There are many questions that our clients keep asking us when it comes to making a mobile app for their company. One of the most frequent question they ask is which platform is the best to choose for my company. This is the most and the difficult decision for them apart from choosing the right company from whom they have to develop the app.
Clients are always confused about which platform to develop and also whether to go for Desktop or Mobile. Whether it should be Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid? Moreover, there are other platforms like Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Symbian as well in the market. As you can see, the below chart from Gartner shows the forecast estimates Mobile OS sales by market share.
The below chart shows that Google’s android is leading the mobile operating platforms. If we take a look at the below chart by IDC, Android is ruling the market with 78% share as per May 2015 followed by iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry OS and others.
The above chart also shows that in spite of Android ruling the market, other platforms like iOS is slowly growing up in their sector by bringing in different opportunities in the mobile.
There has also been a big debate on whether to choose Mobile or Desktop. But since there has been an increase in the Mobile smartphones. As per the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) report on Internet trends 2015, the time spent by people on Mobile Digital Media is more than the Desktop and other Media. Because of this, it has become necessary to go for Mobile App Development to attract more users to your app.
Talking about the platforms to select, still remains a question mark. However, there are a few tips that can help you differentiate between the different platforms:
1) Android Application Development :-
As per the above statistics, since Android smartphones are ruling the market share, selecting this platform can help the company target to a larger audience. Also, Android mobile technology has grown because of Google’s acquisition and their efforts. Since it’s an open source it has a low investment and High Return on Investment.
It is easy to integrate if you already have a web or mobile application. This helps in easy customization of mobile app according to your business requirements. It also helps in enhancing privacy. It can also help in connecting with multiple programs. The biggest disadvantage is that since it’s an open source platform, the privacy and security is a big issue. Second disadvantage is fragmentation of the platform because of different devices in the market and clients requiring to build a customized app.
2) iOS Application Development :-
Irrespective of the open source platform provided by Android, as per the statistic provided by Apple, it earns more revenue on from iPhone and iPad than to Google’s Android which is about 90% of all dollars spent on mobile devices. Customers using Apple apps are willing to spend more on apps compared to that of Android’s user. Apple has marketed their products in the premium brand category which leads the customer for higher expectations since it is more secure.
With the upgrade of iOS 6 UI/UX and designing features, iOS 6 has opened up new design advantages for this platform. Xcode, which is being used in Apple has an advantage while migrating an app from iPhone to Tablet which is a bit difficult in Android. However, there are few disadvantages to this platform. Irrespective of the total market share is increasing, it has still declined to 18.3% according to IDC. It takes a lot of time for the app to get approved when compared to the Google app store. IPhone cannot run two applications simultaneously. It does not permit you to run outsider applications in the background. In spite of these disadvantages, the iPhone is still growing its market share.
3) Windows Phone Application Development :-
As Windows phone is ranked 3rd in the chart, it’s not far behind in the race. With the upgrade of Windows 10 by Microsoft on July 28, 2015, the competition has become tighter. It has made this version available in 190 countries. Not only have they provided the benefit of the upgrade but they have also provided them Universal Windows Platform (UWP). UWP has windows runtime model which was introduced by Microsoft when Windows 8.1 was introduced. With this feature one can install a single app onto a wide range of devices. The same code can be reused from other platforms to this Windows 10 application.
They have also released an early look of Windows Bridge for iOS that will help in creating an open source community for the iOS developers. This will in turn help in sourcing its new tools ‘Windows Bridge for iOS’ for porting iOS Apps. A similar tool is under developing stage for Windows Bridge for Android. This might lead to an increase in Windows Phone in the market.
However, to build apps for different platforms is a bit difficult, costly and time consuming too. People who have wide business and have a larger audience to target should also consider to choose the right framework for their business.
4) Cross Platform Development :-
One more option to reduce time & cost is to go for Hybrid Application Development framework also known as cross-platform development. The main advantage of this application is that one code language can run on multiple platforms and is a cheaper and faster solution. They provide you with a native look and feel with the help of an HTML UI framework, CSS, JS technology.
Ionic, PhoneGap, Marmalade, Sencha Touch & Xamarin are other different types of Hybrid Application Development framework that provide businesses with writing the code once and running it everywhere on different platforms. However, there are minor performance issues as compared to a native application. Appcelerator Titanium & React Native by Facebook are recent platforms which are cross platform and native. The support & developer community is not as large as pure native platforms, but it is growing.
To sum it up, though every platform has their pros and cons, clients should take into consideration the audience they are targeting, the budget & the time taken to develop and maintain the application. Since the demands are growing, one should try to reduce the timeline between the ideas of creating an app to the launch. As per Gartner predictions, the mobile applications shall have very little or no security.
So company’s needs to make sure that the app should be secured while developing it which might otherwise lead to violations of company's security policies. With Cloud Technology playing a major role in mobile app development and wearable technology, one needs to make sure that the application should be able to migrate with multiple devices.
Let us know your inputs by tweeting us at @LetsAlign.
You can also contact us if you want the right guidance for your mobile app design, development or strategy for your mobile development business.
Image Sources- Gartner, Windows, Microsoft, IDC, Statistic, Google