Sometimes the answer is made for you, but often it's a choice, and one you might need a bit of help on. What is most used – Android or iOS?
Both Android and iOS are popular in the UK, but slightly more people are on Android. It is understood to have overtaken iOS devices in 2012. Both are widely used. The amount spent on apps is higher for iOS, although money spent in the Play store is going up.
So Android app development is best to reach more people?
Maybe, although there are other factors to consider. Android is used over a huge variety of devices and brands. So in theory, that's a huge amount of devices to test. In reality, just like with iPhone, you can chose which devices you want to make your mobile app available to.
It doesn't mean it can't be used on other devices, it just means you are not marketing your app as supported/tested on all phone, just specific ones.Obviously, if you already know your target market closely, or perhaps have a customer that has already explained that the app will be used on iPads, your decision is made for you.
Are iPhone apps or Android apps cheaper to develop?
Let assume you're picking between either purely iPhone or Android app development (ie, you're doing one or the other only).
Is one cheaper to develop than the other?
You would likely expect the app development to be roughly the same. However, resources needed for testing can be different. There are finite iPhones and iPads to test on within the Apple brand.
Android is used over a huge variety of devices and brands. So in theory, that's a huge amount of devices to test. In reality, just like with iPhone, you chose which devices you want to make your app available to. It doesn't mean it can't be used on other devices, it just means you are not marketing your app as supported/tested on all phone, just specific ones.
Is there a way to build one app and adapt it to suit both Android and iOS?
You can develop a more neutral app that can be easily adapted across platforms. The benefits are that you can reach more people for less money. The downside is that, since the app needs to work across two platforms, there will most likely be some compromise involved.
There more about this in our previous article about hybrid apps, plus some more on Android and iOS app development options.
Other types of app
While iOS and Android are the most popular systems that apps are built for, others include Blackberry and Microsoft.