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How Do You Choose The Best Mobile App Platform?

How do you choose the best mobile app platform when you are developing you own app? It is a good question because the choice of platform is a rather fundamental step in the entire process and very well could be the key factor that determines the overall success of your project.

You are going to have to pick one road to start your journey, so obviously you want the one which will have the least number of potholes and speed traps.

Options options options

Most people only identify Android and iOS, which makes sense considering their market shares. But Windows is growing in popularity and of course there is always good old BlackBerry RIM.

Each platform has good things, bad things and probably a few ugly things that should be considered. While it would be nice if every platform offered the same options, the fact of the matter is that each platform has its’ own specific capabilities. Before picking one, it makes sense to review the general capabilities for all of them.

While it can be a good idea to launch an app on multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android, that is an expensive proposition for an un-tested app and a secondary roll-out should be a secondary consideration after the initial launch is completed.

Platform considerations

  • Target Audience – By far the biggest consideration has to be your target audience. Who is going to be using this app? What is that demographics preferred operating system? Logic says that to be the biggest success possible you need to expose your product to the largest market segment possible. For personal users Android and iOS make the most sense while a corporate segment might find Windows or Blackberry to be a better choice. Make sure you know where your users are so you can best capture them!
  • Environment – Each platform has a specific environment from which to work within. There are different types of code to work with, and the coding phases of development can vary depending on the skill of the people you have working on the project along with any issues that develop from code being used. In some cases it might take more time and resources to utilize one platform over another which might be a cost consideration. Different developer tools offer various options in regards to versatility and code reusability.
  • Revenue – For many people revenue is an important factor for the app they want to build. In some cases the revenue might be secondary to a business goal, but often time’s people want to craft a money-generating hit. While Apple has a smaller market share of the platforms available, they also have a higher retention rate for mobile users which could lead to more loyalty among users with a hit. On the flipside, Android has a very large market share which means more possible users.
  • Analytics – Depending on the type of app you are developing and overall goals, analytics may be an important piece of your puzzle. Having good analytics available to help monitor and analyze specific data could be critical to understanding how to improve and adjust your product to ensure customers are happy.
  • Cloud Scalability – If your app becomes a huge success that will require cloud scalability to ensure your growing user base can handle the traffic of your app. After all, you don’t want to hit a benchmark of one hundred thousand users only to find out that your capacity is 99,999.
  • Theft – One thing new developers might not be aware of is theft issues that occur in the app world. Google Play was designed to be more open in nature and unfortunately that openness has lead to a much higher rate of pirated apps. Apple on the other hand has protections to help prevent easy cloning. Not to say you can’t use Google, but that explains why more developers opt for ad-injected models for revenue on Google rather than a straight paid app.

The bottom line

Most likely one single platform won’t be the end-all-be-all for your project so the key is to pick the one that ultimately appeals to the largest segment of your target users. From there, how you choose the best mobile app platform is by looking for the one that checks off the most boxes for your needs.

 

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