Have a quick look at the smartphones in the office. We’d hazard a guess that the majority have got an Android device, right? There’s probably a sprinkling of iPhones, too. Hell, there might even be a Windows phone amongst them!
As of the second quarter of 2016, Android accounted for more than 87% of the worldwide smartphone market. From an app developer’s point of view, can you see why we might prefer Android over iOS, which has an ever diminishing market share of 11.7%?
Our preference for Android comes despite the fact it takes less code to develop an app for Apple devices, we might add.
Being able to reach more users isn’t the only reason we prefer developing on Android, however – let us take a minute to explain our reasoning here. Consider this Android vs iOS development, if you will.
1. It’s a platform for the people
The Android operating system is present on lots of different devices, of all shapes and screen sizes. Therefore, you are not bound to a specific group of users and many more people are able to install your mobile app.
Also, in terms of developing an app ready for distribution, Android is super accessible – the only thing you or your team need is a computer and knowledge of Java programming language. Sure, you’d be much better off using the Android Studio – Google’s official Integrated Development Environment – but, in theory, anybody with a good idea for an app can take the world by storm. It really is a platform for the people.
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Last year saw Android overtake iOS in traffic and revenue generation, underlining the potential for anybody to monetise their app by displaying ads. In fact, since Google Play has much simpler guidelines and review systems, you can be making money in no time with your app. Typically, it takes around two days to get an app published on Google Play – you’ll be waiting a good couple of weeks to get up and running on the Apple app store.
As well as being quicker to publish your app on the Google play store, it’s also much cheaper. While we’re only talking $70 or so – Apple charges $99 a year while Google Play charges a one-off cost of $25 – every penny counts as you go about building your first mobile app.
3. It promotes a sense of community
We might be getting a little bit sentimental now, but the fact there are so many available beta testers on Android promotes a sense of community. Beta testers are vital for apps – especially Android apps - as there tends to be more potential for bugs, what with the easier publication process and the more devices and operating systems apps have to be compatible with.
Beta testing provides you with the opportunity to have real users run their eye over your app, identifying early bug fixes that can make or break your app.
There are drawbacks of the Android platform, of course, as we’ve touched upon, such as the fragmentation brought about by users owning different devices, some of which are running very old versions of the operating system. To put it into perspective, there are 19,000 distinct Android devices on the market, compared to just a dozen iOS devices.
However, from a personal viewpoint, most of the apps Compsoft Creative develop are better suited to the Android platform, i.e. internal company apps, which are not necessarily trying to make money. Our natural reaction, then, is to turn to Android where productivity still appears to trump above profitability.
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