Should I Launch my App on iOS or Android First?
One constant debate in the mobile app development world is whether to launch on Android or iOS first, as Android gained 82% market share, according to a November report released by research firm Gartner. Even if there isn’t an universal answer to this question, to help you decide where to start, I’ve talked about this issue with a couple of experts that have built applications for brands such as RunKeeper, Macy’s, Porsche, NFL, Bloomingdale’s, Forbes, or Lady Gaga.
Firstly I talked with Ken Yarmosh, founder of Washington DC based Savvy Apps and author of best selling book “App Savvy: Turning Ideas into iPhone and iPad Apps Customers Really Want”. “It varies based on the application requirements and the goals of the company needing the apps. There are some cases where Android must be used, especially when dealing with deep hardware integrations or customized ROMs. There are other instances where there’s simply not enough funding to build on both platforms at once. Our general guidance is that if the resources are available to do so and it’s beneficial to be on both platforms, build for both in parallel.” stated Mr. Yarmosh.
Jordan Edelson from NY based Appetizer Mobile, inclines to iOS. “Android’s market share is ever increasing, but iOS still dominates in terms of having user’s that are willing to tap the “buy” button. Ideally, there should be a budget allocated for developing for both platforms, but if we were to pick and choose, we prefer to launch with iOS first.” stated Mr. Edelson.
Michael Watson of Mobiers emphasizes the fragmentation in the Android environment. “Whilst it can’t be argued that Android is making some serious headway, looking at it from the developer’s point of view, the current scene still advocates building apps for iOS first. And you can owe it to the fragmentation that Android-based phones bring along. If the app is happily lapped up by the iOS customers, it can be migrated to Android” said Mr. Watson.
Alin Merches from Mobiversal says it all depends on the purpose of the app, but stil stays with iOS. “Is it the purpose of brand awareness among multiple people across the globe? Then definitely Android first is the option, as a free app. Is it to make money on a certain youngsters – Y generation market? Then iOS would be the choice. Do you want a game? What kind of game? In-app purchase business model? Etc, etc. All these questions help us decide what to choose first, so there is not a short and simple solution to this debate. But from my perspective, seeing the history of requests in our company, I can say without a doubt there’s a change from 2 years ago when people barely had budget for the Android version, not many of them chose Android first. And as a final note, customers from US still choose iOS first because US is among the few countries where iOS has a big chunk of market share.”
Olha Musakovska of Lemberg favors Android. “Due to the huge device defragmentation, our first pick would be Android. Simply because it requires more testing on many devices. For clients that want to launch both Android and iOS app at one time, Android should go first because it’s easier to catch up with iPhone, which does not require such extensive testing. This way, launching Android first reduces the timeframe between the pilot app and runner-up app. Besides, Android users have been neglected by so many app makers who always went with iPhone first. Handing Android the baton can finally bring some justice into the equation.”
I hope these opinions will help you figure out which way to take, when it comes to iOS versus Android. If you want to discover more on how the above companies are working with their clients to turn ideas into successful apps, download (free, no email required) our latest latest eBook: Expert Advice on Building Successful Mobile Apps.