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Should You Develop for Android, IOS or Both?

Android Developer

Consumers are still engaged in the mobile device platform war even though it seems to have slowed among developers and hardware manufacturers. This ongoing war has to be considered by the Android and iOS developer who must decide whether to develop for one platform or both. And in those cases where both will be addressed, the developer has to decide which one comes first.

So here's the question: should you develop for Android, iOS or both? For a company like iTexico, a cross-platform mobile app developer in Austin, answering the question correctly is critical to maintaining productivity and profitability. Developers need to know when the right time is to develop apps for each of the two major platforms. As with most other things in the computing world, there is no cut and dried answer that applies to every situation.

Understanding Development Goals Is Key

Long before the iOS or Android developer sits down to write that first line of code, an assessment must be made of the future app and its goals. Understanding development goals is key to knowing which platform to start with.

For example, does the developer want to be able to take advantage of open source for building, maintaining and further developing the app in question? If so, the obvious starting place is Android. Google's mobile operating system is open source itself, so it can be easily integrated with other open source solutions to provide maximum functionality.

Other goals that have to be considered include:
  • User Revenue – If the primary purpose of the app is to drive revenue by way of end-user purchases, iOS is the better place to start. Sales data show that iOS users are more likely to spend money on apps than their Android counterparts are. They are also more liable to engage in-app purchases as well.

  • Ad Revenue – It may be that the app developer prefers generating revenues through ads rather than app purchases. That goal would make Android the preferred platform to start with, as data shows a far greater volume of ad revenue on the Android platform thanks to Google's dominance in the ad sharing space.

  • Development Costs – How much a customer has to spend on app development is a critical factor. Because Android apps can take 2 to 3 times longer to develop, they are also more expensive in terms of upfront investment.

  • Approval and Updates – It is well known that iOS apps must go through a long and extensive approval process while Android apps often require little to no approval. The same applies to updates. If a developer is looking for a speedy launch upon the completion of development, Android is the clear choice.

  • App Use – Lastly, developers need to give plenty of thought as to how the app will be used in the real world. For example, a retail app that will be used mainly for POS is better suited to the iOS platform due to Apple dominating the tablet market. A map-based app is usually better in Android.

Every cross-platform mobile app developer has to deal with the question of where to start. While it might not necessarily be a question that is easy to answer in every case, most developers eventually get to the point of considering both platforms down the road. Deciding where to start is a matter of understanding the goals of the app and how to best achieve these goals through one platform or the other. Once an app has proven itself on the primary platform, the developer can move on to the secondary one.

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