Should I Develop For Android or iOS?

Google NEXUS 7 is an Android device. You are an app or game developer. Should you switch from programming for iOS to exclusively programming paid for apps for the Android ecosystem? Let’s look at the facts.

Develop for Android and Google Nexus 7

  • Still huge gains in tablet market share remaining for Android devices. Tablet computing is currently swamped with Apple devices, which come at a premium price point and have saturated their price point market base.
  • Google Nexus is a cheap device, hence will appeal more to children and low income users. These are the type who love fart apps and are tech savvy. They will pirate if they can get away with it, but will get their spend on with abandon when required.
  • Potentially “dumb” user base, easily fooled into taking actions you require for income streams which result in potentially huge later charges. For example, in app-purchases etc. Less likely to complain due to possible depression issues of being a teenager/low income. Google are also renowned for bad/non-existent customer service, no ones getting a refund.
  • Hype marketing works better on Android than iOS devices for the reasons listed above. If you’re a new startup warming the crowd to a free app download, go for Android.


Develop for iOS and Apple products

  • Android customers are typically after free apps. Yes, some users of Google NEXUS 7 will pay for apps, but most will be looking for freebies.
  • The Google NEXUS 7, with it’s low price point, is made to cover the high volume, cheap product market base. These are people on low incomes and hence more likely to pirate and less likely to pay for serious apps. Apple users are trained to pay and to expect to pay for quality apps.
  • Android devices are very easy to root, hence indirectly support piracy.
  • The Apple App Store is world renowned for quality on a tight leash. Not so for the Google play store. Android users have a false expectation that apps are thoroughly checked before being placed up for sale and can be left disappointed by poor quality, design and infections. If you app looks “retro”, go for Android.


Android vs. iOS development – Review

China is one of the worlds largest installed user bases of Android devices to date. We can look at China to see behaviour patterns which may repeat here in the west with cheap Android tablets. In particular, the obsession with free app twitter feeds.

If you are releasing free apps, supported by advertising, then Android is a great ecosystem to support. Android has growing market share in the west and a user-base who is obsessive about FREE apps. Ad inventory CPM on Android is around $2 or less, check yourself for up to date information.

Stick with iOS if it’s a paid app at a low price point or premium price. For software supported via in-app purchases, Android is about the same as iOS as the kids will be equally tricked into clicking buy on your $100 for 300 gold coins button before mommy can cancel out on the device. Cash in the bank, it’s their fault for being stupid right? But do remember Android offers a 15 minute cancellation period on purchases.

There is, of course, the option to develop for both the iOS and Android devices. if you have the time and consistency of focus to achieve this, then you get the best of both worlds. I recommend developing for both Android Google Nexus 7 type devices and iOS and seeing what works for you. You will notice yourself selling Android apps requires a lower price point to match profit from Apple sales.

Don’t overlook the future Microsoft surface tablets (no apps, why bother buying it, huge screen not suitable for outside) and the hopeful Facebook phone (Facebook will be Myspaced by the time that’s out). Both are in the future and for now you can just focus on Android and iOS software development.

Develop for Android – Free app or hype marketing.

Develop for iOS – Paid app or premium app.

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