4 Differences between iOS and Android Users

Mobile apps are an amazing marketing platform that can enhance your business and extend your reach to new customers. Like any other marketing platform, it is key to understand your platform’s demographics in order to appeal to the correct people. Mobile apps become successful because they cater to specific demographics and solve their problems. Market research needs to be conducted to discover user pain points. After the pain points are discovered, solutions have to be drafted for those pain points. There are quite a few mobile app platforms to choose from and companies usually have to ask:


What platform should I build my app on? iOS? Android? Windows?


Android and iOS are the most popular platforms and account for the majority of the mobile market at 99.6%. The 99.6% essentially means that there are two options for a mobile app, Android and iOS. Android and iOS are very different platforms with their own nuances and quirks. We will discuss a few of the nuances between the two platforms on the article.


1. Market Share

Android holds about 85.9% of the mobile market while iOS has about 14.1% of the total market. Mobile app usage and spending in apps are constantly increasing at a rate of about of 20% which means that apps are here to stay. Android is the more popular platform with a substantially higher amount of users compared to iOS. iOS on the other hand, is less popular but generates more revenue than Android apps. Choosing between Android or iOS depends on the app’s long term goals. Android apps are better if a large user base is required and an iOS is the better choice when trying to maximize revenue.

2. Retention, In-app engagement

Everybody is different, even when it comes to what phones they buy and how they use their phones. Knowing people’s differences on how they use their phones is key to picking between Android and iOS.


iOS users are more likely to engage in apps that are content oriented but Android has a wider variety of apps. Apple has much stricter settings for their App Store compared to the relaxed nature of the Google Play store. As a result of Apple’s strictness, iOS users are accustomed to higher quality apps and will not be keen on apps that does not meet Apple’s standards. iOS users are usually very happy with their devices and are less likely to switch to another platform like Android.


As a general rule, user retention is much higher on iOS than Android. When comparing the two, one must choose between appealing to a wider audience with less retention or a small audience with higher retention.


3. Difference in device capabilities

In terms of phone specs and performance iOS and higher Android phones are on the same level. Older and cheap Android phones will have weaker performance and they might not be able to handle more strenuous apps. iPhones are very standardized and the experience is the same on every device. iPhone users are used to this standard and expect the apps they use to follow that standard. Android phones come in many different flavours and they can vary greatly between different phone brands and are open to a great amount of customization. In general, iOS users value consistency and aesthetics while Android users value the openness and customization of their platform. Apps that provide customization like launcher, browsers and antivirus apps are more likely to do better on Android while social media apps and commerce apps will do better on iOS.


4. User Behaviour

Android users tend to be between the mid to low income range while iOS users are on the high to mid spectrum. iOS users tend to also have higher education levels and value content at more consistent rate.  iOS users are more likely to make in-app purchases, buy apps and sign up for subscriptions than their Android counterparts; about four times more! Android users tend to save their money and are more introverted compared to iOS users. These statistics don’t meant that that a well educated, high income individual won’t buy an android phone and an. As long as the app is focused on catering to its target audience, user behaviour shouldn’t be a big issue.


After taking a good look at the nuances, what should you choose for your app?


Sometimes the correct choice is to build for both Android and iOS. Building for both Android and iOS should maximize your user base while maximizing revenue  With modern app development it is much easier to build and deploy both Android and iOS at the same time.

If a choice had to be made between Android and iOS, the following is a good general rule:

  • If the app is aiming for gaining a wide audience, go with Android. If the app is meant to provide customization and enhance the abilities of a device, go with Android.
  • If the app is aiming for a small, loyal and high spending audience, go with iOS. If the app is meant to be monetized such as a e-commerce app or a subscription service, go with iOS.

A second general rule is, as long as the app caters to its audience, it will be successful on any platform.

We hope we’ve answered your raging question and that we have provided you with the insight to make a killer app.