One of the biggest rivalries nowadays is the debate as to what mobile phone platform is better, Android Vs iOS. As each platform looks to provide the fastest, smoothest method for its features we feel it’s about time we did an official Android vs iOS comparison for the features they both offer and the benefits to your business when thinking of developing for them.
Apple Pay and Android Pay
Both services are available in the UK. Gone are the days when you have to carry a wallet everywhere. It’s amazing to think that you can pay for everyday goods with just your phone. Both implement a similar system and use NFC to create a payment from your bank.
Both Google and Apple want to lock you into their own ecosystems. Apple iCloud and Apple mail aren’t available on Android, whereas all of Googles apps are available on iOS. Google is much more focused on the cloud services and open source, hence the reason you can use their services on an Apple device. If everything you own is made by Apple, then iOS becomes really appealing.
Trying to compare all the apps against each other is no easy feat; it’s very likely that you have already got used to one set of apps and would have a hard time in switching. Hangouts vs iMessage, Gmail vs Mail, Google Maps vs Apple maps. The features are all very similar and there are no clear winners, it comes down to preference and a lot to do with what other devices you own.
A major function of the mobile experience is push notifications, we’ve spoken before about how powerful they are in a previous post, What are Push Notifications & Best Practices?. Long gone are the days of manually logging in and checking your device for new messages. When we get a new notification from an app we use, it’s displayed on the phone instantly. Both Apple and Android have a drop down notification tool, which is designed to group together notifications until you can find time to check them all.
Google Now & Siri
This one is always going to be a biased point from us, personally, we can’t stand these super-intelligent assistants. Yes, voice-controlled access to your phone is a huge feat and a technological marvel, but all to often it’s failed in recognising what is said to it. Ignoring this bias for a second, Apple iOS and most recently Mac devices use Siri, and Android uses Google Now.
There is a privacy concern when it comes to Google Now, as Google sweeps up as much data as it can to give Google Now a better idea of what information you are going to need. Siri is more secure personally, and a lot more private. Both can be used to access mobile apps, and offer users the chance to add a new dimension to their phones.
We recently posted about how we feel Windows is now a dead platform for anyone wanting to develop apps, so it leaves us with the mammoths fighting it out. “Which operating system is the best to target?”. We get asked this question a lot. So we’ll break it down a little bit.
Both have the same revenue models to target. You can go for the traditional up front payment or opt for a combination of free with ads, free with in app purchases. They all work on both platforms. However, it’s interesting to see that Android has a higher percentage of apps supported by ads where on iOS it is still the norm to pay for ads. According to App Annie iOS apps earned 70% more revenue than Android apps in Q1 of 2015.
“Android has more market share”, remember this one from earlier? Well it’s true. Android has more of the smartphone and tablet market than Apple thanks to a wider range of affordable devices. However this could be offset by the fact iOS generates nine times more average revenue per user than Android and its increasing.
Overall iOS is currently seeing higher numbers of users adopting their updates than Android meaning you know for certain that targeting a new operating system with a new feature is going to hit a large number of users.
So Now, You’re Asking Which One Should I Target?
As a general rule here we always advise our clients to target their apps for iOS. Its simply the platform that will generate them more revenues on a consistent basis, its also more cost effective to develop for as you have a very limited number of devices to optimise for in comparison to Android.
If your app is targeted at a demographic of low income or located in developing nations, then Android would be your first priority. However the costs are higher in general if you want to target a larger range of devices and if your app is dependent on getting revenue directly from the app then you need to consider your revenue model very carefully.
Targeting both is a very good approach, but of course it incurs costs. If your app is aimed at existing customers or is an enterprise solution that doesn’t require a traditional app revenue model, then it makes sense. You can target a larger section of the smartphone/tablet population by developing for both.
Both operating systems have their advantages to the end user, but if we’re honest they are pretty much the same with slight differences, the real decisions for end users come when choosing multiple devices to work with.
For development, if you want to target a traditional app revenue model then we would recommend focusing on iOS first. However, depending on your product, Android has its advantages because of the large number of affordable devices out there.
If you are interested in seeing how VOiD can help you bring your mobile application to life on either Apple or Android, or even both, then please get into contact with us.