An Android App increases your addressable market by 40% in the U.S. and even more internationally.

Many of our clients give priority to the development of an iOS (Apple) app over an Android app. Considering the usage of iOS compared to Android, and the spending characteristics of the iOS users, that is a valid approach.

With 57% market share for iOS devices in the US1, and the fact that Apple users continue to spend twice as much money on apps as Android users2, launching with an iOS app is often the best choice.

However, would you just ignore over 40% of your potential market? Simply because they have another phone? Can you imagine that a supermarket would not let any clients driving a Japanese or Korean car into their store? Also, if you are thinking expanding internationally, in the rest of the world 75% of the smartphone users use an Android device, and just around 22% an iPhone3.

The good news is that building an Android version of your iOS app is typically around 40-60% cheaper than building your first version of the iOS app. Requirements, parts of design and everything that happens in the backend can be re-used for the Android app. And with a stable iOS app as a reference, the development and testing process will be easier.

There are however a couple of differences between iOS and Android that you need to be aware of when developing an Android app if you already have an iOS app.

Difference in development

Apple and Android use different programming languages (Swift vs. Java or Kotlin), different development platforms (Xcode vs. Android Studio), different libraries and, of course, run on different devices with subtle quirks which makes developing for Android a unique skill. A skill that is developed by training and experience plus a commitment to continuously testing and improving real applications.

Different design standards

Apple and Google both have their own specific guidelines and recommendations to use platform-specific standards as users of the devices are used to work with those. An existing iOS design needs to be checked and adjusted to match the Google design guidelines and recommendations.

Also, an Android app needs to be designed to be responsive, to look good on different screen sizes and resolutions. There are only few variations in iPhones, but there are plenty for Android devices, so Android designs needs to be able to adapt and deal with those differences.

None of these differences are a problem for an experienced Android team. Designers and developers are aware of these differences and know how to deal with them. Having a stable, tested iOS app will help them during the design, development and test process as it can serve as an example.

At Ballast Lane Applications we have a skilled, professional team of Android developers, designers and testers who have up to date knowledge and experience with the latest development and trends in Android. We developed 10s of apps on both platforms, so we know the differences and the pitfalls.

If you are interested in developing an Android app based on an existing iOS app or have any questions about the above, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to share some more experiences with you and explain our approach when building a new Android app based on your current iOS app.

Sources

1. iOS market share in the US
2. Apple users spend twice as much on apps vs Android users
3. iOS Smartphone market share worldwide

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