In spite of the fact that one of the most common questions is related to the platform to start with, we won’t tell anything new: it’s clear that one should start with iOS and shift to Android later!
But why iOS? What might be the reason significant enough to form a trend and even a standard? The answer is clear and straightforward - you simply get more money from the App Store. But as soon as it becomes clear that the product is doing well, make sure you have all the resources needed to shift to the Android version.
Of course, you can have some doubts and thoughts regarding the shift. For example, Android market fragmentation is one of the biggest fears developers face. But we have put together some concepts, thoughts, and ideas to reassure you that the so-called Android shift is not as difficult and complicated as it seems.
According to the statistics, iOS dominates the western markets, the US, England, Canada, Australia and Ireland in particular. Yes, talking about the global trend Android is the dominant here, however, a lot of developers start with iOS, shifting to Android later. The reason here is pretty simple - their target audience is mostly concentrated on the markets, dominated by iOS.
An important thing to notice: the startup location has almost nothing to do with the geographical area of the app market, especially now in 2021. Startups try to target Western markets first regardless of their location. These markets support massive sales, in-app purchases are also more developed there. It means the user's average revenue is more substantial.
But the world is full of other markets, so starting with iOS and shifting to Android is not the only option. It is obvious, yet the only way. Yes, North America and Europe get a lot of attention, but there are markets with huge potential and relatively vacant fields to start with. It technically means that you can start with Android at the very beginning. The regions to target are Brazil, Mexico, India, China and South Korea, Saudi Arabia where Android is growing pretty fast.
In case you are among those who want to expand the user base, the shift from iOS to Android is the key strategy for you. The larger your user base will be, the bigger is the monetization potential and mint-be revenue, no matter which device your target audience uses.
What do you think, is there a difference between Android app development costs and iOS ones? The answer is - no, it’s not. And it's another surprising fact to know. Thanks to the data provided by Google, you can have a look at deciding which versions and devices should be the ones to focus on. Of course, if you support a few versions, the development time will be relatively short and vice versa. Time spent on development has a direct correlation with the final cost. So fever versions mean less time - less money.
To figure out what devices your target audience uses are very simple - one should analyze the traffic coming from the app’s landing page. When you have all the data in hand, the complexity of the development process and the number of versions and devices to be considered become not so pressing.
Sometimes the stakeholders have fear, related to the number of resources to be tested. But when you are working with Celadon, this fear should not bother you at all. We possess all the latest and most popular Android devices in-house, so our clients can expect constant support and bug fixes (if any).
Android has another advantage that is underestimated. And this advantage is the speed of getting an app on the Google Play Store. Approval terms are milder and easier to score in comparison with App Store. It means that the releases will be delivered with minimum delay. If you have published your app in the App Store at least once, you get what we mean. Two or three weeks in the case of iOS seems to be too much in comparison with 3-4 days for Android, however, you can do updates daily and they will be delivered to the users.
If you believe that developing for Android is a huge pain in the head, it means the only thing - you are not developing for Android. The market of Android devices is huge, diverse, and plentiful, it’s true. The fragmentation issue on its own is tackled by the developers' tools, allowing to specify the UI layouts and handle all possible issues elegantly. Keeping the same codebase we can have as many layouts as we want because Google was actively supporting layout diversity from the very first day.
Just for you to have a clearer vision, let us say one simple thing. The current Android version supports 20 resolutions. Amazing, isn’t it? But in fact, we should not consider all 20 while developing - only about ten resolutions are enough simply because they are in active use. Some out-of-date versions can be ignored as well when it comes to shifting to Android. For example, Android 2 and Ice-Cream Sandwich version users amount to only about 3% of the market. And, to be honest, they are unlikely to pay for an app at all. The version you should consider is KitKat (version 4.4.) used by 36% of Android owners, Lollipop (version 5.0–5.1) used by 33% of users, and Marshmallow. But the percentage is not the only factor to consider. For example, only the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are running the latest Marshmallow version, which amounts to 0.7%. But these people will be among the ones who would willingly pay for a valuable app. Jelly Bean (version 4.1.- 4.3.) can be the version worth supporting for some areas and fields. But the final decision should be taken only after profound market research so you can be sure what options will playoff.
We do hope that the idea of converting iOS applications to Android does not seem so scary and terrifying. To nail it, let us provide you with some additional arguments in favor of Android.
Overall the revenue App Store makes is twice as big as the one for Google Play. Figures are figures and they are tough. But one of the most prominent tendencies is a shift in favor of Android being the most commonly used operating system for mobile devices.
But stiil, Apple App Store brings in roughly double the revenue of the Google. As the iOS becomes more and more popular, the demand for quality rises, as the quality of the products themselves.
But this process is not the fastest one, and until it is completely established, the business can take advantage of Android's flaws. Let’s take some features the users like, but which are difficult to implement on Android. The most common example - a video editing app. This functionality requires more skill and time, being much more complex in comparison with the one for iOS. There are two main reasons - lack of video supporting libraries and lack in the quality of the cameras Android devices possess.
You will spend more time and money, 100%. But the solution you come up with in the end can be the first rock in the field. Little competition and lack of high quality apps in the field allow to set prices at once.
One of the recent updates of the Google Store is so called promotions, allowing the product owner to provide users with free access to the app itself or to a certain piece of content for free. Of course, if the promo code is redeemed. Still, there are a lot of resources related to implementing video editing functionality on Android. In case you are about to dive into it, the time spent on reading will be worth it.
Regardless of the editing functionality and complexity of the app, it is still one of the main sources of advertising revenue. As Opera Mediaworks reports, the video add share increased six times this year. Just another one of the facts to think about and analyze: users in the USA view more video ads than users in Europe.
Opera Mediaworks has pointed out another trend worth considering. Back in 2015 it was for the first time when Google overpowered Apple in terms of advertising revenue share. But when you are reading the reports, keep in mind that most of them exclude Chinese market at all and as a result there’s non representation of the data from Chinese Android app stores. One can say that Google Play is banned there, but people are hunting for valuable products and downloading them otherwise. Rumor has it, Google is about to launch their product soon. So if Chinese market is among your goals, it can be one of the reasons why converting iOS app to Android can be worth doing.
Unique possibilities Android platform is able to provide is yet another point to keep in mind. These possibilities become even more vivid in comparison to iOS. Converting is much more than simply transferring from one platform to another. It is more about providing the users with the experience they are looking for, regardless of the platform.
#1. Widgets... Android's got ones for a long time ago. They provide a great opportunity to raise a user's retention rate letting quick access to the app and displaying the most important information (like tasks, reminders, and headlines of new articles). If the widget provides rather valuable information, it's possible to sell it among other in-app purchases. So it comes with additional monetization opportunities while converting your iOS app to Android.
#2. But if you think that iOS apps do not have such flaws, you are not quite right. There’s a significant difference though. Let’s take push notifications. They do not light up the screen, nor are they displayed on the locked screen. It makes them more secure because all the world around them does not know what the app is about to say to you. However, Android has a bigger character limit for push notifications.
#3. The “Back” button allows Android users to navigate through the apps, menus, or pages history. For business, it means, in particular, that the user can easily return to the purchases in case he had left a checkout page open. iOS users know: as soon as the back button is tapped, the app is closed.
#4. But the key focus should be on the intent. In simple words, intent is a dialog asking users what app they would like to use to complete the intended action. Also, they can provide the app with information whether they want it to handle all similar requests the same way in the future. The most common example is when a reading app asks a user if he wants to use the same app to open files of the same type. Intents know everything - what apps are installed and what is going on on the device. They can be easily implemented. One should just register intent filters so the OS could figure out what the apps should do with this or that kind of data.
#5. One of the biggest pros of Android is its customizability. Perhaps, a user likes an app and finds it convenient and user-friendly. Thus such an app can be set as a default. Messaging apps are the best example.
#6. Smartwatches are another game changer now. They are developed for Android, they are affordable, users like them and use them on a daily basis. But now they work pretty good with both platforms. The battery capacity is bigger, and there are more possibilities for customization as well.
To sum up, we can put it simply - Android is a good platform to put an app to. We can’t give any strong recommendations, it is still up to you which platform to start as the first one. But we would still suggest following the steps of other successful startups and launch your app on iOS first. When you get some substantial success with it, think about the shift to Android.
We would be glad to help you port your app from iOS to Android so the success will be doubled!