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How creating an Android or iOS mobile app for your business can influence project cost and success

September 19, 2018

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Sometimes the differences between iOS and Android operating systems is overlooked and underestimated by clients who may have budget constraints when considering developing a mobile app on both platforms. This blog article serves to highlight some considerations in developing an app and explain why apps developed in Android and iOS are similar but different.

Consumer app economy

Clients commonly wish to develop their app for iOS and Android at the same time in their quest to deliver efficiency savings in a business process or launch a content-rich or utilitarian consumer app. Intuitively this would appear to makes sense. Currently Android and Apple iOS are the two exclusive and important providers of operating systems for smartphones since the demise of the Windows Phone and Blackberry with a combined global market share of approximately 99%.

Since 2008, when both the Google Play (formerly known as Android Market) and the iOS App Store launched they now have over 6.2 million combined in consumer apps ready to download according to Techcrunch. The consumer app economy has surpassed US$18.4 billion and substantial growth continues in the business-to-business mobile application market delivering value to staff, customers and suppliers. Both markets are fuelled by the growth in mobile network coverage, increasingly reliable data connections, improved mobile-device functionality, decreasing device prices, growing device sales and available varieties,

and the development of new types of connected products such as wearables (e.g. smart watches) and connected home, office and industrial devices – all of which are themselves contributing to the growing adoption of Internet of Things or IoT. However, according to research by the Kantar Worldpanel Android continues to increase its market share over Apple’s iOS ecosystem especially in North America and in Europe the journal Mobile Europe reporting that Android’s market share was 74.2% in 2017 across the five biggest EU economies of Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain.

Managing expectation and budget

It is not unsurprising that the differences in the two operating systems in terms of development cost, time and resources is often overlooked until it’s time to consider the budget to develop an app. Very often projects are initially driven by non-technical people who provide energy, clarity of vision, provide goals and communicate the desired outcome of a project including the launch of an app.

Therefore, it is an intrinsic part of being a software development agency to adopt a consultative approach and act as trusted advisor to support the client and provide valid feedback and qualify any assumptions they may have made. A collaborative approach whereby the client can revise their respective goals and be better informed ultimately helps the project to succeed. The assumption that developing an app for iOS and Android may appear similar but in fact is different is just one such point in case.

HealthTech app example

A recent project involved exploring the development of a HealthTech app with a new client who was in the final stages of securing investment to develop a minimal viable product or MVP. Once it was establish that a pragmatic approach to development was required including a period of Business Analysis to define all the requirements, technical aspects and breakdown of the app, plus a period of prototyping to establish that the theoretical model outlined in the Business Analysis can be actualised. We then considered the mobile strategy for developing the MVP with enough features to satisfy the initial customers, investors and health professionals as well as provide feedback for future development.

It was at this point our collaborative and consultative approach to developing a their mobile strategy considered the differences in the operating system between iOS and Android and especially the hardware/devices/sensors and methods of managing the data, analytics and storage.

The result was an approach that suggested two options. Firstly, Option 1 detailed developing the MVP in iOS initially and Option 2 detailed a combined iOS and Android approach to developing the MVP. In real terms, option 1 represented a 34% saving in time and cost to deliver the desired MVP. More news on this project in the coming months.

App differences that have an impact on cost, time and resources

There are many differences when it comes to Android and iOS app development ranging from the impact on the clients mobile strategy, the technical foundations of app development, design and in the very process of creating the app itself. These include:

Comparing App-les and Oranges

Ios Android Dev Comparison Table

Summary

These differences in operating systems and the effect these have on cost, time and resources need to be shared with a client at the earliest opportunity to ensure expectations and budgets allow for a successful mobile app project.

Do you have a business requirement for a mobile app?

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