There are over 300 brands of smartphones available today, but there is a constant underlying operating system. Android and iOS are crowned leaders of the fastest-growing mobile app market, which was valued at $189 billion in 2020. For Android and iOS application development companies, growth opportunities are phenomenal as more businesses plan to embrace the digital economy.
If you are a business owner and wondering which operating system you should choose for your business app, this article will answer all your questions. We hope by the end of it, you will have a clear understanding of both the platforms, their pros and cons, and their impact on your business.
When it comes to market share, Android outnumbers its competitors by a huge margin. Every seven out of 10 smartphones run on Android. It is safe to say that Android has been able to beat other competitors including iOS fair and square. The primary reason for Android’s popularity as the default OS is its open-source model. It gives smartphone-makers more freedom to innovate and customise their offerings.
Apple has a closed system, which means the iOS is not licensed to other manufacturers. This has worked well for the company in earning unflinching customer loyalty.
Your choice of OS for your app must come down to these five key factors. Let us discuss all of them in detail below:
As already discussed, Android is a clear winner in this regard. It commands nearly 42% of the smartphone market share. This numeric advantage gives you access to tap into a large audience base for your app.
As per leading app developers and industry experts, the development time for android apps is nearly 30-40% more than iOS apps. The primary reason is the coding language. Android is Java-based, which means developers have to write more lines of code. Plus, developers need to take into consideration the different screen sizes of the millions of devices running on Android. Naturally, the development time increases.
iOS is built on top of swift which, as per the top iPhone app development companies, is extremely fast and developer-friendly. Moreover, unlike the android ecosystem, iOS developers only need to cater to a limited number of screen sizes.
Android OS is the least restrictive OS and allows developers to use its maximum capabilities. Developers have more freedom to tweak and customise the app’s interface. Moreover, Android is more supportive of third-party integrations as well.
The same is not the case with iOS. Limited customisation is a tradeoff that Apple makes for more robust security and privacy. This is also the first thing that iPhone applications development companies remind business owners who want a mobile app to maximise their reach. If you are in a niche like healthcare or finance, creating an iOS app for your customers is a natural option.
Building an app is expensive, more so if you manage the entire exercise in-house. When it comes to OS, it is hard to estimate the development cost. There are lots of factors that one needs to consider to estimate app development.
However, the general rule of thumb says that the variety of Android devices and screen sizes increase development time considerably. This results in a higher development cost. One of the reasons that influence Android app development to a greater extent. While the Android IDE kit runs seamlessly across all hardware systems, the iOS apps are developed using Xcode, which strictly requires Mac devices. So, developing an iOS app will necessitate significant upfront investment in resources.
Whether you need a simple app with basic features or a highly complex enterprise-grade app, you will want the app to generate significant revenue for your business. If we analyse the app revenue data for the Android and iOS marketplace, we will find that iOS, despite its small market share, has attracted nearly 65% of the total app revenue in 2020.
This indicates that iOS users spend more inside the app than android users. Many iOS application development companies around the world further predict that this trend is going to continue in the future as well. The popularity of Apple in high0incline regions such as the US, UK, and Japan is a major reason that’s driving this trend. So, if you want your app to generate significant ROI for you, then iOS users should be your primary focus.
Now that we have discussed some of the major advantages and disadvantages of the two popular mobile OS, let’s delve deeper into what happens after you have launched the app?
Apple has stricter publishing policies. Even if your app meets all the standards, it may still reject the app. Android may not be as strict as far as its publishing guidelines are concerned. Nevertheless, the review process isn’t as prompt as Apple’s and may take longer than you expect.
But most importantly, Android charges only a one-time fee ($25) to publish your app on the Play Store. On the other hand, you need to pay Apple charges of $99 per year to retain apps on the App Store. It doesn’t matter if you have made no significant updates to your app, you will have to pay the fees annually to Apple.
Almost half of the Android devices are still running on outdated or older versions of the OS. This makes android app maintenance a tricky and time-consuming affair. Even if your app works well on the latest OS version, it may crash or encounter unexpected bugs on older versions. This will further escalate app maintenance costs.
The same is not the case with iOS. Being a closed system, most Apple devices are running on the latest version of the OS. This makes it easier for iPhone application development companies to fix bugs promptly, monitor performance and offer scheduled app maintenance effectively.
Still, confused about which platform to choose for your mobile app? Generally, top phone app development companies suggest business owners build mobile apps for iOS users first and then move onto Android users. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Especially if you are not an enterprise, cross-platform development should drive all your business app goals in a very cost-effective manner. The single code base means that you can deploy your app across all platforms and instantly take your business to the entire mobile audience.
So, if you have a limited budget and are unsure about your target audience’s OS preferences, a cross-platform approach can save you up to 40% on app development costs. Moreover, the post-release maintenance is also a fraction of the cost it takes to update and maintain native apps.
To summarise, we can say that both Android and iOS have their unique advantages. Before choosing any particular platform you must make an informed decision by considering all the pros and cons. Some iPhone application development companies also offer free cost estimates. Try to get in touch with them and discuss all your needs and expectations.