Why do Android projects cost more than iOS?

It seems that the development of an Android project costs more than its iOS version. So, if you develop an app for the iOS platform, should you have it done for Android as well and vice versa? Obviously having both versions will increase the overall development cost, but, it may seem strange and prohibitive that there is a difference between them. So, what justifies the discrepancy in budgets? Why do Android projects cost more than iPhone apps?

In our experience, customers still opt for an iOS app first and only afterwards consider its Android version, hoping that it will slash the budget. Can that be attributed to the fact that iOS users are more extravagant with money and if the app doesn’t take off there, it is pointless developing it on other platforms? Besides, due to many reasons as this was determined by history, iOS project ideas were appearing primary. If so, such a tentative approach may turn out to be a false economy. Perhaps, in the long run it is better to develop them both from the outset. Anyhow, nothing hints at iOS vs Android development race will finish in the nearest future.


Related: Key components of a successful mobile project


However, if they are not developed together and the iOS app does generate the revenue, when the time comes to develop its Android equivalent, the customers are often angry to discover the Android project cost estimation does not meet their lower cost expectations. How come?

Coding: language, IDE, UX design

Well, coding for Android can be longer because of the Android project structure features such as Java language ones being supposedly more verbose than Objective-C or Swift.

It is common knowledge that it is more effective to write code in an integrated development environment or IDE and here lies another difference: Apple’s Xcode is slicker than Google’s Eclipse or Android Studio. Somewhat off the topic, Google was acutely aware of their cumbersome IDE because as of December 3, 2015 they made the first stable release of Android Studio to replace Eclipse.

Techcrunch.com suggests that UX design of the iOS is simpler: three screen sizes and two screen densities compared with mass of complexity on Android. The issue is only one among many other conveniences for developers inherent iOS projects’ structure.

Fragmentation (device versatility)

Owing to a big number of Android devices, it requires more time to ensure the app’s compatibility as opposed to the standardized Apple hardware. This OpenSignal’s report confirms that Android fragmentation remains a major issue, with 24 076 distinct device types requiring customization of your app. Meanwhile, 75 per cent of iPhones an iPads have already been upgraded to iOS 9, 19 per cent still operate on iOS 8, and merely 7 per cent use older versions. Given this device versatility, it is no surprise the development, testing and support for Android are a lot longer, i.e. more expensive. Here a customer faces another price-concerning reason while weighing up iOS vs Android project management expenditures.

Clearly, therefore, the budget for an Android app will be higher because the coding, testing and support require more man-hours. I hasten to add these findings are made on the supposition the developers are equally knowledgeable and experienced. Although the idea regarding Android vs iOS development cost is evident, the exact price difference depends on the certain project task which can be properly evaluated only by both-platforms professional developers.

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