Should I develop my app for Android or iOS?

You’ve got a plan for a new app, and you’re ready to get it developed. Long term you probably want to target Android and iOS, but if you’re starting with a proof of concept or you plan to stagger your release, how do you decide which platform to target first? At Control F1 I am often asked this, so here are some pointers to help you decide.

Key stakeholders

What devices do your key stakeholders use? From experience, this often proves to be the deciding factor. If you need buy-in from stakeholders, being able to put the app in their hands on their own device is invaluable. It usually sways the decision towards iOS, but if your key stakeholders use Android, that’s the way to go.

Your devices

What device do you use? If you target your own device first, you’ll get updates and see development progress on your own phone. This is convenient, but the real benefit comes when you demo your app. You’ll interact with your app more naturally, and show it off in a better light.

Target market

If you are aiming to get your app to market quickly, start with the platform that is most used by your target market. If you have a captive audience on only one of the platforms, this is easy. Otherwise it might seem like a no-brainer that Android has the largest overall market share, but when you look deeper, the distribution is very different across different market segments. We’ve developed for customers with 98% of their users on iOS, so take the time to research your market properly.

App features

My rule of thumb is if your app can do something on iOS, it can do it on Android. The same isn’t necessarily true in reverse, because iOS is a stricter platform to develop for. If your concept relies on something contentious, develop for iOS first. Tracking users, accessing device data and automatically starting up your app are some examples, but take advice from your developer on this.

Available developers

If you’re limited to a particular developer you might be steered towards their platform of choice. Be cautious of this, but if you don’t have a compelling reason not to go for their platform, getting a quality app on budget is better than no app at all.

There are a few pointers to help you decide which platform to target first. If in doubt, find a development partner you trust, and they’ll be able to advise you.

For app development and more, contact us at Control F1.