January 2, 2018
When designing mobile apps, it’s easy to get caught up on iOS and Apple products. American consumers have a long existing love affair with Apple products, but what about Android? In this post we’ll discuss why businesses should focus on building apps for Android, the challenges that come along with it, and how to create a valuable experience for the Android user.
Why Develop Apps for Android
As an American consumer, the combination of fierce brand loyalty, media attention and famous captains of industry makes Apple appear to be the smartphone market leader. Businesses in turn, tend to focus on app development for iOS.
Apple currently commands 35% of US market share and about 15% of global market share. Android maintains over half the world’s market share for smartphones. Google reports that over 2 billion active Android devices exist in circulation. While certainly the device to user ratio isn’t perfectly 1:1, that means Android devices sit in the hands of nearly one third of the world’s population.
Android offers a variety of products at varying, more affordable price points and partners with hundreds of providers each year. Its product offering caters to a wider audience whereas Apple keeps design focused, pricing high and partnerships limited to create scarcity and hype. For many isolated and poor populations, access to an Android device provides the first glimpse into the outside greater world.
In the current marketplace, nearly all businesses rely on mobile apps to some extent. In order to effectively reach the largest global audience, your business must focus on Android app development. Depending on the framework and target audience of your app, you will want to consider the projected number of downloads, usage and overall ROI when allocating your app development resources by operating system.
Major Challenges in Android App Development
With all software development comes some inherent challenges. In the domain of Android development, some of the toughest challenges include software fragmentation, security and patent issues. Software fragmentation is a direct result of the wide range of product variety available for the Android operating system, some of which operate on different iterations of the OS.
Build a Great User Experience
Whether you’re developing apps for Android or iOS, you want to create the best user experience possible. The same industry best practices apply to all smartphone operating systems. A recent edX article lists 15 tips for creating the best UX for Android. Some of the best practices listed include knowing the latest trends, listening to your users and to study your competition. Companies that create the best mobile experiences for their customers will be poised to succeed now and in the future.