Getting your app into the hands of customers, employees, or business partners is important to achieving the goals that led you to develop a mobile app in the first place. To achieve that goal, is it better to launch on the Android or iOS app store first?
The answer depends on your intended user base, the goals of your app launch, and other factors. Find out more about the benefits of both major app stores to make more educated decisions when planning your app launches.
App stores by numbers
Understanding each app store’s benefits helps one understand its market position. The Android and iOS app stores make up a huge global app market. As of the third quarter of 2022, the breakdown was:
- Google Play (the Android app store): 3.55 million apps
- Apple App Store: 1.6 million apps
- Amazon app store: Under half a million apps
It’s also important to understand which devices people use because that drives which app stores they turn to for solutions. Android and iOS devices split around 99% of the global mobile device market share, so that’s good news for businesses developing apps. While there are certainly reasons to consider other platforms, most purposes will be supported by these two.
Based on those numbers, you might think you should launch on Android first because it has a larger user base. However, you might also need to consider the demographics of your user base and whether they’re more likely to be using iOS or Android devices.
Consider doing your market research for this purpose. It can be as simple as sending out a survey asking customers to tell you which platform they use or prefer.
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Launching on Android first
When should you launch on Android first? If you don’t have a lot of information, but you definitely have to go with one app store over the other, you should probably pick Android. It has the biggest market share, and outside of the information that would lead you to believe your target users favor Apple, you’re likely to get the biggest bang from an Android launch.
If you know your demographics are aligned with average Android users, that’s another reason to launch on the Google Play Store first.
In September 2022, TikTok was the most-downloaded app in the Google Play Store worldwide, generating almost 24 million downloads from Android users. Instagram was the second-most popular app, with over 21 million downloads from global users.– Statista
And finally, if you’re not launching a consumer-facing app, you need to consider who you mean to use your app. If it’s for your employees, for example, you may want to consider the types of devices you provide. If you have company smartphones and tablets that are Android-based, you’ll want to launch on Android first. Even if some people bring their own devices and use Apple, launching with the platform you support first helps ensure the most expensive rollout.
Advantages of launching on the Android app store
Here are some points when discussing the advantages of launching on the Android app store first; let’s dive in –
1. Larger user base
Android has a larger user base than iOS, with more than 2 billion active monthly users worldwide. This means an enormous potential reach for your app on the Android app store.
2. More open platform
Android is known for its open platform, which allows for more flexibility and customization in app development. This can make it easier for developers to create unique and innovative apps. Android’s open ecosystem enables apps to communicate more easily with other apps and services.
3. A wider range of devices
Android has a broader range of devices than iOS, which means that your app will potentially reach a wider audience, including budget-friendly devices and high-end models, allowing you to target a broader market.
Downsides to launching on the Android app store
However, there are also some potential downsides to launching on the Android app store, such as:
1. More complex development process
Android’s open platform can also make the development process more complex, as there are many different devices and operating system versions to consider. The app store has a lower entry barrier, leading to more competition. Make your android development process easier by hiring an expert android app development company.
2. Increased fragmentation
Because there are many different devices and operating system versions, ensuring that your app runs smoothly on all of them can be more challenging. This can lead to increased fragmentation, making optimizing your app for all users difficult.
Launching on Apple first
In what situation would you launch your app on iOS first? The same answers hold true here: If your business primarily uses Apple products and the app is for employees, you would probably want to launch on iOS to start.
You might also consider an Apple-first launch if your target market is more likely to have iOS mobile devices. For example, if you’re aiming a product at tech-savvy early adopters who are young and like to travel, that demographic might heavily favor iOS.
Approximately 35 percent of iOS app users were aged between 50 and 64 years, while 24 percent of newsstand iOS app users were aged between 25 and 34 years.–Statista
Advantages of launching on the iOS app store
We’ve tried to list a few advantages and disadvantages of launching your app on the iOS app store to help you make an informed decision –
1. Higher revenue potential
iOS users tend to spend more on apps and in-app purchases than Android users, making the iOS app store a more lucrative option for app developers. According to a report by Sensor Tower, iOS users spend nearly twice as much as Android users on in-app purchases and subscriptions.
2. Premium user base
iOS users are often considered more affluent, making them more likely to spend money on apps and in-app purchases. Additionally, iOS users are more likely to be early adopters of new technology, giving your app a chance to gain traction and visibility among influential users.
3. Streamlined development process
Because Apple has stricter guidelines for app development, the development process for iOS apps is more streamlined and efficient. This can save time and resources during the development phase. You can hire an experienced iOS App development company to get hassle free results.
Downside to launching on the iOS app store
However, there are also some potential downsides to launching on the iOS app store, such as –
1. Restrictive platform
Apple’s guidelines for app development can be more restrictive than those for Android, making it more difficult for some developers to get their apps approved. Apple’s closed ecosystem can make communicating with other apps and services harder.
2. Smaller user base
While the iOS user base is considered more affluent, it is also smaller than the Android user base. This means a smaller potential reach for your app on the iOS app store.
Making a tech-based decision
Sometimes, the decision on where you should launch first may be more tech and process based than audience based. Perhaps you plan to launch on both platforms eventually, but for whatever reason, iOS app development is easier or less time-consuming for this particular project. You may choose to go ahead and launch without waiting for the Android app dev to be completed.
For example, iOS apps are typically developed using Objective-C or Swift, while Android apps are developed using Java or Kotlin.
If you already have a team of developers experienced in one of these programming languages, it may be more efficient to launch on that platform first. Additionally, different development frameworks and tools may be better suited for one platform over the other, so it’s important to research which frameworks and tools are best suited for your app’s specific needs.
It’s also important to consider the features and capabilities of each platform and how they align with your app’s goals and target audience. Ultimately, by considering these technical factors, you can make a more informed decision on which platform will give your app the best chance to succeed.
This type of discussion is important to have with your app design and dev partner throughout the development process. Talk to them before you even start development to understand timelines and what might come into play when developing apps for various platforms.
Can you launch on Android and iOS at the same time?
It’s also important to realize that you may not have to choose. Cross-platform app development services make it possible to create apps that can be launched simultaneously on Android and iOS platforms.
However, launching on Android and iOS can have advantages, such as reaching a wider audience and potentially increasing revenue. It also requires additional resources and costs, such as developing and maintaining two separate codebases.
Examples of successful apps launched on both platforms simultaneously include popular social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok and messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Viber. Some gaming apps like Subway Surfers, Temple Run, and Angry Birds have also successfully launched on both platforms simultaneously. These apps have leveraged the broader reach of both platforms to gain more users and generate more revenue.
It’s important to note that simultaneously launching on both platforms is not a one-size-fits-all solution and may not be the best approach for all apps or companies. The budget, resources, and target audience should be considered before making a final decision. In some cases, focusing on one platform may be more beneficial before expanding to the other.
Consider the Full Picture When Planning an App Dev Project
Make sure you consider the full picture and understand all your resources before you decide when to launch an app and in what order. Launching on iOS and Android platforms simultaneously is often ideal in mobile app development. But to do this effectively, you need to be able to support a simultaneous launch. If you can only handle one at a time, it’s better to do them separately and get them right than to make a mess of them and cause customers to delete your app and not use it.
Net Solutions offers a wide selection of mobile App Development services. Our expert dev teams can design, develop and help you launch iOS, Android, and cross-platform apps. We also help support strong app store optimization so that wherever you launch first, you have a better chance of being found by the right users.
How Net Solutions helped build a highly-rated android-based sports app for a leading media company in the UK?
Haymarket Consumer Media, a leading provider of sporting news in the UK, hired Net Solutions to develop an android version of their successful iOS app, FourFourTwo, to cater to their android users. The partnership was a success, with the android app receiving high downloads, favorable ratings, and positive reviews.
If you’re looking to expand your app’s reach and cater to a broader audience, you need the help of a mobile app development company. Like Net Solutions did for Haymarket Consumer Media’s FourFourTwo, our team of experts can help you to develop a mobile app and make your app a winner!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I decide which platform to launch on first if my target audience is not clearly defined?
One approach could be to conduct market research and surveys to gather information on your potential users’ demographics, usage habits, and preferences. This can help you identify which platform aligns best with your target audience.
2. What are the costs associated with launching on multiple platforms?
The costs will vary depending on the specific development resources and tools needed for each platform. It’s important to factor in each platform’s additional development, testing, and maintenance costs. You’ll need to pay the fees for the developer accounts to submit the apps to the stores.
3. How do I ensure that my app is successful on Android and iOS platforms?
A few key factors can contribute to an app’s success on both platforms. These include a strong marketing strategy, ongoing updates and improvements to the app, and a focus on user engagement and retention. It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest platform guidelines, features, and best practices for each platform.
4. What are the best tools for cross-platform development?