Apple experts via Ask Apple. However, both app stores require developers to purchase a license, with Google Play charging a one-time fee of $25, while Apple’s Developer Program costs $99 annually.
So, Which Platform to Choose Now?
To make the Android vs. iOS app development decision, it’s crucial to have a well-defined understanding of your project. The key factors that contribute to your platform decision include your app’s target audience, budget, monetization potential, and desired level of customization.
Here, Android application development is the ideal choice when:
⦁ You want to reach a wider audience;
⦁ You need a high level of design customization and unique features;
⦁ You want to speed up the app’s rollout.
You should consider iOS mobile app development when:
⦁ The majority of your target users are located in wealthier regions, like Northern Europe, North America, or Australia;
⦁ You have chosen a premium monetization model and/or plan to include in-app purchases;
⦁ You prefer a smart yet predictable design.
In any case, we recommend making this important choice with your unique project needs in mind. Moreover, it’s always much easier to start with just one platform to test the waters and collect actionable feedback to further iterate on your application.
In the fast-paced world of App Development, businesses must stay updated on the top features of app development in 2023 as this can help to grow your audience. Selecting the right App Development company is essential to ensure your project’s success. At Dcodax, our Top App Developers have a finger on the pulse of the industry, staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies to help you choose the best platform for your needs. Whether you’re looking to hire App Developers or seeking expert guidance, trust us to deliver exceptional results.