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Android vs iOS Development: Which Suits Your Needs?

The battle of which is better, Apple or android? When it comes to phones, this is a hot topic. Customers are passionate and loyal to whatever side they’re on and find themselves in the middle of plenty of debates.

Similar to phone preferences, there’s another important debate in regards to creating apps and that is Android vs. iOS development.

Figuring out which process is best for you and your business will make an impact on which side you’re on in the debate. So before you begin developing your next app, let’s take a moment to consider the advantages and disadvantages of both. 

Developing for Android 

Android development begins with picking which language you are going to use. While the most common language is Java, there are a plethora of options to choose from. There’s Kotlin, C/C++, C#, BASIC, Corona/LUA, and PhoneGap.

Learning any language can be a challenging process but it’s necessary to get your app development off the ground. While Java is the most common and supported option, it is also the most challenging to use. 

Once you’ve gotten over the hurdle of deciding your language, you’ll need to also learn Extensible Markup Language (XML) and download appropriate Integrated Development Environments (IDE). An example of an IDE is Android Studio and it compiles and runs your code. 

The Pros and Cons of Android Development 

As with any business decision, there are positives and negatives. It’s important to take each one seriously and weigh your options before getting started. 

So what exactly are the pros? 

  1. Android is dominant. Android is great for when it comes to reaching global-up-and-coming markets. It has a large reach in Asia, Africa, and Latin America meaning that your app could reach more people. 
  2. Flexible developing. Since Android is an open-source, there are more customization options available.
  3. Loyalty. The loyalty rate of Android users is between 89-91%. This is helpful during the development phase to know that there is always going to be a large audience on the platform. 

What do the cons look like? 

  1. Open-source. Just as much as this is a positive for developers, it’s also a negative. Since the source is open, it increases the security threats that your app could face. 
  2. Low revenue. If you plan on monetizing your app, be aware that Android users are less likely to pay for them. 
  3. Fragmentation. With the large number of Android devices available comes a large number of possible device and hardware combinations. This can pose as being a hurdle for developers since the Android pool is so broad. 

iOS Development 

iOS developing begins with language as well, except with iOS there isn’t a myriad of options. There’s just one and it’s the Swift Programming Language (Swift). 

Swift’s features make it easier for developers to read and write code. It allows them to retain control and is less prone to errors. The features work together to create powerful and fun language

Building an app with iOS also requires the proper IDE development tools. These tools can range from Xcode, RxSwift, and Dash.  

Xcode was created by Apple and only works with its systems. The program is great for code completion and comes with an easy to use UI creator. It is also compatible with Apple’s preferred language, Swift.  

Pros and Cons of iOS Development 

In order to make the conclusion on the best choice for your business needs, let’s make a brief list of the good and bad aspects of iOS developing. 

What are the pros? 

  1. Younger reach. iOS leads in the 18-24-year-old market share of North America, Western Europe, and Australia. 
  2. Easy and affordable. Developing for iOS is fast, easy, and cheap allowing for you to get your product to the public quickly. 
  3. Secure. There are strict rules that need to be followed when developing an app for iOS. This closed system model makes for better usability for developers and also cuts down on security threats. 

What are the cons? 

  1. Hardware requirements. It can only work with iOS compatible devices such as Macs, iPhones, and iPad.
  2. Closed system. While not completely negative, it does limit the features that are available on the devices. 
  3. Smaller Market share. iOS may lead with 18-24-year olds but its overall market share is only at 10% worldwide. 

Android vs. iOS Development

Now that we’ve closely examined each systems’ processes and their pros and cons, it’s time to really compare the two

When first developing an app, before even thinking about which language to use, you must evaluate your audience. Who are you creating this for and where are they most present? 

Are you looking to reach a more global audience? If so, Android development might be the right option. Are you looking to reach a young audience in North America? Then iOS development may be your best bet. 

Also, if you plan on creating a more local app, research the percentage of Android and iOS users in your area. For example, 68.77% of Texas residents use iPhones. Knowing this information will help you to decide which side of the android vs. iOS development debate you stand on when it comes to your business. 

After analyzing your audience, you should then figure out how to best achieve your goal. Will your vision be properly fulfilled by using a more open-sourced platform or a closed one? You should have a clear answer to this question before beginning any development. 

Finally, once you have reflected on your desired reach and goals, consider your budget. Are you looking to create something quicker and at a lower cost? Or are you willing to invest more money and time upfront to develop across multiple platforms?

Final Points

Hopefully, these pros and cons can help you develop an idea of the product strategy for your app.

It’s no secret that the more places your app is available, the more people it will reach. It’s possible and ideal to have apps available on both platforms but can be a cumbersome process. Depending on your scenario sometimes, it is best to launch on one platform first, then optimize and launch on the other second. 

In the end, there is no right or wrong answer to the android vs. iOS development debate. It’s a mere matter of preference and desired outcome, which is why a great mobile development partner will be able to help you navigate what the best strategy is for you.

Get in Touch With Us 

Jackrabbit Mobile is committed to empowering businesses through custom digital solutions. Interested in taking your business to the next level with a customized app? Contact us for a consultation on how we can help.

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We deliver value to partners through mobile strategy expertise, user-centered design, and lean methodology. Take a look around our work portfolio and drop us a line, we’d love to chat.