Is it better to launch on Android first?
While the iOS versus Android debate usually centers on consumers choosing a device, the question of which mobile platform is best to target first is just as important for mobile app developers. It might seem sensible to launch on both platforms simultaneously to maximize your audience, but this isn’t always the smartest move. A good approach is to launch on the platform you assess as more likely to bring you quick results. At the same time you can use this platform as a practical testing ground, then take user feedback, reviews, and bug reports to refine the app before launching on the other platform. Below are a couple of reasons we think you should launch on Android first.
1. It owns the majority of the market share in both US (53%) and worldwide (78%).
With over 1 billion active users, 1.6 million apps, and 50 billion app downloads to date, Android is clearly #1, and will remain so for the foreseeable future, according to IDC. Each platform does have its own clear biases toward specific demographics (income, education, age, geography, interests, etc.), so these factors should drive your decision more than just the aggregate user numbers.
2. It makes iterating easy. No approval times!
Initial app launch should be an experiment designed to learn from your users’ behavior. Launch, gather feedback and metrics, learn, iterate, repeat. Having to wait a week, on average, for Apple’s approval, really hinders the speed of this process.
3. It gives you better visibility into the acquisition funnel.
When tracking the users through your acquisition funnel, from search to install, Google’s Play Store integrates beautifully with Google Analytics, which makes your user acquisition optimization a breeze.
4. Easier to stand out.
Despite its market dominance, most companies still launch on iOS first – iOS is perceived as sexier and is frequently chosen as the default platform. This creates a bit of an opportunity to more easily stand out from the crowd if you chose Android as your initial target.
5. More open source components mean richer user experience, faster.
Android has a rich open source community, which means a ton of crowd-created frameworks, plugins, and components to speed up development and make your app richer and more customizable.