You most likely would not be surprised if we say that gadgets are an essential part of modern life. It's hard even to imagine oneself without a smartphone for at least one day. With the help of devices, you can easily contact your family, solve business issues on a global level, map routes, count calories, and much more.
Recently, the demand for gadgets has increased dramatically due to quarantine worldwide. The need to reduce face-to-face communication is forcing the education system, as well as the health system and other areas to go online.
Now we all have to solve our issues mostly online with smoothly running applications. Does your business have an application?
Often, due to lack of time or budget constraints companies have to choose between iOS and Android app development. The main problem here is that it is unclear how successful the choice can be and whether the application, deployed on a particular platform, will contribute to the growth of a business.
Keep in mind that one of these two dominant operating systems has a market share of 90%, and the gadgets based on it are launched around the world. We are talking about the Android operating system. It is compatible with any device and thus is able to provide business with impressive scalability.
In this article, we will discuss other benefits of Android app development and why it can be profitable for your business.
Android app development: how it was and what Android is
Besides the advantages and disadvantages of Android app development, it is also worth getting a closer look at the history of the Android company, the path it has taken before it became well-known all over the world, and, in the end, what Android is.
Let's start with a brief overview of the journey Android made.
How it was
Android Inc was founded in 2003 by a team of developers consisting of Andy Rubin, Chris White, Nick Sears, and Rich Miner. In 2005, Android Inc was bought by Google. Currently, Android monthly has about 200 million active users, as well as 2.6 million Android applications uploaded onto Google Play Store.
Google is interested in reaching as wide a user base as possible. Given the above, today for a company of any size there is a need to create Android applications for further development and strengthening its market position.
What is Android app development?
Android is an open-source mobile operating system. It has a simplified process of development, thanks to which it has a huge user base around the world. Where and when Android-based products are used? To achieve personal and corporate goals as applications are able to meet customer goals and increase business value.
To have an idea of how widespread and cost-effective Android is, let's take a look at some figures, which speak for itself.
Market share. Android absorbs about 80% market share for all mobile operating systems. Given the revenue of stores in 189 billion U.S. dollars, we can assume that Android is steadily expanding the geographic and demographic range of its users.
Devices. In 2019, the number of active Android devices worldwide was 2.5 billion.
Money. One of the convincing factors, why use Android applications, is the low entrance threshold:
- Android developers get free development tools.
- Android devices and its hardware are inexpensive compared to iOS.
- The platform has more than 200 million active users which implies the possibility of high profits.
Pros of Android app development
The mobile application provides users with access to the necessary information at any time. The digitalization of society only contributes to the increase in applications, which, in turn, simplify human life. Given the availability of Android app development, it's no surprise that it has obvious business benefits.
And first of all, you should pay attention to the undeniable advantages of having an application in terms of customer service. Here are some of them provided by our company:
- Loyalty to a brand;
- Useful feedback and comprehensive product and service information;
- 24/7 availability of your business for the clients.
Any need for graphic design can be implemented through the Android app engineering, including graphics for gaming applications. In turn, the support of the demanded 2D and 3D-graphics contributes to the additional growth of traffic in the application.
Making a decision to enter the market of mobile applications, it is necessary first of all to choose a cost-effective platform.
Android SDK - developer tools - is free of charge, except for a one-time registration fee. But the process of creation and testing itself takes place on computers and smartphones - sounds easy, doesn't it? The huge Android user base only proves the high return on development with low investment.
Android apps can compete with iOS in several categories, both in terms of the number of downloads and the number and volume of in-app purchases. Still, the difference in the paying capacity of Android and iOS users is an important point to keep in mind. At the same time, Android advertising budgets are lower, which means that ads can be shown to more users for the same amount of money as an iOS app. This is possible because of the large number of Android users.
A high level of security
The Android platform is highly secured. It has built-in features to protect the application from malware and viruses, which meets the security requirements of many organizations.
Android provides the most flexible application integration into any system, be it a multimedia platform or a data management tool. The ability to seamlessly integrate also improves application performance.
Android is an open-source system, which means that an unlimited number of alternative versions of this operating system are created. Each version - fork - is created for a different device, which means that, in fact, due to the forks, we do not get a pure Android.
Among the most common Android operating systems (forks) are the following: Oxygen OS, Fire OS, Jovi OS, MIUI, Funtouch OS, LineageOS, Flyme OS.
They differ from each other by a large number of specific features. For example, Fire OS was created by Amazon to run Amazon's Fire TV and tablets. The focus of the Fire OS is on content consumption, a customizable user interface, and connecting with Amazon services.
Common advantages of Android operating systems also include their customization, rich notification panel and fast updates. Thanks to them, Android has many out-of-the-box features and a huge community.
Broad market presence
Google, along with Samsung, Xiaomi and others, is constantly working to improve Android, making it easier for professional Android apps to be distributed geographically and demographically. They are user-friendly, easily adaptable to wearable gadgets, media streaming devices, Android-based smart TV, and compatible with technologies such as VR, AR, and IoT. Thanks to its ubiquity, the Android market share remains at the level of 70-80%.
The strong point of Android is that it is available on devices from many manufacturers, which, in addition, are more affordable, and therefore more widely distributed, compared to iOS devices. Given all this, you can see the deep penetration of your Android app into the market.
By creating an Android application, you make it available on a large number of electronic devices of different manufacturers and spread all over the world (as opposed to iPhone).
Android products can reach customers through multiple channels. In addition to traditional channels, such as the Google Play Store, AppGratis or Amazon Appstore, you can also create separate distribution and sales channels. On the one hand, getting through your own channels implies more custom work on setting up a marketing strategy. On the other hand, there may be less competition along the way.
Fast development process
The development cycle only takes a few hours. Isn't this an opportunity for a business to transform its idea into a product within an agreed and acceptable time frame? The software development speed is one of the convincing advantages of Android app programming. But there are also some nuances that need to be considered. They will be revealed later in the text.
Android application development is in the Java language, which makes it possible to target it on various platforms, such as Ubuntu and Symbian. This is one of the reasons why use Android app engineering over others, as it ensures a wise allocation of resources.
Google Play Store options
It takes a few hours for Android apps and games to be approved in the Google Play store (in the App Store, it takes several days). Developers can make changes within a few hours, which makes Google Play especially useful when it comes to new applications. As a rule, after uploading, they have to be adjusted several times according to user requests. But in Google Play, applications can even be tested through personal electronic devices before marketing the final version.
Another advantage of Android apps is that in Google Play developers can release products as MVP and provide access to their testing to certain groups of users. But not only the developers, but also the devices themselves can control the testing process, determining the percentage of users whose versions of the application need to be updated. This approach will serve to correct possible errors, as a result, users will get a ready-to-use application.
If your app is on Google Play Store, it also gets into the Google app indexing library. The number of application views leads to an increase in the number of visits to the site. Thus, one action - making an app available on the Google Play Store - solves the other marketing tasks: increasing website ranking in Google, website traffic growth, client number growth.
Android is an open-source OS, this means the following:
- Developed on Java native Android apps, can be ported to the Ubuntu, Chrome OS, Blackberry, Symbian;
- Android Software Development Kit is available for free download;
- The source code can be shared with community members, thereby contributing to the improvement of the quality of Android as a platform;
- There is a room for innovation, creativity, additional features, which makes Android more flexible than iOS;
- Android app development saves money thanks to a fast and easy development process;
- Free and simple integration with other Google products, namely Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google documents, which will improve the user experience of your application;
- The pull of subject-matter experts is vast - each Java developer is able to build Android-based apps.
Cons of Android Mobile App Development
Android app development is progressing rapidly, but this does not mean, however, that the process is pitfalls-free. Below we will take a look at the main hiccups faced by Android apps developers, and how to solve them.
No one-size-fits-all UI
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is an absence of a consistent user interface that could provide an equally easy user experience across all devices. Google has yet to come up with a set of rules to guide mobile app developers. In turn, developers also do not adhere to any specific rules. There is the point why one of the cons of Android app development is the inability of mobile applications to provide all devices with an equally convenient UX.
How to deal with this? To ensure UI consistency on all devices, forward-thinking developers use a responsive template and test the application incrementally on different platforms.
Often, to make an application more functional, many developers resort to integrating many third-party APIs. However, not all APIs are suitable for every operating system, which causes compatibility issues.
On the one hand, that's a good thing that Android is an open-source OS, as developers can customize a platform depending on tasks and specifications. On the other hand, the openness of the code makes it vulnerable to all sorts of security threats. This is the developers' responsibility to provide the development process and the app itself with a sufficient level of security through encryption.
The Google Play store has a huge number of applications for users to choose from. At the same time, free ones are preferred over paid ones. This means, you need to come up with a marketing strategy on how to monetize the application to get ahead of the competition now and then.
Recently developed Android apps are not thoroughly tested by Google. This allows developers to release applications as quickly as possible. At the same time, there is a high risk that a large number of applications will be similar to each other in terms of functionality, design, and concept. Patents and copyrights are often violated. By working with experienced developers, you can effectively address this issue and have a grasp of how to create a truly unique application without violating patent rules.
Low user purchasing power
Developing an app or game for a broad or growing market is the right choice. That being said, it's important to keep in mind that most users of Android devices are located in countries with low purchasing power and, quite possibly, there is no credit card. It is unlikely that such an audience would be able to buy a paid app. The optimal solution for them is a free app with ads inside.
The development process may be slowed down
Android app development can be slower compared to iOS due to Android fragmentation and system release cycles. In the case of Android, the application needs to be compatible with all platforms and devices. All of them come with different performance levels, resolutions, and screen sizes. If testing goes wrong, there is a risk of leaving a piece of the market without your application. You should constantly test the application until you are sure that it works correctly across all devices and versions.
And yet, even if you decide to start by developing an iOS application, sooner or later you will be asked “Where is your Android app?”. There are still many Android users, which means that it's just bad manners to ignore this fact.
Things about Android to consider
Android app development faces a lot of complexities compared to iOS. And yet, Android apps have a much greater chance to spread and dominate the world. The obvious advantages of Android apps are as follows:
- Flexible rules for product approval;
- Gradual deployment on Google Play store and built-in testing;
- SEO benefits;
- Wide and diverse markets.
If you are at the stage of deciding whether to create an Android or iOS app, first consider the following:
- Target audience (income level, demographics, and geography);
- Development budget and project implementation timeframe;
- Feature list and app monetization strategy;
- Application limitations, capabilities, and maintenance budget as options are added.
Given the fact that Android is one of the largest and most widely used OS, the market, no surprise, sets ever-increasing requirements for the highly functional Android applications development. A well-designed application gives businesses access to a wide base of target users with the low marketing efforts.
And yet, not every Android application, no matter how profitable the OS is, is capable of contributing to business success. For the app to succeed, there are many factors to consider, such as the overall marketing strategy, personalization, the smooth app running, ease of use, etc. In order to get more out of the Android app developed, it makes sense to cooperate with an experienced and reliable IT partner from the very beginning.
DDI Development has a wealth of experience in Android app development, which makes our team a choice of visionary business owners - our clients. Please see our case study on how we built a food delivery app for the restaurant business.
Using the application described above, you can increase the number of orders, improve the purchase process, improve delivery accuracy, increase brand awareness and many other benefits are ahead.
Whoever you decide to work with, be sure to check the portfolio. In this matter, our company feels more than confident. For our case studies, please head on over to this page.
In the future, Android app development is expected to grow. There will be, no doubt, certain problems, but they can be prevented or minimized. If you are seeking truly experienced developers, please contact the DDI team. You can start with Android, and gradually, as your user base and business grow, we will build other versions of your application. Email us or give us a call, so that we can provide you with comprehensive answers to questions related to application development.