Though the iOS platform has always been more profitable for developers overall, the iOS app approval process is much more strenuous than Android’s and does not necessarily provide access to a larger audience or more flexibility in design.
There are a few more apps available on the Android platform than there are on iOS, but not as many as one might think. The total number of Android apps currently available stands at around 1.3 million, while there are about 1.2 million iOS apps available for download.
But don’t be fooled. These impressive figures mask the fact that a large portion of the apps on both platforms is of very low quality or usefulness. Even though Apple is reputed to have stricter app guidelines, this does not necessarily mean that there are more “bogus” apps available through Android.
Moreover, it would not be easy to compare the platforms given the difficulty both of collecting a representative sample and of determining if an app is in fact “bogus.”
So, when deciding whether or not to develop for one platform or both, it almost certainly pays to do a bit of research. Some of the questions to consider are outlined below.
Historically, Apple iOS apps have been more valuable to developers. Let’s take a look at some factors driving this tendency. From the developer’s standpoint, it is often best to compare similar apps and their profitability on respective platforms instead of comparing the total value of each platform.
With a quick glance at apps that perform the same function on both Android and iOS, it is possible to measure the difference in their download figures and thereby find out which platform is worth developing for. This may need to be done on a case-by-case basis, or at least by category, when deciding which platform to release an app on.
Developers would do well to take a look at their apps and try to determine the category it fits into in order to find some data for other relevant apps, including the number of downloads, the projected advertising revenue, and the price.
Development Environment, Configuration, Language, and Publishing
Even though Apple does have higher standards when it comes to app design, iOS is in fact considerably easier to develop for. When choosing between platforms, many developers cite the ease of using Xcode, Apple’s app-making interface, according to TechCrunch.
Conversely, Android’s current development tool is currently an unwieldy piece of software named Eclipse: the potentially better development software, Android Studio, is still in beta, which means that users may still encounter a few bugs.
Regarding app configuration, while Android has much more elegant app permissions, iOS’s Xcode contains a long list of build settings guaranteed to frustrate any developer.
Programming language is often a matter of personal preference, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both Java (Android) and Objective C (iOS).
The latter recently underwent a major upgrade and was renamed Swift, a hybrid language taking the best features from several modern programming languages.
It is important to remember that publishing an Android app rather than an iOS app usually takes a lot less effort, as signing an app for the former is easy via a simple Eclipse wizard, whilst an app for the latter requires a lot of complicated certificates and distribution profiles.
Android’s Major Update
According to TechRadar, Android 5.0 will be launched on November 3. With 5,000 new APIs and a UI overhaul dubbed Material Design, the new interface will also make its new features available to third party developers in order to unify the platform’s appearance across the entire mobile experience.
Apple’s Major Update
Apple’s latest update to iOS 8 proved to be a bit underwhelming in that it only brought together all the features introduced in the last few versions of iOS. All in all, developers paid far more attention to the introduction of the Swift programming language in June.
Pros and cons aside, the audience for an app should be the main priority when choosing which platform to develop for.
Apple is usually viewed by start-ups as the ideal platform to design for due to its larger and more affluent customer base. But, if a developer wishes to target a lower-income demographic, or simply a population which tends to use Android, then this platform should most definitely be his or her priority.
Either way, AppMakr will be able to provide you with all you need to publish on both platforms, Android and iOS.
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