Android Apps vs. iOS Apps

Android Apps vs. iOS Apps

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It’s clear that both Android and iOS are doing extremely well compared to other mobile operating systems, but the real distinction always lies in the figures.

In the second quarter of 2013, the app Annie Market Index showed that Android was leading iOS by almost 10% in the total number of applications that were downloaded. While this is a promising metric, it doesn’t quite paint the whole picture if we don’t introduce the aspect of revenue gained.

In terms of revenue, the Apps Store did significantly better than Google Play by pulling in as much as 2.3 times the revenue that Play Store received.

However, many people find this contradictory and even confusing since the total number of Android smartphones shipped around the globe greatly exceed Apple’s iPhones. In fact, Garner, a research firm, estimates that 79% of all handsets that were sold between April and June 2013 were running the Android OS.

When it comes to apps, both Android and iOS boast huge numbers exceeding 800,000. However, some people are noticing a trend in app development from these two mobile operating systems.

Many of the apps come out for the iOS first before the Android version gets out.

Instagram, for instance, was launched almost 18 months after the iOS version had already gained popularity.

Reasons for the Difference

1. Developer Concerns on Cost and Complexity

Developing iOS apps means that you only have to ensure that they are operational on a small range of iPhones or iPads. These are only about 8 different devices.

For Android, however, developers have to keep in mind that there are over 10,000 different devices that are running Android OS. Additionally, not all these devices are running the same version of Android, and this tends to kill many developers’ enthusiasms.

2. Concerns About Profits and Piracy

While initial costs for developing an app for all platforms may involve huge sums of money, this can often be overlooked in case the profits are attractive.

Developers tend to be slow to support Android, and the main reason is because of concerns about the money that they’ll make on a particular platform. Additionally, developers can’t ignore the fact that piracy is real, both on Android and iOS devices.

iOS still remains to be more lucrative for developers, and this can be evidenced by the way that it managed to pay out more than $10 billion to its developers.

3. Developers Are Still Inclined to Apple

Some developers tend to praise iOS and criticize Android and thus, they end up offering zero support to Android. With its vast majority of apps, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find a refined pdf editor app on iOS while most apps that we see on Android that are closer to this category are office suites only.

So, Which Should I Start With?

As we’ve seen, it is much easier for developers to come up with apps for iOS than for Android. This is because development costs are significantly lower for iOS developers since Apple doesn’t have a varied range of devices like Android.

Market and location also play an important part in helping developers to decide whether they should start with Android or with iOS. In the United States, for instance, Android would be a preferred choice.

Can Android or iOS Fail?

After witnessing what happened to Nokia and BlackBerry, it is evident that no single smartphone OS is bulletproof. One wrong turn could mean the end of its era and the start of a new one. Nokia make be on the upturn, but it has taken a long time to turn things around.

Regardless, no matter how stable and visually appealing future smartphone operating systems may be, revenue and general popularity will be key factors that determine its success or failure.


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