Help me decide - Android or Iphone app


I want to create an app, but i am not sure if i should create an Iphone or Android app.
I have a mac and have both enviroments installed.

My goals.
I would like to make money from my first app. I know that you have to pay to develop for IOS where developing for android is free. My main goal is to make a profit.

I will have to take into account the market share and also the competition from other app and
app developers.

My question
Which app (iphone or android) will sell the best?

My skills
My programming skills are from beginner to medium. I am not the best programmer but i have some

I would like to work on a platform which is beginner programmer friendly.
I am looking for a platform which is easy to use and user friendly.
Which is faster, making an Iphone app or an android app.

Also which one do you think have the best resources and tutorials out there.

I have one more questions - Free or not free.
What do you think would generate the most profit.
If i sold my app for 0.99 dollar or if i made it a free app and made money from advertisment.
If its free more people will download it. But i am not sure how much money you would actually generate
from advertisment.

Do you think i will make more money by making it free or not.

It would be interesting to hear your opinions and suggestions.

Kind regards

Most of the statistics I’ve seen show that ios apps sell better. However, why not use a cross platform development platform (appcelerator titanium, phonegap etc) then you can have the app available on all of the main platforms. Would you design a website for one browser only?
To make money from advertising, you need huge amounts of downloads, so unless you are confident there is demand for what you have in mind, this may not be the best avenue for profitability. My main tip if you consider yourself a ‘beginner to medium’ level developer, is to work on your skills and research more first, and worry about profit second. A short cut mentality in a competitive and talent filled market place is an unlikely strategy for success.

Thanks for the good advice.

I understand what you mean and i agree with what you are saying.
I want to learn not only the programming side of developing an app but also the marketing side.

I want to make market research a big part of my app. That is why i have been asking these questions and why i sound very greedy.
I want to learn more than just programming from this experience.

You have raised a very interesting point about developing for all platforms. I was also considering it. But i dont know if the timing is right.
I think in the future most apps will be web apps.

I am not sure how profitable it would be to make a web app compared to an native app. At the moment i think native apps have the best profit margin, but i am speaking under correction. I am not sure. I will have to do more research. I can understand that you have a bigger target market, but how would you reach that target market. Is there a big app store for web apps?

If anyone know or have an comment it would be interesting to hear.

Kind regards

I’m not referring to web apps as such - the frameworks I’ve mentioned compile to native app code per platform, apps that download and install from each platforms marketplace. In the case of phonegap in particular you could take a functional web app and easily convert it to a fully native app. The main reason for choosing native apps over web apps is the extra api functionality you can access, and of course market visibility (and hence potentially profitibility)

Thanks so much for your help. I feel that i have a much better understanding. I have started looking into phonegap to.

If anyone else have any other views or experiences that they would like to share, please let me know.

Well, this is a very tricky question. I develop for both iOS and Android. Android has a bigger target market. I have built the same app for both android and iOS and gave both away for free. And the number of downloads on android far out ways that of iOS. But iOS apps do sell a lot better. As most android apps are free whereas iOS, most are paid for.

But, if you app is popular, you can make lots of money from advertising. if you look at Angry Birds for example. They charge for the iOS version, and give away the Android version for free, just serving ads. And they make a lot more money from android ads, than charging on iOS. But, the chances of that happening often, is very rare.

Android is a lot easier to code for. The environment is a lot better and stable, even with eclipse being as dodgy as it is. Do not listen to people who tell you the android is fragmented and harder to code for, etc. That is far from the truth. Android is no more fragmented to that of iOS. The best is to target lowest API and upgrade if you need specific features. Even then, you can use reflection to get it to work.

Dealing with the different screen sizes is not hard at all, and does not take a lot of time as some people seem to suggest. Doing design is a bit easier for iOS, as there is 2 resolutions you need to worry about if iPhone. And another if you going to add iPad support. But all the grunt work is handled by the system. Adding support for tablets, is a lot easier. As it is supported out the box, and you basically just need to add compatibility for different screen sizes, but android SDK also make it very easy.

One thing is, that android uses a filesystem type solution, where iOS uses an actual solution file, which is a lot better to exclude files and add certain files, etc. But the iOS solution folder, can get quite dirty if you do not do it correctly, as a “folder”/group you create in xcode, is not a physical folder on disk.

Also, currently, iOS SDK has no garbage collection, so you need to retain and release memory. Where as android, you do not need to worry about that, unless it comes to using a lot of Bitmaps. But that being said, the new version of iOS 5 that is coming out soon, will be have GC. So it will be a thing of the past.

So, after all that. Android is easier to develop for, but iOS will probably make you more money (as selling/buying apps is not supported in all countries yet). Unless your app becomes hugely popular. I would definitely suggest doing and android and iOS version. I would also suggest learning each platform independently, as apposed to using phonegap or something similar. But if speed is a priority, phonegap can help a lot.

I hope this helps you decide.

Good luck

This definitly helps.
Thanks alot everyone.

@NightStalker_DNS Thanks for your informative post.

Don’t forget about Windows Phone either, while it is currently relatively small compared to Android and the iPhone, it is gaining.
I’m just saying…

I develop for iPhone and Android. I use HTML/CSS/Javascript to develop most of my apps. ( I use PhoneGap ( to drop my code directly into Xcode and Eclipse environments with a minimum of coding changes. If your project can be developed as HTML/CSS/JS, then you can easily develop for both markets with only a few alterations.

I personally sell 10 times (literally) more apps in iTunes than the Android Market, but that’s because my users are more iPhone-oriented, I suppose. Know your market!

I’m glad you mentioned that StevenHu, because that’s something I was going to bring up.

Many generic apps (i.e., non-games) can very easily be made as web apps (HTML/CSS/Javascript) and then packaged into native apps using programs like PhoneGap. This can be a very powerful tool, especially if you already know HTML/CSS/Javascript. You can pair this with something like jQuery Mobile, which does a lot of handy mobile UI stuff without the need for much/any Javascript in order to make good apps quite quickly.


My web site has a page of links to helpful mobile app information that may help you come to a conclusion if you are making your app with HTML/CSS/Javascript:

Do you have any idea which coding direction you’ll go? What are you proficient in?