Many people interested in becoming professional app developers could be wondering which one of the major mobile operating systems is better: Android or iOS.
Especially because they want to know if they should first learn to develop apps for Android devices or for iPhones. Well, each OS has its own pros and cons and depending on what you are looking for then you´ll find which one suits best to your needs.
Strictly from a buyer’s point of view, there might not be many great differences between them, mostly when many people consider that they have imitated each other so much down the years that it is almost impossible to answer which one is better.
From a developer’s point of view, however, there are a few differences to take into account since each one has kept their strengths. For practical reasons, we would like to divide them into three categories: Mobile market, Business Models, and development process.
Mobile App Market
We´ve seen before that its large market share (around 85%) is one of the main advantages of developing apps for Android. This, given the great variety of devices that have been released as a result of Android´s open source condition.
A condition that cannot be underestimated if we consider that this can increase your number of downloads and users to reach.
We must also understand that users are really loyal: The Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) did a study about mobile phone operating system consumer behavior in the US. A follow up to users for about two years has shown that the loyalty percentage is about 91% for Android and about 86% for iOS.
These figures demonstrate how users are willing to stick with a specific OS, but it also means that developers and companies need to give them reasons to stay.
Business Models for Android and iOS
When it comes to revenues and profits they have their differences too, mostly related to their users´ demographics and behavior.
iPhone is generally stronger in countries with higher incomes where users are more willing to pay for a service like in the U.S., Canada, Australia or Northern Europe, for example. Whereas Android dominates in groups with lower incomes and emerging markets like India, China or Latin America.
Being its users different in their spending habits, developers must seek for different business models, as iPhones users are more likely to pay for an app and Android users are more likely to seek a freemium service, even containing ads. Still, this should not be taken as a rule but as a behavior trend.
App Development Process
In terms of development process, we find some differences as well. Being Android not as restrictive as iOS, it only suggests you what to do to improve your app. Developers might find in this a different experience with the product they are creating.
Besides, it is easier to launch an app or an update in Google Play Store than it is in the App Store, mostly because of the approval times of the latter one.
On the other hand, developing an app for iPhone might take shorter given Android’s fragmentation. Most iPhone owners have the latest OS version so the gap between devices is not big, however, Android has really started to take action into this matter with the Project Treble and recent API level targeting.
The question about which OS is better is difficult to answer, however, developers could find in these little differences just what they need to choose between both of them. The great amount of devices running on Android is definitely something to consider, just like it is the iPhone users´ purchasing power.
So, which OS you find that suits best for your needs? Let us know in the comments below!