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Android vs iOS: Which Platform to Build Your App for First?

read in Strategy

Want to build an app but don't know which app platform to choose? Check out our comparison to get all the information you need to make the right choice.

When it comes to building an app, there are two major platforms that you can choose from–Android or iOS. This decision will have a big impact on the success of your app and whether or not you’ll be able to make money with it.

In general, the choice between iOS and Android development is quite easy. You have to consider two aspects: the outcome and the process. 

In this blog post, we’re going to compare these platforms so you can decide which one is right for your next project!

So, whenever you’re ready to find out which app platform you should focus on first, keep reading.

What Is Android?

Android is an operating system for smartphones and tablets. It’s also the most popular OS globally, with around 80% of all internet-connected smart devices using it (including TVs!).

Android apps are built to work on any type or size of device, so no matter what screen you’re viewing your app on, it will look great!

How Are Apps Built for Android?

Android apps can be built using Java, Kotlin, or C++. The process is similar to building iOS apps. You need to code the app in your preferred programming language and compile it into an Android APK file (.apk).

Several tools make it easy for non-developers like designers and marketers to build their own mobile apps without having any coding skills.

This means if you’re looking for someone else to do all the development work, there’s no shortage of talented developers waiting for your project proposal. All you have to do is find one with experience designing and developing Android apps who matches your budget.

Benefits of Android Development

Android has a ton of great benefits that make it the ideal platform for many developers and entrepreneurs. For starters, Android is open source–so if you or any other developer wants to modify its code, there’s no proprietary license holding you back!

Secondly, developing an app with Android will cost less than iOS development (see below). Finally, Google Play Store offers users over one million apps at their fingertips. This means that there are more opportunities for your app to get discovered by potential customers.

Not to mention, the majority of the world’s smartphones run Android, so your app will have a higher probability of being downloaded and used.

What Is iOS?

iOS is Apple’s mobile operating system that powers iPhones and iPads. The latest versions of this software include features that make it more compatible with non-Apple products like Windows PCs or Macs. But at its core, iOS was designed specifically for these types of handsets.

How Are Apps Built for IOS?

The process of building an iOS app is very similar to Android and involves the same programming languages. Developers typically build apps using Swift, Objective-C, or other Apple products like Xcode.

Furthermore, only Apple devices can access the App Store for downloading new apps. This means you’ll be able to get a lot more exposure than on Android.

However, this might not be an issue if your target audience is iPhone users only – in that case, building iOS apps would make perfect sense! Not to mention, the App Store seems to be more welcoming to new applications than the Google Play Store.

Benefits of IOS Development

Why would someone choose IOS development over Android? It seems that many developers experience a little issue with getting their apps published on Apple’s platform.

In contrast, Google Play has stricter rules and guidelines about what apps are allowed in its store (and which ones it rejects). In short, the App Store is a lot more welcoming to new applications.

This means you’ll have an easier time monetizing your application outside of the iOS ecosystem if you decide to port it for other devices.

Additionally, since IOS was designed specifically for these types of handsets, there’s less need for optimization or making sure your app works well across different screen sizes – meaning no additional work is required!

Furthermore, If you’re looking to build an iPhone-only app, iOS development is the way to go.

The Primary Differences

There are three major differences between iOS and Android.

Firstly, there is a more diverse range of devices to choose from.

Secondly, Android has a larger app store with over two million apps available for download in Google Play Store.

Thirdly, it’s open-source. This means that anyone can make their version of the OS or build an application on top of it (unlike iOS). Third-party developers are also free to add features like custom keyboards, which Apple doesn’t allow you to do!

The main disadvantage to using Android is its fragmentation issues. This occurs when updates aren’t released quickly enough, so some phones don’t receive them at all. However, this isn’t a problem these days, as manufacturers have started releasing monthly security patches instead of waiting for yearly updates.

Android updates are also buggy and have a history of causing app problems, such as battery life issues.

In contrast, iOS is more stable than Android’s OS (though there will still be bugs occasionally). The newest version of the software released in September 2017 – includes features like support for ARKit, Animoji, and FaceID. Many people find it better than what Google offers on its platform.

And while Apple doesn’t allow third-party keyboards either, it does let you use widgets. This feature isn’t prevalent among users because it can slow down your phone or drain your battery quickly if not used sparingly.

The big advantage to using an iPhone in the App Store. Customers looking for their next favorite app will find over one million apps to choose from in this store.

This is a lot more than what’s available on Android. It also means that you’ll never be without your favorite game, productivity app, or social media platform!

Another advantage of using iOS is its security. Most people believe the OS to be less prone to malware attacks. This is because Apple constantly releases software updates for any bugs they find (unlike Google).

Which Platform to Build Your App for First?

If you’re looking to build your app for the widest audience possible, it’s probably best to stick with Android.

There are more devices available. Many people prefer Google Play Store over Apple App Store. They’ll be able to download your application regardless of which OS their device runs on.

However, if you want to get a lot of exposure from customers who have iOS devices only, then building an iOS app might be the way to go! Not only will these customers have access to all one million apps in the store, but they can also use features like ARKit or Animoji that aren’t currently supported by Android phones (they were announced during WWDC 2017).

However, you also have to consider that the Google Play Store is open-source. Any user can build their version of Android.

This means it’s more accessible to developers. This might be a downside if you want to protect your idea from being copied or hacked into by someone else!

Lastly, with iOS updates, there are fewer risks than on Android. Apple will release software patches for any bugs they find much faster than an average manufacturer would do.

There isn’t such a big risk regarding fragmentation issues either. This is because most people install new versions of iOS automatically when they become available.

That said, it’s important not to overlook potential security risks just because you have an iOS device. Many hackers still target these devices. They can get access to people’s private information without their knowledge.

Furthermore, if you plan to sell access to your app, you need to consider that Google Play Store has a broader audience – as mentioned before. However, iOS users are part of a group that is willing to spend more on comfortable experiences.

Many Android users are such because they enjoy the freedom of Android. For instance, they might want to install ripped versions of paid applications because that is possible on Android (although not legal).

Market Share

Android’s share of the global smartphone market is currently at around 82%.

iOS, on the other hand, has a 13% share while Windows Phone and BlackBerry have approximately 0.85% each (this data comes from various sources).

This means that it’s much easier to find an Android device than one running iOS or another smartphone operating system.

There were over five times as many searches for “android phone” compared with “iPhone” last year, according to Google Trends – which could be a good sign if you’re looking to get your app downloaded more often!

It would help if you always researched which OS has a better market share in your industry before deciding which one to develop an app for first. For example, 80% of all internet-connected smart devices use Android, so it would be wise to consider this when developing any new applications–even if you’re planning to build an IOS app eventually.


Android users are more diverse than iOS. This is because Android devices have a lower barrier to entry and can be found worldwide, including in China, where it has a 67% market share (according to Statista).

This means that many different people are using this OS, making building an app for them easier!

Meanwhile, Apple products only represent 26% of the smartphone market worldwide, according to Forbes. So if you want to focus specifically on those customers, you should most likely produce your IOS first.

However, bear in mind that these figures reflect global trends–they don’t tell us anything about who’s visiting our website or looking at what we’re posting on social media, etcetera, so it’s important to research within your niche. As well!


iOS users are more likely to engage with their phone while using it – especially if the app is in “full-screen” mode.

According to a study conducted by Verto, an analytics company that studies mobile and online behavior for brands, iOS devices have 52% of all apps running full screen instead of Android, which has only 41%.

This means that your potential customers on this platform will be much more engaged than people viewing these experiences through a browser (if you don’t offer them any other options).

Users who use iOS also spend 20 minutes longer per day browsing the internet or downloading new content via their devices. This equates to 29 hours per month versus 17 hours for those who primarily interact with an Android.

This means that your customers on this platform will be more engaged with their devices and are much more likely to purchase if they’re given the opportunity!

So, should you develop an app for iOS first? Again it depends on what niche of the market you want to focus on–but chances are there are slightly higher engagement rates among users of IOS than those who use Android or other platforms.

Development Cost

The development cost for an Android app is typically lower than it would be for iOS.

This can make sense if you’re just getting started with your business idea and don’t have much capital to invest in developing the application itself!

But, again, this doesn’t mean that Android apps are always cheaper–it depends on what resources or features you need for your project and how long these will take to develop.

For example, if you want voice-activated capability, then Android might turn out to be more expensive because some APIs must first be activated by the manufacturer, who may charge a fee (e.g., Samsung).

However, even though there’s usually a higher initial startup investment when creating an IOS app – since they’re more expensive to develop – you’ll usually find that the ROI is greater in the long run!

The fact of the matter is, both platforms are great for different reasons, and it depends on your specific needs. For example, if you want a cheaper application, then one might better suit android for this.

At the same time, those looking to make higher-quality games with extensive features may opt for IOS. This is especially because these apps can’t always easily work across multiple devices like smartphones or tablets.

An App Platform Chosen Right

A quick recap of what we’ve learned: iOS apps are more expensive and of higher quality, but one can’t access them on Android.

If you want to appeal to a global market, it might make sense for you to develop an app first for Android because it’s the most widely used OS globally (especially in China).

But if your goal is primarily focused on those customers who use iPhone products, iOS may be better suited as there is greater engagement among that crowd.

It depends on how much money you have available for development costs. Both app platforms offer great opportunities with different trade-offs!

If you’re interested in full-scale iOS/Android development solutions, get in touch, and we will ensure that your project comes to life.


Mobile Team

Delivering mobile applications that meet market demands and provide a great user experience is what we do for our clients

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