With over 2 billion smartphones in the world and still counting, mobile applications are today perhaps one of the most efficient channels to reach out to this immensely large market and consolidate a loyal customer base. However, since this huge market is mainly fragmented in two sections- Android & iOS, one big problem that businesses face is devising an optimum strategy to make most out of each.
While choosing the correct platform for any startup is altogether a different question, about which you read here, we are here exploring the scenario where you already have a presence on either of the platforms and are looking to expand to another. While all the factors to consider will constitute a very long list, we have here restricted it to top five key areas to look out for:
The first factor by which the success of any app is determined is by the number of users it has. And after you cross the initial threshold, there is little marketing effort to do but your users themselves will spread the word. Android to iOS- Though Android enjoys a larger audience, iOS is known for its loyal customers. So, if you have a service that requires a core userbase, moving to iOS will meet your needs.
iOS to Android- Android with over 1.4 billion users outnumbers iOS users and this gap continues to grow due to the fact that 8 out of every 10 new smartphones sold are Android. So, if you have well-tuned your existing idea and refined the service, scale up your infrastructure and leap into Android to get the widest possible exposure.
Here is an interesting fact- despite having less than one-fourth users than Android, Apple actually reaps twice as much its revenues. And this inconsistency makes the situation tricky for businesses to plan their revenue sources.
Android to iOS- Due to the large userbase of Android and low app expenditure, advertisement remains the most appealing approach. But if you bring that model to iOS, it may not payoff and even end up annoying users.
iOS to Android- Since iOS users are known to lavishly spend on apps, businesses generally rely on purchases and subscriptions for their revenues. But if you bring the same model to Android masses, you may not receive much response and risk, missing out on the immense potential of the platform.
This again is one of the key concern that you need to address when you decide to port your app from one platform to another. While one instinct tells that the app layout should be uniform for both the platforms, other argue that it should better align with the design conventions of the respective platform.
And you might be aware that both Android and iOS follow entirely different design conventions. While iOS prefers Flat design, Android has switched to Material design, which ultimately results in very different navigation patterns and user experience. Additionally, contrary to general perception, deploying the design of any existing app on one platform to another requires much more effort and time than creating a new design from the ground up. That is, it would be much easier to create a material design for you Android app than to port your Flat designed iOS app to Android.
This brings us to the ultimate question- what is more important to you, your brand image? Or a smooth user experience? If it is the brand image, go for the same design, but if you are looking to offer a richer user experience, let your app embrace the design convention of the respective platform.
No matter how elegant and bug-free your initial app is, there is always a chance of them creeping in when you move to another platform, primarily due to the varying architecture and hardware upon which they are deployed. This is clearly one domain where switching from Android to iOS would be easier than the other way around.
If you already have an up and running Android app and are switching to iOS, all you need to do is test the compatibility with at most two latest iOS versions and around half a dozen handsets to cover maximum users.
But if it is Android you are moving to, things are a lot more complex. Since the platform is a lot more fragmented both in terms of hardware and software, you will have to test your app for at least a dozen of stock and custom Android versions and possibly hundreds of handsets to ensure a uniform and smooth user experience.
Security is possibly the biggest factor that lays down the path for user trust and consequently leads to more users, which further results in a successful app. This, however, isn’t a one-time feat but more like process where you have to keep evolving to over new security threats that are introduced each passing day.
Now if you are porting your successful app to another platform, the risk mentioned become two-fold. Not only a security lag can turn down the prospects on a new platform, but your brand image might also take a hit, prompting users of your already successful app to lose their trust. Generally, iOS apps are considered more secure due to a varying number of factors, while Android apps built in Java are more susceptible to data leakages. So, if you are moving from Android to iOS, chances are you will end up with a more secure app than you started with. But if it is another way around, do not forget to take extra measures like hashing the final code to make it more difficult to trace the original data.
Except for the central idea on which the app is based, the Android and iOS versions are almost two different entities. That means even if you have an app on one platform, it does not make the task of developers any easier to create the same for another. And to replicate the same design, performance, and experience of one app using entirely different technology is something that not everyone can manage as well.
So, if you are looking for a team well versed with such methodologies, hire experienced mobile app development company to coveting android to iOS app and iOS to android app.