Ten things to consider before you build an app

Android and iOS are two of the most popular mobile operating systems in the world, which means it’s likely that your app will be downloaded by users with one of these devices first. But how do you choose between them? It might seem like Android has more users because there are just so many people with Android phones and tablets, but not every user on an Android device wants to download your app, just like not every user on an iPhone does either. This article will go over ten things to consider before deciding whether or not to build your app first for iOS or Android (or both!).

Consider the cost

It’s not just that iOS and android app development company cost different amounts; developing for each can take up dramatically different amounts of your time. It takes much longer to develop high-quality iPhone apps, since these require learning how to use a new programming language (Objective-C) and building user interfaces designed for specific iOS devices. On top of that, if you want your app available on both platforms, as many companies do, expect to add another four months or so onto your development time.

Consider the type of app

Determine whether your app will be a utility or game. Utility apps have specific, typically simple functions, while games are designed for entertainment purposes. The type of app you choose may depend on your expertise and budget; games are often more expensive than utility apps because they require graphic designers. Additionally, if your budget is small, it’s wise to opt for a utility app—it won’t look as polished as a game but it can still provide value.

Consider your audience

People are on your app for one reason, and that’s your product. The better it is, and more efficient and time-saving, users will be willing to pay for it. If you have a small audience or niche market, then building for iOS might make sense. On Android, unless you plan on finding a way to monetize through ads or in-app purchases (which is very tough), it may be hard to justify building an application if no one is using it.

Consider your time and effort

Consider how much time and effort is involved in building your product. The platform you choose could affect how soon it takes for your company to go live, as well as whether your app will have a meaningful impact on users. Before committing yourself, think through everything from marketing efforts to business logistics. Keep in mind that it’s always easier and more cost-effective to update an existing product than it is to create a new one from scratch.

Decide whether to go solo or hire a developer

Hiring a developer isn’t cheap, but it can save you time and speed up development of your MVP. Before hiring a developer, think about whether or not your startup will generate significant revenue. If so, hiring a freelancer or contracting development out is probably worth it. But if there’s little chance of generating revenue during the early days, consider building your MVP solo and learning how to code as you go along.

Pick your programming language

There are many languages that developers can use for building native mobile apps, including Java, Swift, and Objective-C. But when developing for iOS and Android, it’s important to note that each requires its own unique programming language: Xcode is used for iOS apps in Objective-C, while Android apps are built in Java using Eclipse. If you have no prior experience with either programming language, it will take some time (and a bit of practice) to get acquainted with your platform of choice.

Test with beta users

You want your first users’ experiences to be as smooth as possible, so test with a small group of beta users. Ask them how they’d use your product or service, and then refine it based on their feedback. (If you have a physical product, send out prototype versions that have rough spots so users can tell you what doesn’t work.)

Test on different platforms

Android is a free operating system, so there’s no cost up front for developing your mobile app. However, iOS development can get expensive when it comes time to test and develop for multiple platforms. If you’re just starting out, Android may be more affordable at first.

Check internationalization and localization

When deciding which mobile platform to build your app for, think about more than just revenue and market share. One of Android’s main features is its support for multiple languages; therefore, it might be a good idea to focus on developing for Android first—especially if you plan on expanding internationally. While iOS is available in more than 100 countries, Apple currently has no internationalized versions of its operating system and does not intend to create any in the future.

Avoid these common mistakes

One of the most common mistakes that people make when they’re launching a mobile app is focusing on one platform (iOS or Android) too soon. Both platforms have their own user bases, which means if you don’t give either enough attention and energy at first, it could sink your project before it ever takes off.