Targeting Tablets for App Development
Ah the age old question…do you develop apps for the iPad or Android? Yes, in regards to “age old” we basically mean a three-year-old, but that is beside the point and the question still remains!
If you are a developer, which way do you go with your initial offering?
Go with the Larger Market
The iPad still dominates the tablet market; however that standing probably has more to do with the fractured nature of the competitors. Android is making some very nice products and for all of those Galaxy users out there that prefer their mobile device over an Apple offering, you know they will select an Android tablet. Of course the question there is which tablet?
From a consumer standpoint, all of the competition in the tablet market is fantastic. You have a variety of options like the Google Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire, the Galaxy Note, and now the Microsoft Surface plus the good ole’ iPad. From a developer standpoint that is annoying as hell because a fractured market is harder to work with as you get a smaller piece of the overall pie even with a monster hit; it is still only a monster on one platform.
Because of that fractured nature, many people go with designing for the iPad. For starters, it is much easier to work with the iPad for screen size. Depending on the generation or mini version, you are pretty much set. However you jump out of that safe box an into the Android world, which powers quite a few devices all with different screen sizes, and suddenly you are facing extra issues.
Of course it is a pretty good guess that the Android market should mature in the next year and grow. So, if you are looking to develop an app for what will be the biggest market, Android is the best option.
Look at the App Market
There are over 300,000 applications available for the iPad. The Apple App Store sells about four apps for every one app someone buys for an Android product. This might make you think that the iPad is the better market, but what it really means is more opportunity to do something in the Android market that simply isn’t taking a successful iPad app and then introducing it to the Android market.
If you want an edge, it makes more sense to go with Android for that reason. It is more likely you could create the next big thing.
It is easier on the iPad
Honestly app development is easier for the iPad compared to the Android. Additionally because of the level of customization most Android users enjoy, some apps can run slower. Plus without the same kind of centralized control in the Android market, unlike what you deal with working through iTunes, it typically takes more time for testing and coding within the open source system to create an app.
So which way to go?
If you plan to be in the business for awhile, it seems like taking aim on Android is the most logical step. The market looks ripe for growth for both mobile and tablet applications as more users seem to be flocking towards Android products. Since you need to develop apps for where customers are, within the next year that looks like on a cheaper Android product. Plus, since it takes a little longer to produce an Android app, if you start now that market will have shifted by the time you are done.
The more you do a process the better and more efficient you become at it. So by jumping onto the Android bandwagon now, you can be ahead of the curve in regards to the speed of you app development as that market becomes the dominating one.