You create a business application, mobile software for corporate clients or want to use a purely marketing potential of the smartphone. Which platform do you choose? Perhaps the decision should be made until the development is not started?
Try to answer the following questions:
- Is there really a great need for your business in a mobile application?
- Where will you find the users of application?
- What resources are required for the development of your application and how much of them are already available?
- The application must be complex or simple?
- Is it likely that your application will be blocked by the platform?
During the development and launching the application, you have to juggle these restrictions to try to create the best mobile strategy of your company.
The obvious choice seems to be Apple iOS, but that’s not quite true. Of course, Apple has a single platform that works across all product lines iPhone and iPad. But what if your business and Apple’s vision for your business – bipolar things? You will not know if the application you are developing will get to the AppStore until it is fully debugged and represented the company censors. If the application suddenly does not cater some of Apple’s qualities so that Apple does not want to put it in its shop, you will lose the investment in the development, because according to the contract between you and Apple, application distribution bypassing the App Store is prohibited.
The idea which wasn’t taken on iOS can be implemented on Android. Vendors of applications for this mobile OS has more flexibility. But, look at the comments to programs in the store Google Play, and you will find a long list of complaints kind of “this software works on the first device, it slows down on the second one, and on the third one does not start at all.”
Then focus on a number of identical or more common among the circle of potential users of Android-devices. For example, Amazon Kindle Fire. There will be many options of your application to customize for each device, adjust it under a smartphone or tablet. This will make the application fully compatible with the device group.
iOS and Android platforms are followed by Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and once-popular Symbian, and also less well-known operating systems. All of them have a small share of the market, and this is the main factor not to develop versions for these platforms.
Despite the fact that Microsoft is investing heavily in the development of Windows Phone, the popularity of this platform still far behind iOS and Android.
HTML5 as universal tool
HTML5-applications running on browsers compatible with this language, positioning themselves as cross-platform. The idea is that they should work on any platform that supports web standards. Despite this, the exception to the rule does exist. Even large corporations are not always able to cope with the problem of optimization of the application. For example, HTML5-app Facebook criticized for slow loading pages.
In our experience and according to our experts, such flaws of cross-platform solutions should be distinguished:
- Extremely poor performance
- Not all phone features available for application
- Html 5 frameworks have limitations
And yet, we can assume that the technology for its strategy works fine. If you need to develop something simple and feasible within the limitations of HTML5 for both platforms. Also, if Apple closed the AppStore’s door in front of you, you can still create an application for HTML 5 for clients of your business.
Even large corporations are not always able to cope with the problem of optimization of the application. For example, HTML5-app Facebook criticized for slow loading pages.
But before deciding on HTML5 and, for example PhoneGap framework, look in the browser search bar for phrase “PhoneGap vs Native”.
Mobiwolf Company often advises its customers to create two Native applications: one for Android and one for iOS in parallel or in series, first Android, and then iOS because of the greater flexibility of Android. When developing in series you first run-in the main functionality in a single platform, and for the second platform develop already using some experience.
It is also important to understand that each platform has its own standards and requirements for UI (Android UI, iOS UI). So do not think that having developed graphics for one platform, you do not have to separately develop the same for the other platform. It is sufficient to list a variety of screen sizes Android smartphones and rigorous selection iOS apps in AppStore.
So, let’s list the advantages of both the most popular and notable platforms.
Advantages of Android:
- The largest database of users
IOS and Android ecosystems are huge, however, numerous studies show that the Android platform is still superior to iOS in size and is growing much faster. Recently the company Nielsen, a global leader in consumer behavior research, presented a report, according to which the share of Android in the mobile market is 48.5%, while the share of iOS – 32%. In addition, the company NPD Group, engaged in market research, published a study according to which 60% of the devices sold in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2012, are a family of Android. The share of iOS accounted for 29%. According to statistics from Google, daily activates 850,000 new Android-devices
- Advantages of “sleeping area”
In some way Android is similar to the accommodation in a residential area – not in great demand with the public, but a great opportunity for quick-witted first buyers. Compare with the desired, but very expensive real estate on the iOS. Company Xyologic, dedicated to research applications, says that breaking into the top hundred iOS-applications is becoming more complex. “We see that in the last 5 months activity of production applications for iOS has decreased. We keep tracking several key indicators, particularly the number of new applications, caught the top hundred. “Google Play, by contrast, shows a steady increase. Xyologic reports that in March 2012, the volume of downloads of all the top 25 free applications exceeded the same positions in the iOS.
Perhaps the reason is that Android offers options for exploring applications, which helps new applications to win the market.
According to statistics from Google, daily activates 850,000 new Android-devices.
- Full search functionality
Often the Apple App Store and Google Play function as search engines for mobile applications. IOS search capabilities are limited – marketers cannot see users’ requests to increase the number of downloads of the application. Therefore, great importance gets the application rating, which is reflected in the value of market research. To achieve top line ranking competitors can apply large budgets, in the hope that advertising will pay for the costs.
Google Play conversely provides full-text search, facilitating the users to select a specific application. This structural difference determines the behavior of users. Ratings are less influenced by the number of people involved. Research by Fiksu shows that 80% of users find the application Google play through search without searching through the shop.
Also, the marketers have access to the statistics of peak requests. With it, they optimize the title and description, and even change the application settings. In general, search capabilities provide a little-known Google Play applications and brand additional funds in the fight for new users.
- Lower costs to attract users
The days when the written application was distributed by itself have passed. The success of the application is now provided with promotion and marketing opportunities. Less saturated market Google Play has an advantage – lower cost of attracting users. Fiksu recently conducted an analysis of the available advertising media, which showed that the advertising possibilities of Android instruments exceed iOS for 12%. And since large shipments involve a discount price of these advertising services were 40% lower iOS service.
- Fewer problems with confidentiality
In recent months, the government and the press significantly increased control over the observance of confidentiality. Long used by the iOS method of marketing attribution was based on the Unique Device Identifier (UDID). This is a device ID, which is widely perceived as the digital equivalent of a social security number. Apple’s recent attempts to deviate from this principle has caused confusion in the market of iOS. As a result, marketers use many third-party solutions, each with its own pros and cons, which leads to fragmentation of the advertising market of iOS. This uncertainty forces developers to consider.
Android provides a standard mechanism for marketing attribution. It is understandable and consistent with generally accepted practices that marketers use the last 15 years. Android automatically downloads the information requested and anonymously tracks the download source. Simple and transparent solution.
- Highly accurate methods of marketing attribution
Marketing attribution in iOS uses several methods that require matching of user data in the databases of marketers and advertisers. This principle of organization can lead to errors and inconsistencies. In particular, there may appear an overlap of users conversions so that the same conversion will be counted by multiple sources of traffic. Android uses a serial mechanism of marketing attribution.
- Agility, Fast Turnaround – Ideal testing ground
In a rapidly developing market of applications the ability to adapt quickly is extremely valuable. Google Play created the perfect environment for the development of applications: Developers can quickly respond to feedback and literally in a few hours update the application to Google Play. For comparison, the process of checking the application in Apple App Store often takes more than a week, and if you are having problems the application should be re-tested. Such delays and lack of confidence in the result may create serious problems in the design. For developers who plan to refine their applications through rapid feedback and frequent updates, Google Play is an ideal testing ground.
- Acquisition of various skills
With the rapid deployment of applications in Google Play and lower advertising costs Developers can learn from Android, for example, the rapid deployment of applications and reduce advertising costs. Wednesday Android allows you to test and refine the application, so that later you will be able to apply the skills learned in developing and deploying iOS-applications with a high chance of success.
- Rank by better reflecting the preferences of users
Application rating is considered the main factor in the growth of users. Google Play and iOS use different methods to define it. To determine the iOS rating great importance has the application downloads. Ranking of applications that do not often downloaded by users, quickly falls. The algorithm for calculating the Google rating works quite differently. Applications rating will increase as the date of its storage on the device.
- Better monetization
Research by Fiksu showed that the number of Android users, ready to pay for the application roughly equivalent, and sometimes higher than the same iOS indicator. So that the proper identification of target groups can expect equally good results.
Of course, the monetization of Google Play is of concern – published reports estimate the monetization scheme, used in iOS, higher. However, it should be noted that the gap is rapidly shrinking. The company Flurry, perhaps, the principal investigator of the issue, said that the main reason for shrinking the gap is to use the mechanism of payment. Flurry and other experts predict improvement after integration Google Wallet and Google Checkout services. This improvement seems to have begun. The company Distimo, dedicated to research in the field of mobile applications, announces 80% increase in average daily revenue for the top 200 applications in the U.S. for the period from December 2011 to March 2012. Moreover, in its article «Treat Android as a first-class citizen … it’ll pay off!» developer company of games TinyCo said that indicator ARPPU (average users payment amount) in Google Play and iTunes approximately complies with the iOS indicator, as well as noted that the performance of Amazon significantly exceeded the similar indicator of iOS
An additional reason: An easier transition to the Amazon Store
Amazon app store is running on Android, which simplifies the process of verifying the application. Noteworthy recent study demonstrating that users are more willing to buy the Amazon store applications than users of the AppStore and Google Play.
Lets now consider iOS.
- Indissoluble connection of the operating system and device
It seems that this feature is a great disadvantage, and at the same time a step up. Applications are developed just under one device with certain characteristics (iPhone, iPad, including the iPod touch). Thus, users will not experience glitches and hardware problems such as incompatibility.
Android users believe that their platform is not fully debugged in terms of using battery power. It is known, when working Android drains the battery very quickly. To manage the process special tricks should be treated at a cost of considerable time. iPhone users know exactly how much their device lives. There are definitely no problems with charging “apple” products.
- Proper multitasking
IOS platform differs by successfully implemented multitasking. Without any difficulties an utility can be minimized and maximized. The most important thing is that the minimized programs have no effect on the operating system and do not reduce the battery life. Another huge advantage is the fact that each active process is easy to close in a few movements.
- Comfortable work with wireless tools
In iOS access to the network via Wi-Fi is used. Therefore, the device without outside help determine what to turn on. When there is no Wi-Fi nearby, mobile technology of transferring data turns on, and turns off automatically when it is not in use.
- Easy to learn
iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets work well “out of the box.”
You purchase a certain device, open up and start to use it. Additionally, you can install the required application. All this makes it very easy and understandable. Even a novice user can understand how to use the device. And, of course, what Apple does best of all is user interfaces. In interfaces Apple is apart from the competition.
- The lack of fragmentation
At least in comparison to Android. Now there are not lots of iOS-based device, they are all manufactured by Apple. A bit more screen sizes have appeared after the iPad mini and iPhone 5, but it still not such a great problem as in the situation with Android
- Large user base
All of these benefits in fact are benefits to the users who buy devices on iOS platform, thus ensuring the stability of the large number of potential users of your application written for this platform. Owners of Apple devices say that having an iPhone or iPad is prestigious, nice and comfortable. Device market with the iPhone OS is growing.
it is much easier for iOS users to spend money in order to purchase your program.
- Qualitative users
Apple is expensive. Devices based on iOS are not bought by the poor people, so that it is much easier for iOS users to spend money in order to purchase your program.
- Closed Platform
This is not only disadvantage, but also the advantage of a higher level of security (in theory). Also, nothing interfere with the desire to turn a closed system in the open (again, in theory).
Conventional wisdom is that to create a successful mobile application developers must write the first under iOS, and then on Android can now be considered invalid. The situation has changed. Android offers developers a great proving ground for testing applications for polishing and refining. The lower cost of attracting users, the largest user base and an improved scheme of monetizing applications – good arguments in favor of creating a strong business on Android, and then using the acquired skills to iOS, which is still the other half of the users, the quality users that are willing to pay for applications (of course for the good ones).
Of course, there cannot be a generic approach to selecting a platform. Consult with experts in developing mobile solutions who will prompt for every business with its specific objectives the best strategy to gain mobile market.