Android-using phones are selling like hotcakes. Although iPhone sales have held a relatively steady rate, the phone is not as widely used as an Android phone. However, when it comes to apps and the platforms developers tend to prefer, the might iPhone seems to be holding on to the top position. Why are iPhone apps better and why does it get all the good apps first?
The history of better iPhone releases
The idea that Apple has the best apps might seem controversial. But it isn’t the opinion of an iPhone-fanboy; there is hard evidence to suggest big, popular apps have been developed on iOS first before slowly moving to Android OS.
In terms of gaming apps, popular games like Plants vs. Zombies, Clash of Clans and the Fallout Vault, iPhone users were playing the game before Android owners. The trend hasn’t just been visible in gaming apps – Instagram was a thing on the iPhone for 18 months before Android users had a chance to be part of the social media revolution.
There are tons of examples like the above. Not to mention, there are apps still on the iPhone that Android owners haven’t gotten their hands on yet. Super Mario Run is an iPhone only game, although an Android version is coming somewhere down the line.
Of course, there are plenty of examples of Android apps that iPhone users haven’t been able to try in past and present. However, iPhone tends to be the platform of choice for most developers – especially the big names – so why is this?
Lower cost and faster development times
The most obvious reason is the fact that developing an iPhone app will take you less time and money. iOS platform is more straightforward and this is not just anecdotal evidence. According to an Infinium study, iOS apps tend to require less coding than their Android counterparts. When the independent design and development agency studied apps that have appeared on both platforms, they found the average difference in coding line to stand at 38%. In one example, the Android had 124% more code lines to the iPhone version. Furthermore, the same study found the number of coding hours to differ as well. Android apps took on average 28% longer to code.
For developers, especially the smaller, independent ones, the fast development can be a big positive. Why spend more hours and more money on developing the product on Android, when you could already be trying to sell the app on the App Store?
Interestingly, the above also feeds into the problem of the quality of the app. Since it can be more difficult to develop an app for Android, developers might try to cut corners or hire cheap developers. This has led to an influx of bad quality apps that can, in turn, have some developers shy away from the platform altogether.
Ease of development
Apple has its own unique platform for developers to use. This is a giant benefit and adds to the ease of creating an app for the operating system. On the other hand, Android doesn’t have a preferred coding platform. There are software tools that help, like the Android Developer Studio, but these are not always held in high regard by the developers.
Developers find getting started with iOS coding easier, cost effective and they feel support in doing so. Apple is rather good at fixing problems on the platform and does provide a lot of help for developers. Google doesn’t always come across as enthusiastic to help coders.
iPhones also have an advantage to Androids when it comes to marketplace segmentation. Since iPhone only works on a single phone, users tend to be using the newest operating system. This is enhanced by the fact the software is actively pushed through – Apple will either automatically update your OS to the latest version or it will subtly force you to do so.
On the other hand, Android users are not as good at keeping their OS up to date. Not only do they use a number of different phone models, with varying update mechanics, they also like to rely on the OS that works for them. By looking at the data from Google Play Store, you can notice there are still over five different Android operating systems in use, with the majority preferring the OS that’s already over two years old. According to Apple’s own data, nearly 80% of iOS users are on the newest system.
As mentioned, Android developers also have to take the more segregated market into account in terms of the devices the OS is used. iPhone models don’t come in ton of different screen sizes and functionalities – your iPhone6 wasn’t that different to iPhone5. However, Android can be used on Samsung phones, HTC devices and so on. The screen sizes are multiple and the functionalities differ a great deal.
Interestingly, iPhones continue to sell rather well despite many claiming it’s about to decline. If you browse the deals at OZCodes.com.au, you can see mobile retailers tend to have a preference on providing offers for the iPhones. The trend is supported by data on Android users switching to Apple. BGR reported how 26% of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus buyers were switching from an Android phone – developers would, of course, flow to where the users are and at this moment, they still tend to prefer an iPhone to Android.
In terms of the development of the app, iPhone continues to hold the upper hand – that’s why the good apps tend to be first on the iPhone.