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The leading mobile platforms are advancing by leaps and bounds, with new OS versions for both Android and iOS having been recently released. However, the development community is still bitterly divided over the dilemma which platform is better for the people creating the apps, both sides armed with strong arguments supporting their preference. While there are certainly reasons to consider picking iOS, a very strong case could also be made for Android as well, particularly for developers looking to get established quickly. Here is a list of reasons that can justify such a decision:
Android Market Is Growing
There is no doubt that Apple brings more cash to developers right now, but total size of the market has shifted in Android’s favor with a 52% of mobile users in the U.S. owning a Google account compared to Apple’s 37%. More activated devices today means more business tomorrow and many developers are already positioning for the future.
Uneven Global Distribution
While the rivals are fighting each other nearly to a standstill in major Western markets, there are parts of the world where Apple is simply no match for Android’s popularity. These are not some irrelevant countries either – huge target markets such as China (where more than 90% of smartphones are Android-based) and other Asian countries are also on this list.
Lower Requirements For Starters
Instead of having to buy a Mac and pay $99 annually for their App Store accounts, developers who choose Android can work on any machine based on Windows, Linux or even iOS and spend just $25 to get registered. The difference may not be much for established guys, but for beginners it can mean a lot.
Faster Learning Curve
According to experienced software developers who tried learning both platforms from scratch, it takes considerably less time to get acquainted with Android. Of course, this issue can be quickly resolved with some practice, but the fact remains that novices have a shorter route to their first sale if they stick to Google’s OS.
Less Exclusive Programming Language
One of the crucial differences between iOS and Android app development is the programming language used. Android developers mostly code in Java, which is one of the most accessible software development tools, while knowledge of the more demanding Objective C is necessary to create an iOS app. This factor makes Android community more welcoming towards new members.
Wide Open Environment
Developers crave freedom as much as users do and they grew to appreciate the flexibility offered by Android. This platform makes it possible for apps to publish data, which can then be used by other applications for various purposes – quite a contrast with Apple’s rigid set of rules limiting what your app can do.
Wider Range Of Hardware
Android’s compatibility with devices produced by multiple manufacturers opens up the market for a variety of unique apps. Android developers can take advantage of the advanced hardware features found in some of the best selling high-end phones, and lately even consumer electronics products are becoming able to run Android apps!
Better Integration With Social Networks
From the moment it launched its mobile platform, Google was focused on collaboration with major social networks, so Android is well optimized to stimulate content sharing and user interaction. This way it is more convenient to develop social apps and we all know this is one of the fastest growing categories with excellent revenues.
Publishing And Reviews
Difficulties with passing strict App Store criteria for publishing the app are already legendary and the entire process can take as much as 3 to 4 weeks, which serves as a great motivation for developers to switch platforms. With Android, apps can be uploaded to Google Play on the same day, the rate of rejections is far, far lower and app reviews are much easier to put out.
There is a consensus that Google Play is doing far better job than the App Store when it comes to informing the developers about the performance of their apps, since it breaks down the number of installs and uninstalls by Android version, country, device, language and other parameters. When you think about it, Google is basically leveraging its knowledge about internet analytics into the mobile sphere.