Being a leading UK based App developers we get a huge number of enquiries from Start-ups looking for advice on which platform (or platforms) they should launch their product (or service) on.
The usual question posed is should they lead on iOS or Android for Launch. Of course, the default response is to look to go multi-platform as early as possible, however if funding only allows for one platform this blog is designed to give some pointers as to which platform should be considered.
Can’t we use a multi-platform technology?
I would say about 15% of all projects we look at are good contenders launch on a multi-platform technology like HTML5. Purely from a development perspective this means you only need to design and code the app once. Some specific configuration may be required to get the individual apps ready for the respective app stores however for the best part the overall development effort will be significantly lower than creating a native bespoke application for each platform.
[blockquote sc_id=”sc1390592097315″]If your product or service is designed around western world users the dominance and reach of Apple simply can ignored. 43.7% of US Smart Phone Users have an iOS device compared to 27.7% using Android.”[/blockquote]
So what if your app has to be built natively and you can only fund one platform for launch? Here are my top 6 factors you should consider.
1. Consider your market & target audience: This in my opinion is the most important factor when considering which platform to lead on. If your product or service is designed around users of the western world, the dominance and reach of Apple simply cannot be ignored. 43.7% of US Smart Phone users have an iOS device compared to 27.7% using Android. Europe follows a similar trend however the gap between the 2 main players is reducing every quarter.
If your app has global appeal and you want to push it the emerging markets of Asia, Africa and South America my strong suggestion would be to push Android. With low-end Droid devices starting in price for less that $30, the explosion of Android in emerging markets has been nothing short of spectacular. Our two strongest growth markets are India & Nigeria which are currently going through what can only be described as an App explosion. Droid is a clear winner in these markets but do tread carefully – Don’t forget that if you target users in these countries you have to also consider multi-Language support. Arabic & Chinese language conversions can be especially tricky from a UI/Design perspective and may push up the overall cost of the project.
2. Review your competition strategy and look to exploit opportunities: One of the most effective strategies we have seen in recent years are clients that have taken a great one-platform app and re-created the idea on another platform. Think back a couple of years when Instagram was iPhone only and consider the huge number of Instagram copycats that appeared on the Play Store to plug the gap in the market. Be carful though – If you take on a big boy you need to avoid copyright & patent infringement. If you fail to consider these do not be surprised if you are hit with a cease and desist order from an angry sounding lawyer!
[blockquote sc_id=”sc1390600969473″]Be carful though – If you take on a big boy you need to avoid copyright & patent infringement. If you don’t consider these don’t be surprised if your hit with a cease and desist order from an angry sounding lawyer!”[/blockquote]
3. What are your product USP’s and do they suit one platform over the other: Your service or product may well lend itself better to one platform over another based on exploiting the unique services offered by Apple and Android. Take for example a recent gaming app we produced for a London based digital agency. A core requirement was the ability for users to compete with each other online. As such it was a natural choice for us to push the IOS version based on the ease of integrating with Apple’s Online gaming SDK (game centre).
4. Don’t forget Windows & Blackberry’s dominance in the Enterprise Markets: If you are targeting the Enterprise app market, do not get caught up in the iOS vs Android debate without giving serious thought to Windows Phone and BlackBerry. Although Apple & Android dominate the consumer market, Microsoft & RIM continue to have huge presence in the Enterprise market. With companies pushing Microsoft 360 solutions and BlackBerry refocusing efforts on Enterprise, this dominance is unlikely to change anytime soon.
5. The conversion Dilemma: Purely from a developers perspective if you code a native Android app in Java conversions to Windows Phone & BlackBerry are fairly straight forward. Don’t get me wrong a degree of native conversion will be required however it would be nothing like rewriting the app from scratch in Objective C for the native iOS conversion. Rumour has it Windows & Blackberry will soon allow developers to upload Android APK files for submission into their respective app stores. If this is true (and useable) rolling your app out for droid may naturally give you a route straight into the BlackBerry and Windows markets.
6. Look at App market Trends. Have a good look at what the market is doing. We have made your lives that much easier by documenting key trends from the last couple of quarters. (see links below)
[single_post show_content=”1″ char_count=”140″ show_post_type_media=”1″ show_post_metadata=”1″ show_readmore_button=”0″ button_color=”turquoise” button_size=”small” sc_id=”sc1390592341030″]2373[/single_post] [single_post show_content=”1″ char_count=”140″ show_post_type_media=”1″ show_post_metadata=”1″ show_readmore_button=”0″ button_color=”turquoise” button_size=”small” sc_id=”sc1390592365490″]2331[/single_post] [single_post show_content=”1″ char_count=”140″ show_post_type_media=”1″ show_post_metadata=”1″ show_readmore_button=”0″ button_color=”turquoise” button_size=”small” sc_id=”sc1390592470437″]2281[/single_post]
Drop me a line or feel free to comment. Also all Info-graphics are free to use on your own website or blog by imbedding the code below.