When our clients decide it’s time to develop a mobile application, one of the first questions we hear is, “Should we focus on an Android application or an iOS application?”

Android v. iOS

The simple answer, of course, is both. Ideally, you allow all types of smartphone users to experience your brand via a mobile application. However, if resources limit you to one, how do you choose? We strongly recommend starting with comprehensive target market research to determine which platform your current and potential customers are most likely to utilize, the type of functionality they seek and other audience-specific information relevant to your decision.

Check out one of our recent native mobile app projects, a winery database for America’s Wine Trails.

If you need a tie-breaker, here are the differences between Android and iOS relevant to mobile app development.  

Market Share

Android is technically winning this race right now, with 51.5 percent of the US market share in Q3 2014. However, bear in mind that Apple’s profits significantly and consistently exceed Android’s. Differing marketing strategies and product quality is making an impact on the market that could greatly shift the market share in Apple’s favor in the coming years. In fact, an analyst recently predicted that within four years, two-thirds of all smartphones sold would be iPhones.

Programming Language and Environment

Android is built with Java in Eclipse IDE. Although Java is a common coding language, many developers express exasperation with the environment of Eclipse IDE. Common complaints include slow load times and a difficult interface. iOS, on the other hand, requires the Objective-C programming language and is built and tested in Xcode. iPhone developers often remark at how much easier it is to code in this environment because of its speed and intuitive interface.

Screen size is another relevant app development issue. There are many different types of Android phones and screen sizes to develop for whereas iOS developers only need to plan for two different iPhone screen sizes and two tablet sizes.

mobile app developmentApplication Submission Process

It’s no secret that the application store submission processes of Android and iOS differ greatly. Android applications are often accepted and available in Google Play within hours of submission. iOS applications, however, usually undergo several submissions to iTunes with rigorous updating in between. The approval process takes considerably longer, with the average wait time being roughly a week for each submission. That being said, Apple touts this strict submission process as proof the company takes its users privacy and security seriously. Most applications denied approval have some sort of security glitch that could negatively affect iOS users, and many iPhone users take great comfort in that.

Our mobile development team typically utilizes Xamarin, a cross-platform development resource, and C# programming language to build clients’ native applications. The tool then translates the code for both Android and iOS. From there, we can tweak individual issues on each platform with custom code. This allows for a quick and efficient mobile app development process.

Have a few questions? Contact SteadyRain today to learn more about the best mobile application for your brand and business goals.