You’ve got a great app idea. You’re going to make a packet if you can get the design and launch right. You’re excited! But now you’re wondering if you should go for iOS, Android or both. I’ve read a few pieces that say translating an app between operating systems isn’t too hard, but I honestly don’t agree.

The entire development process should be optimised for the operating system, so I don’t agree with “easy translation”. There are tools that can help, but unless your app is very simple, they might not cut the mustard. Develop separately every time. That means more work for you. It isn’t too bad if you’re a veteran at the game, but there are risks.

Both? Maybe not as good as it sounds…

If you launch a buggy app, that’s it for you! You’ve just given yourself a bad name, and you’re going to get all the iffy reviews you deserve and more. So, if you’re testing the waters and aren’t an expert yet choose one platform to begin with. If it works out as well as you hoped, you can look at getting your app properly optimised for other operating systems. One thing at a time – that’s the careful way to go.

Of course, if you’re confident and know what you’re doing, the wider the market you target the faster your app will take off. Weigh the costs, benefits and risks carefully.

iOS first if you’re choosing one

This might sound counter-intuitive. After all, an iPhone doesn’t suit everybody’s budget, and there are way more Android users out there, but I recommend iOS as the place to start. Here’s why:

  1. It’s easier to launch on iOS.
  2. It’s not as much of a segmented platform
  3. Your market is high-end and much less likely to economise on apps. You make more sales, more easily.
  4. On the same note, some Android users are primarily in it for the phone. iOS, on the other hand, is about the whole experience.

Money speaks in favour of iOS

Not sure if you should believe me? Just look at the leading apps that cornered their iOS market before even thinking about Android. Instagram and Path are just two of them. Almost all the most impressive apps started with iOS.

Need some more facts? Although 71% of smartphone users have Android, 83% of the money spent on apps goes to iOS. If your app is going to be free or supported by advertising only, Android will get you a bigger potential audience, however.

Geography also matters: Africa, Asia and South America are better for Android, but Oceania, Europe and North America’s app market is ruled by iOS – at least if you’re targeting the high-end market.

In-App purchases? Again, iOS makes the most revenue from in-app purchases, once again confirming that this is where the money is!

When Android could be better for you

Although I generally recommend starting out on iOS, there are times when Android is the better choice. I’d say it’s worth considering when:

·        You’re targeting a lower-end market or a less affluent geographical area.

·        Reach matters more to you than money, and your app is going to be cheap or free.

·        There’s no approval time – but don’t think that means you’re going to get your app launched faster – it will take longer in development. Still, some people like this aspect.

When to go the whole hog, and do both simultaneously

I would only recommend this if you have a lot of resources at your disposal. Big, established concerns might want to market an app that’s available to all, fearing alienation from a large part of their market if they focus on iOS.

Need advice?

If you’re still not sure which way to jump, feel free to run your questions past me, and I’ll give you my honest opinion. Although it might sound like I’m just praising iOS, I’m only one of the many. In most instances, it really is the best place to start for apps. In saying that, I do strongly believe if your app has built a strong presence you should be developing on Android as well.

Thanks for reading one of my posts again and I hope it provided you with some value and I hope to see you back next time!

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