Whether you’re an individual who’s come up with a great idea for a new app, or you’re looking to develop an app for your business, you have plenty of decisions in front of you. One of those is whether to develop for the iOS or Android platform.

Ultimately you may end up going for both, but a lot of individuals and businesses want to start with one first, so which is the right one?

The following provides a rundown of what to know in terms of building for iOS or Android.

Open Source vs. Closed Source

One big thing to think about first and foremost is whether or not you’re okay with the fact that iOS is a closed source ecosystem. What this means in simple terms is that you’re limited to the use of Apple features only.

You may like this because even though it can be a little restrictive, it also offers stability and internal control.

Android is an open source ecosystem, so you have a plethora of functionality and feature options available to you, but also less control and security.

Charging For Downloads

There are quite a few different ways to monetize an app, and one of the easiest and most common is by charging for downloads.

If you want to do that, go with Apple development first because iOS users tend to pay for more app downloads than Android users.

If you develop for Android first and you keep your app free, you can then do things like having in-app purchases or advertisements.

However, are paid downloads a good option in general? This can be limiting when it comes to getting new users, although this is a completely separate question.

Where Are Your Users Most Likely To Be?

If you’re developing an app targeted primarily to users in the U.S., Apple development should probably be your first priority.

iOS devices dominate the market in the U.S., but in the rest of the world, this isn’t the case. Research shows that Android has the overwhelming majority of global market share, so if you’re targeting an international audience, it’s something to think about.

Regarding other Android demographics, these devices tend to be more widely used in developing nations as well as places with lower income levels. Users of iOS devices tend to have higher incomes, and they’re more likely to spend more on costs related to apps.

Does this always hold true? No, but there are trends that show this is the case generally.

Who is your target audience? Before you can decide on which platform to develop first, you need to know this because it will help you determine the type of device they’re more likely to use.

Finally, you may be wondering if it’s an option to build for both platforms at the same time, and it is, but it’s costly.

You can develop two different apps entirely, which is the most expensive option, or you could create a cross-platform app, but this may not work for very complex or feature-rich apps.


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