Although a GoodBarber subscription includes both iOS and Android versions of your app for no extra cost, sometimes app creators find themselves in the position of needing to choose between publishing on the App Store or Google Play. This can be due to budget constraints, time restrictions, different objectives you are trying to achieve, your audience, etc.
So, if you must decide between publishing on the App Store or Google Play, what are the pros and cons of each? Here is a brief outline of the advantages of each platform depending on your situation.
Unfortunately there is no such thing as publishing an app for free; Apple and Google Play both require you to purchase a developer account, but they are not equally financially demanding.
A lot of people are not happy to find out that Apple charges a $99 yearly fee to submit and maintain an app in the App Store. If there is no room in your budget for this hefty price tag, consider publishing only to Google Play who charges just $25 for a lifetime membership.
Is monetization one of your main objectives?
Although it’s more expensive to finance an iOS app, if you plan to take advantage of monetization options, you may find that it’s not difficult to recuperate this expense and earn additional income.
If you’re considering advertising in your app, keep in mind that according to 2014 mobile advertising revenues, iOS devices are the clear winners in terms of monetization levels. Apple users have a significantly higher click through rate and their tendency to have more disposable income gives them the leading consumer position in the m-commerce industry.
There are also important aspects to consider if making your app paid or free is a matter. When you publish an app to Apple, you can choose to make it paid/free and then change this later on. However, when publishing on Google Play, the decision you make in the beginning is the one you’re stuck with for life—if you decide you want users to pay for your app later on, you will have to create an entire new one and rebuild your user base.
In any case, the statistics show that iPhone users are more likely to purchase a paid app than Android users, so if your app is paid, you may have more room to gain users and profits in the App Store.
If you are running on a tight schedule, take note of the major differences between the platforms regarding time requirements and ease of publishing.
The bottom line is that it is much quicker and less of a headache to publish on Google Play than the App Store. After going through the generation process and arriving to the point of publishing your app on Google Play, you will see it available online just a few hours after you click “Publish”.
When you want to publish an iOS app, there is an extra step required, which is for them to review your app. Once you submit the app for approval, you could be waiting anywhere between 7-20 days for a response from them. Assuming your app is accepted, it will then become available to the public, but we all know that this is never a safe assumption! There is a lot of advice available on how to avoid an Apple rejection, so if conscientiously followed, there should not be a problem. However, this process and rejection possibility is something to keep in mind if you are not working with a lot of time. Also, remember that when making certain updates to your app, a resubmission for review may be required (another waiting period), so time is not exactly on your side when dealing with iOS apps.
This is not meant to discourage you from publishing your app on the App Store—it’s very beneficial to do so and is absolutely worth the extra effort, but if you need an app to be public tomorrow, the Android route is the way to go!
Who is your audience?
Just as you have target markets, so do Apple and Android. Apparent in the disparate price points, Apple tends to target more affluent territories such as the US and western European countries, while Android has aimed to make itself more accessible to lower budgets, dominating market shares in Asian, African, and South American regions. So while Android reaches a larger amount of users, Apple has a directed group of clients who are more inclined to spend.
Apart from geographic differences, Android and iPhone users tend to fall into other demographic categories as well. Android has been known to have a larger male user base, as well as a tendency to attract more technology-oriented individuals. This can be relevant information based on the type of content you intend to provide.
Depending on the demographics of your clientele, one platform may be more profitable than the other for you to invest yourself in, so do some research on who you should be targeting and match your efforts to their devices!
Who is the winner?
There is no right or wrong platform to choose and this information isn’t intended to depreciate one or the other—if you have the resources and it makes sense for your project, publishing on both stores is always the best bet.