Creating an app for your business is a great way to connect with your audience. Since more and more consumers are using mobile phones as their main connection to the world, it only makes sense to create mobile apps and mobile sites to accommodate this trend.
Mobile apps can help create customer loyalty, increase convenience and efficiency in your business, and engage your target audience in a totally new way. That said, mobile apps can be time-consuming and costly to create. A quality app will take months and money to build.
For all of the money and time you invest into mobile app creation, it is important to ensure that you do everything you can to set yourself up for success. You want your app to pull in the best return on investment possible so that your efforts will lead to a worthwhile product.
You want to consider two key points in the earliest stages of development. Who is your audience, and do you want to create your app for iOS or Android?
The two questions are closely related, as certain audiences tend to prefer certain brands.
Typically, it is best to build your first mobile app for iOS. There are a few reasons for this:
1. Less Fragmentation
Fragmentation refers to the split that happens when mobile phone users have devices that operate on different platform versions. Older platform versions do not support the same features that newer versions do.
For instance, newer versions can process information more quickly or offer better graphics. If mobile phone users are spread across multiple versions of a platform, your app needs to be able to accommodate users on all platforms.
Creating, testing, and revising apps for each version can be time-consuming. Ideally, you want to have fewer versions to design the app around. This is why creating an app for iOS first is a better option.
Android users currently use phones that run a lot of platform versions (nine of them, as of 2019). The amount of time that it would take to create an app to work well with all of these versions would be significant.
But, 85% of all Apple devices currently use the newest version, iOS 12. Another 9% use iOS 11, the next most recent version, and only 6% of users are on an earlier version than that. Creating an app that works with two versions to cover 94% of users is much more efficient than trying to cover the numerous Android versions.
2. Higher Standards
Apps built for iOS are held to a higher standard than those built for Android. Apple enforces quality control measures that prevent apps with malware, bugs, or inappropriate material from being sold in the App Store.
Android is much more relaxed. As such, it is much easier to get your app in Google Play. It will be available in the store more quickly with less time spent on revisions to meet enforced app standards.
This may seem like a mark against iOS because getting your app on the market will be harder. However, suppose you know your app meets the requirements for Apple’s standards. In that case, it will almost definitely translate over to Android in the future without any problems should you decide to expand your audience. The alternative may not be quite so convenient.
So, building your app with Apple’s requirements in mind will mean that you are creating an app to meet the most difficult standards outright. If you decide to expand, you won’t have to revisit the app design stage again.
3. Slightly Less Competition
There are simply fewer apps available on iOS than there are in the Play Store. According to Digital Authority Partners, approximately 2.2 million apps are in the App Store compared to the 2.6 million apps on Google Play.
The difference could be partially caused by the more strict and rigorous guidelines enforced on apps in the App Store. A good portion of the additional apps in Google Play are probably apps that users shouldn’t trust, but that’s just speculation.
The difference in the number of available apps may seem like an argument against creating apps for iOS. Why wouldn’t you want to put your app where everyone else is selling theirs? It probably gets more attention, right?
Believe it or not, apps for iOS bring in more money than the ones for Android. Paid apps for iOS bring in $4,000 versus Android apps that only bring in $1,125. Individual iOS apps seem to get more attention because of the lack of competition.
4. Higher Income Audience
If you’re looking to make a higher revenue from your app, iOS users may be the audience that you want to focus on. This is true whether your app requires payment to be downloaded or simply offers in-app purchases to enhance an otherwise free app.
Statistically, iOS users have a higher level of education, a higher household income, and hold professional or managerial positions. As a result, they are better able to spend money on non-essentials like entertainment apps or on more practical apps like the ones that could help them with their workflow.
Though creating an app for iOS first may be more work upfront than creating an app for Android, the work will yield a better return on investment. Putting in the work at the beginning to create the best app possible will also minimize the need for you to revisit the development stage for future changes and updates.
If you’re in the development stages for your very first mobile app, consider designing it for iOS first so that you will have the best experience possible after launching.