So, you’ve realised that in order to be successful and lucrative with app development, you have to engage in developing for both the iPhone and the Android devices. This is a wise move! Just remember, that development across these platforms comes with a learning curve. What makes for a successful feature or interface on Apple won’t necessarily translate into equal success on Android, and vice versa. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when developing for both these tremendously popular platforms.
1. Both Have a Huge Market
Android and Apple users expect different things from their interfaces, so be sure your developers are familiar with using both platforms.
A lot of developers keep their focus intensely on Apple devices, because their customers tend to come back again and again. This means that when you score those hard-earned users, they are likely to carry your product with them as they upgrade to new devices. What these developers don’t account for, however, is that there are a tremendous number of Android users, even if they aren’t as likely to stick with that platform when they upgrade. Leaving out Android development just leaves way too many users (and too much money) on the table.
2. iPhone Users Use Apps More, but There are More Android Users
Another statistic that throws app developers off sometimes is the fact that Apple users tend to depend on their apps more. They shop more, check the news more, use social media more, and tend to have a higher disposable income than Android users as a group. Again, this fails to take into account the sheer numbers of Android users out there. Even if these users don’t spend as much time in your app or as much money with your app, there are still more than enough Android users to make development on that platform well worth the while.
3. There is More Support for Android App Developers
When starting out, developers often comment that it’s actually easier to develop for Android. There is a lot of support available, Android development is generally faster to learn, and some (but not all) of the development issues are easier. This isn’t always the case. For instance, it’s far harder to accommodate the screen rotation in Android than in the iPhone, but as a whole, learning the development is easier for most programmers. This means that even if you’ve got a dedicated staff of experienced iPhone developers, it isn’t hard at all to take on Android development too.
4. Android Has a Larger Screen
No matter which platforms you opt to develop for, you need to accommodate all possible screen sizes within that group, including those with both touchscreens and keyboard/mouse setups.
One thing to keep in mind when developing for Android is that the screens are usually larger. This issue brings both pros and cons. A bigger screen means it’s easier to deliver more text and information on each screen, but it also means having to fill ‘white space’ if you already have your Apple interface like you like it. Also, Android users will expect common screen navigation tools (like the X to close out a window) to be in different places. Be sure your developers familiarise themselves with the difference in interfaces before beginning to develop across platforms.
5. iPhone Users are Intensely Loyal
As mentioned, if you win over an Apple user once, you likely have them for life. You won’t have to worry about losing iPhone customers when their phones break, when they upgrade, or decide to switch from the iPhone to the iPad. Just be sure that your apps are available for all of the devices running whatever operating systems you develop for. For instance, if you develop an app for Android phones, make sure it’s also available for the Kindle and other tablet-sized devices.