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Should you create an app for Android or iOS first?

Posted By: Jason Parker

When you start planning your mobile app development, it can be tempting to want to release it to every type of device at once. However, you might not have the resources to develop them simultaneously. The question is - where do you start?

1. What is your app's goal? Are you looking for a higher-income, higher-spending audience, or is your goal to get your app onto as many devices as possible? With about 78% market share, an Android app will give you the opportunity to get more adoption. If you're looking for users who are more likely to spend money or your app is focused on revenue, you should consider Apple. On average, iPhone users are 1.2 times more likely to make a purchase online than Android users.

2. How many OS versions will you support? The fact that Apple has full control of the hardware and software ecosystem means there are fewer devices to worry about compared to Android, and OS adoption rates with Apple are higher than Android. The most recent version of iOS, 9, had the fastest adoption rate of any version preceding it. According to Apple, five weeks after its release, 61% of iPhones were already running on iOS 9. Android's most recent OS, Marshmallow, was only running on 0.3% of their devices a month after its introduction. However, if you or your mobile app developer can test on many different devices and OS versions, it could be worthwhile to get the complexities out of the way early on and tap into the greater market share sooner.

3. How quickly will you want to release updates? With Android, you can have updates live in the Google Play store in a few hours, or even minutes. This may not be as big of a concern if you plan to release chunky updates with lots of features, but if you want to continually iterate, this could be a huge boon for the first version of your app. Apple, on the other hand, has to review any new version of an app. This could take between five and 10 days, so if you want to release small, incremental updates, you and your users could be waiting a while. On the plus side, they do work weekends, so a Friday night submission could have you up and running sooner than you think. These are just a few factors to consider when working with your mobile app developers on your first app release. Once you have the answers, you're well on your way to release day.

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