How to Choose the Right Mobile App Platform to Start with
5 minutes read
Posts 5 months ago
Choosing the right platform for your mobile app is not that hard If you’ve already run through a smooth process of validating your app idea, you probably must take one of the most important decisions when it comes to mobile app development — how to choose the right development platform? Which one of the two giant native mobile platforms is preferable to start with — iOS or Android? Or should you go for native mobile applications or cross-platform solutions? These questions might have led you here.
In this article, we are going to present you with the crucial data and tips that you need to make the best decision for your hitch.
First of all, why do you need to think hard when it comes to choosing a platform? Obviously, the reasons are related to the fact that there are some factors that one platform (over the others) will work the best for them. So let’s take a look at those decisive factors.
1. Target audience
Define your target audience is one key that helps you to choose the right platform for your app. Think of the group of people your app appeal to the most, consider their expectations and behaviours and choose a platform that likely to satisfy them.
Do some research and create your customer profile database. The first thing you may have to pay attention to is geographic criteria as platform preference does vary by region.
For example, the majority of Europeans prefer Android devices to iPhones. Americans use both, North Americans are more familiar with iOS.
In Asia, the situation varies from country to country. South America and Africa are where Android’s market share mainly comes from. Therefore, it is essential to study users’ behaviour in specific regions.
If you are focused on a global market, Android has a broader user base, therefore it gains more app downloads. This rise is attributed to the prominence of inexpensive Android devices in emerging markets like India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
From a volume standpoint, Android wins. However, iOS is the best choice to get a stable user engagement since iOS has gained a large base of loyal customers that commit to the company services. So it’s up to your goal, or the next thing that matters here which is your monetization model, as we’ll touch on below.
2. User Behaviour & Monetization Strategy
From a pure revenue standpoint, iOS make the reversal. In the chart below, in the same time period, although iOS users made fewer downloads, they spend more money on apps.
This can be partially explained by the typical users’ behaviour and the app monetization models of each platform. iOS has a higher number of paid apps and apps that are driven by in-app purchases. This model works because Apple is known for innovation and extreme quality so loyal users are always ready to pay to experience trendy design and innovative usability from the apps.
On the contrary, Android users are not willing to buy anything from the Google Play Store or make any in-app purchases. They prefer a material styled design and freemium. Therefore, Android apps have a higher volume of free advertising-based apps.
It may also be attributed to the income differences between iOS and Android users. iOS users are reported to have a higher income. Android devices are more popular in countries that credit cards — the accepted form of payment, are far less common.
Overall, while iOS users occupy a smaller downloads number, they master three key attributes that can affect profitability. So clearly define your monetization strategy can help inform which platform would be a better fit.
To sum up #1 and #2, it all comes down to looking at the market and user demographics and choosing the right platform for your business. For example, if your target user is North American, who have a high income, or you plan to monetize from in-app purchases, you likely want to go with iOS. If you’re aiming for a broader market, or plan to monetize through advertising, Android may be the better choice. If you tend to build a free app without any monetization, then you don’t need to worry about this then.
3. Submission costs
One thing that seems like do not matter much, but actually does is the submission cost. The submission cost is usually considered as an additional cost, so you may not pay attention to that, but you should. To submit an app to an app store, you will need to buy a developer account. For this Google Play asks you a disbursement of $25 and that is all you need to pay. Meanwhile, Apple is more expensive by charging a $99 subscription fee per year for a single developer account and $299 for the Enterprise Program. How about the choice of hybrid apps? Obviously, you will need to pay for every market you plan to get into.
4. Release and Approval
Android reasonably win the preference when it comes to releasing and approval processes. iOS apps are always gone through strict moderation.
One app must comply with Apple’s certain rules in order to be submitted to their market place. Otherwise, it will most likely be rejected. The approval process typically takes
between 2–3 weeks or even longer, now it just takes around 3 working days. Furthermore, updates to the app require approval as well, meaning it takes more time to get updates to users. Meanwhile, Android also have its own certain rules but apps approval typically take only a day or two and updates can be pushed within a matter of hours. Besides, a user can easily download a .apk file of any app and install it onto his/her device. A similar scheme won’t work with iOS devices.
Although there are other mobile platform existing, to keep this article from going too long, for now, we’ll just focus on iOS and Android — the two most dominant ones, for better or worse.
“iOS or Android” is an old-aged question, but the situation is getting more complicated now. Our advice is to plan on both. If you can’t afford to simultaneously develop both at the same time, then you have to make the decision of what system to target first. However, they should all be on your ultimate timeline.
Mobytelab focuses on software consultant, product design, UI/UX design, web & mobile application development and ASO.
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