Is iOS or Android More Worthwhile for Developers?

When it comes to mobile apps, most people who use smartphones, tablets, and any other type of mobile device realizes that it is more or less a straight fight between iOS and Android for app store supremacy.  Yes, other marketplaces exist, notable on Windows and BlackBerry platforms, but their market penetration is nowhere near that enjoyed by the two sector leaders.

What many people don’t realize is that Apple’s past contributes largely to their current performance in the market. Even in the days when Apple, and specifically the Mac system, were on the periphery of an industry that Microsoft were dominating, developers were still attracted to Apple’s operating systems and had a desire to develop apps for the platform.

Is iOS or Android More Worthwhile for Developers?

Starting Out

This factor alone is enough to demonstrate how Apple were able to be so dominant from the off. Yes, they were helped by being the pioneers of things like the iPod and being the market leader with this product for many years, but without the huge team of developers with a passion for the brand there wouldn’t have been “an app for that” in as many areas as there was. When thinking purely in terms of the iPhone, you have to realise how great a product that was for developers to spend time developing apps for it.

After all, the iPhone was far removed from being the first smartphone; BlackBerry had already established a huge place in the market while Palm handsets were popular throughout the 2000’s. Why weren’t any developers working on delivering jaw-dropping apps for these handsets?

Android’s Emergence

Android was once just another OS squabbling over second place, but it is now ahead of Apple in terms of handset market share around the world. The main Android development kit is Java-based, which is an important point because it makes developing an app for this OS easier, at least in theory. This is because many of the leading apps on iTunes are developed by people with years of Apple experience. At the same time, we must also recognise the emergence of cross-platform development software in recent years as a real game-changer; instead of choosing which platform to develop an app for, it is entirely possible, and not especially difficult, to look at both.

What if You Have to Choose?

If a developer was put into a situation where they had to choose outright between developing an Android app and an Apple app, then I’d suggest the Android app is the better option. Whatever way we look at it, the global love affair with Apple is starting to wane, so from a commercial perspective Android is the logical choice.

You should also consider the point we asserted earlier; many of the most successful apps on Apple come from people with an intimate knowledge of how their iOS works. Of course, there are “Google people” who create Android apps, but if you are just getting started as a developer, in particular, it is much easier to get yourself out there and show off your skills.

Author Bio: David is a technology lover who is currently looking at developing a web app to use on his JaguarPC hosted blog. David lives in London with his girlfriend, and is looking forward to spending time with her over the festive period.

November 19, 2013
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