f5 Conditions that Validate Android First Approach to Mobile App Development
Let me state first off that this is not an iOS vs. Android article. While it is fun taking one side and argue till you are blue in the face, I feel that it all boils down to one’s idiosyncrasies (and training). Most iOS developers love everything that Apple stands for, while Android developers may hate Apple for the very reason iOS developers love it. And vice-versa.
However, as a fact, most mobile app development companies, when they are starting out an app development project, develop for iOS first. But, during the last couple of years, Android has emerged as a strong contender, and most businesses choose to build apps both for iOS and Android. The idea of ‘Android first’ is floating in the air, but some, armed with facts and logic are quick to discard it. And they have good points. But, ‘iOS first’ or ‘Android first,’ can never be set rules. You choice of platform will depend on too many other factors.
Most startups and individual developers cannot build apps for two platforms at the same time, owing to lack of finance and resource. Traditionally, it has been assumed that the developers should first build an iOS app. Here, we take a look at conditions under which it makes sense to go ‘Android first.’
# Consumer Preferences
Most businesses and developers have a niche target audience nowadays. Also, businesses and companies may target users in a particular locale. The needs of your users can dictate your choice of platform. For example, if you are building an app for US customers, you can go either for iOS or Android as both the devices are equally popular. But, if you are building an app for customers in Brazil – which has a much higher percentage of Android users – Android first is your best bet.
# Monetization Tactics
Selling paid apps on Google Play is a lot tougher then earning money through paid downloads on iTunes Store. Also, Google is okay with alternative app markets while Apple frowns on it users to download apps from other sources. If you want to sell your app in different app markets and your main stream of income is through in-app ads or in-app purchase, going Android first may be a good idea.
# Smartphone-Centric Apps
Apple continues to dominate the most lucrative tablet app markets. So, if the app that you are developing is meant for tablets, it is a good idea to stick to developing it for iOS first. However, if the target of your app is smartphone users, Android first makes sense when the majority of the targeted users have Android mobiles. This is not to say the Android tablets are not doing better than last year, but iOS still dominates this area.
# Developer Knowledge and Experience
When you are developing an app on your own, or when you want an existing in-house developer to tackle the app development process, it is best to stick to what you know. Objective-C is rather difficult to master, and if your development ability is more aligned with the technologies used for Android apps, it is best to create an app for Android first.
# Type of App
At times, app development process is not just ‘Android first’, but it is ‘Android only’. Apple iOS simply won’t open its gates to core apps. For example, the SwiftKey custom keyboard app has found its place as the default keyboard for BlackBerry, and it has been the number one paid app for Android in several countries. But, Apple simply doesn’t allow third-party apps for certain core functionalities. If you are developing such an app, or an app that could get rejected for this reasons, it is best to develop it for Android.
This is a set of conditions can validate the choice of ‘Android first.’ However, the fact remains that it is in the best interests of businesses and developers to build an app for both iOS and Android to cover most of the market.
This Post Contributed by Nilesh Talaviya, works at Cygnet Infotech – a leading Android app development company based in India. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org