Android and iOS: they're the titans of the mobile sector. In the second quarter of 2015, International Data Corporation found that Android accounted for 82.8 per cent of the market, with iOS following at 13.9 per cent.
There's really no competition. Windows Phone managed just 2.6 per cent, and Blackberry trailed with 0.3 per cent. When it comes to mobile development, Android and iOS are essentially the only considerations.
For businesses, this begs the question: Which platform should we use when developing our mobile app?
Android and iOS are apples and oranges. While they both perform basically the same function on a smartphone, the ways in which they do so are vastly different. This is inherent from the way the apps are coded to how they're presented using a design language.
Before deciding on a suitable first platform on which to deploy a mobile app, businesses may want to consider the differences and quirks in each platform.
Market share and demographics
As we found above, Android has the highest global platform share. However, this is mostly apparent in lower income areas as well as developing parts of the globe. Unsurprisingly, iOS users will usually earn more than their Android counterparts. It's to be expected given the entry points for Android and iOS devices: lower-model iPhones are in a price bracket far above that of low-end Android devices.
App abilities and features
Android is an open source operating system, while iOS is closed off. As a result, developers can get right into Android when developing an app. This allows for home screen replacements and apps that have significantly more control over the phone than iOS apps.
Android apps are written using Java, which is, as BGR notes, a "simply more verbose language than Objective-C or Swift". In other words, it takes longer to write code for the same function in Android as opposed to iOS. As anyone familiar with coding languages will understand, more code will often result in a higher chance of bugs.
The tablet market
iPads rule the roost when it comes to the tablet market. While Android tablets are available, they've never been able to capture as much of the market as their iOS counterparts. It may not be entirely uncommon for a user of an Android smartphone to choose an iPad.
So, Android and iOS really couldn't be more different, despite the ease in which users are able to jump from one device to another.
It makes sense to start with Android only in cases where specific aspects of the Android operating system are required. It can, in some cases, prove more expensive to develop for Android given the additional coding requirements.
Unless a business is planning to focus on Windows Phone or Blackberry, that leaves iOS. It's an excellent starting platform, given the shorter development times and more limited number of devices.
If you think it's time to get your businesses started in the mobile space, or even if you're in need of a redesign, reach out to the team at Sush Mobile to learn more about whether iOS or Android, or even both, suit your needs.