When it comes to developing an app, one of the first choices you need to make is which platforms you want to develop it for. The primary platforms are Apple, Android, and Windows. Each platform has different development costs, and developing it for several platforms typically gets expensive. Here are some things to consider when choosing your app’s platform:
- The most important thing is to identify your customers and which platforms they are on.
- Determine the cost of developing, and updating, apps on different platforms and compare this with where your customers are. Especially when starting, you want to be able to reach the most customers for the least cost. You can always expand to other platforms later if the demand is there.
- Consider your competition on each platform. If there are similar services available on Android but not on Apple, it might be best to start on Apple so you can get established without fighting steep competition.
- Compare the app stores. How many apps are in the category you are entering, what is the average user acquisition cost, what is the average income on each (Apple users tend to spend more), and whether there are any other relevant differences for your particular app. These can include the longer approval times for updates through the Apple store and the higher rates of piracy in the Android store.
- Consider whether cross-platform development is a good choice for you. If your customer base is evenly split between platforms and your user interface is fairly simple, it might be a good, money-saving route to take. However, if your app has a more complicated user interface, requires more frequent updates, or if your app needs access to more platform-specific functions, it is likely not the best choice.
Identifying the right platforms for your app can take some time and research, but it will greatly pay off in saved time, development money, and greater access to your target customers. It is essential to take the time to fully evaluate this decision, and it is best to narrow down your choices before approaching a developer so they can give you an informed quote on the cost and timeline for each of the options under consideration. Just remember that you can always expand later, it’s easier to tweak designs and handle bugs on one platform than more.