Mobile application development is arguably the fastest growing software industry with revenues expected to reach a whopping $77 billion dollars by 2017. Understandably, there are a plethora of developers aiming to ride this money-spinning wave. But as with any booming business, there are challenges to counter.
In case of the mobile app industry, the biggest challenge is not a daunting roadblock. It’s deciding which road to take - iOS or Android?
Apple and Google overwhelmingly dominate the industry with their iOS and Android software respectively. Android has got the numbers – more than 75% of market share, while iOS has got the money – average revenue of iOS developers is more than double of their Android counterparts. So which one do you go for? Are there some other factors to consider as well? Let’s find out.
How to select the right mobile platform for you
Language of choice
iOS application development has recently shifted to a new programming language named Swift. The general consensus is that Swift is more powerful and easier than its predecessors. The only drawback is that because the language is only a year old, it is difficult to find expert developers.
Primary language for Android application development is Java. There are variations and layers of mobile specific codes over the basic Java code, but a good Java programmer can comfortably code for Android. Just like the platform, the programming language is also for the masses.
Closed or open platform
This is the most fundamental difference between the two market leaders in mobile applications. iOS follows the typical Apple approach of a very closely controlled and monitored system. Developers are bound by platform restrictions, which can sometimes limit functionalities.
Android, on the other hand, is an open source system. Developers are free to dig as deep as they want and create their own version of the user experience. The problem is that such an open approach comes with high risk of bugs and malfunction.
Variety of devices
Apple has recently increased device size options with 3 sizes of iPhone and 2 sizes of iPad, but it’s still not a big hassle. Moreover, Swift has inbuilt support for screen size adaptation. All in all, managing the diversity of devices is fairly comfortable on iOS.
The number of devices running on Android is very large as it supports multiple device manufacturers. Along with that, the frequency of new launches of Android based mobile devices (smartphones and tablets both) is a lot more than the yearly Apple updates. Therefore, Android application development demands very high adaptability and precision.
As we discussed earlier, iOS application development is better paying than Android. One main reason for this is that most of Android apps are free while Apple users are more willing to pay. The other angle to consider is that iOS has a much bigger mobile market, so the competition is tougher as well. The chances of getting paid also depend on your ability to outdo the hundreds of similar apps on Apple’s App Store.
You must be thinking why you need to go through all this effort of deciding between these two market giants, when you can simply launch your app on both platforms simultaneously. Unless you have deep pockets or already have successful apps to your credit, we would recommend sticking to one platform to begin with.
Everything from demographics to customer psychology is different amongst Apple and Android users. The chances to striking gold with both are slim. It’s best to focus on proving your worth on one front and then moving over. Eventually, your ultimate aim should be to be successful across the board, but in the beginning, a step by step approach is always better than an all out attack.