Developing an iOS app and Android app at the same time may not be the most efficient way to build a great product.

In most cases, it doesn’t make sense to build apps for iOS and Android simultaneously. You should focus on developing an app for one platform first. We typically recommend developing an iOS app before building an Android app. Over the years, we have found that iOS apps are easier to design, test, and deploy because there are only a handful of iPhones and iPads that need to be supported. On the other hand, Android has thousands of devices that need to be supported which typically takes much longer to design, test, and deploy apps (approximately 1.5x the time it takes to develop an iOS app).

Choosing which platform to develop your app for first depends on your target market and product needs. It may make sense to build an Android app first if your customers are primarily Android users or if your app needs deeper access to the OS (for example, this is the case for certain enterprise hardware diagnostics apps). In most cases; however, it usually makes sense to start with an iOS app before developing an Android app. Here are a few reasons to develop apps for one platform instead of two at the same time:

  1. Easier to design

    iOS and Android apps have different design languages. Each platform has a set of human interface guidelines that must be met to provide users with a quality experience. Startups don’t have the resources to design two unique interfaces, run usability tests, and then make changes based on feedback. Spend time on perfecting the user experience on one platform and then port it to the other. You app’s baseline user experience will stay the same, so it will actually be less work designing for the second platform.

  2. Easier to fix bugs

    Your app will have bugs when you launch. It’s inevitable. You don’t want to spend time fixing bugs on two platforms at the same time (it will take 2x to 2.5x the effort). It costs more money and takes more time. Learn about problems and fix bugs on one platform to avoid those mistakes when you start building for the other.

  3. Easier to improve

    It’s always easier to learn from users and incrementally improve apps when you’re focused on building for one platform. It will give your team time to properly validate assumptions, make incremental improvements, and deploy changes quickly (keep in mind that it takes 2x to 2.5x the effort to do this for two platforms simultaneously).  As your company grows, you’ll understand your product better, put processes in place to build more efficiently, and have the insight required to build for other platforms without making your previous mistakes (which ultimately means you’ll need fewer resources to build for the other platform).

Developing an app for one platform will allow your company to focus on creating a great product and perfecting it. You will end up with an app that provides value to your users and can easily be ported to another platform when your company is ready.