by Cherie Wicks of SocialMonsters
As a first time app developer, you must make a decision of which operating system you first learn to develop for. iOS and Android phones have considerable differences in system requirements and hardware in addition to a host of other specifications. If you’re curious which platform you should develop for first, here’s a beginners guide to app development on both of these operating systems.
Don’t Say Both
When you have an original app idea, you may be tempted to try and develop the app for both platforms at the same time. However, when you first start out, one platform is difficult enough. Don’t overload yourself with ambition. Instead, look at the app you have in mind and take a couple factors into consideration.
Will your app be free or will it cost money? Data shows that while Android devices take up more of the market share worldwide, iPhone users pay money for apps at higher prices and more often. Furthermore, Android devices are typically used by a less-educated demographic. Of course this may be due to the price range of Android phones while iPhones are typically among the most expensive smartphones on the market. Identify the demographic your app will target, as this may influence the platform you choose.
Why iOS Is Preferred
If you develop your app for iOS you get exclusive access to the demographic that spends the most money on apps. If you know your app will earn more, more time can be spent in development. Another reason iOS is popular among developers is that you’ll only program for a limited type of devices—iPhone and iPads. This means the UI and UX can be established much easier. Android devices, on the other hand, vary in size, pixel density, hardware capabilities and more. With the release of the iPhone 7 Plus, developers have a new iPhone with more capabilities to explore. While you may be new in the app development scene, your innovative idea might be the next big app.
Why Android Is Preferred
Development for Android first is best for those looking to target a demographic squarely in the Android market, meaning developing countries and/or select urban populations. It’s also for those who want a more hands on experience with the operating system they develop for. While iOS is a closed ecosystem in which developers are not welcome to alter the OS, Android is open source, meaning app developers are welcome to form the OS around their apps for optimal performance.
Both operating systems provide different tools for developers. These tools are called integrated development environments or IDEs. iOS provides Xcode, which is a developer friendly tool that has been upgraded and perfected for iOS and Mac OSX development. Since it’s been around for so long, it is a streamlined tool that helps you code quickly and effectively.
Android is a bit different, as there are a collection of IDEs you can use. It just depends on your preference. Eclipse has been a popular one in the past, but Android recently released their official IDE, Android Studio, which is a more streamlined and functional IDE for Android but still doesn’t top Xcode for iOS.