Why do Developers release iOS versions before Android?

Category : Articles

If you are an Android user, you may have noticed that developers commonly release on iOS before Android. Why is this? There are actually a number of reasons worth understanding.

iOS has less devices to develop for
In iOS you basically have 2 devices to develop for (iPhone and iPad). Although there are slightly taller and shorter screens to consider on various models, testing is very straight forward. On the other hand, there are 5000-6000 different Android devices to develop for and take into consideration.

iOS enforces Operating System software updates
Apple works really hard to pester users into getting the latest version of iOS. Although users may not like this, it makes life much easier for developers, because the majority of iOS users are running on the latest software update for their device, meaning less bugs (bluetooth connectivity). The 5000-6000 Android devices out there are running hundreds of different versions of Android (ranging from version 4.3.1 to version 8). Most Android device manufacturers write their own Android software, which makes it even trickier. It is very important when using an Android with app-driven hardware (like BlueRail) that you have the latest software your device supports.

Knowing this, it is generally prudent to develop for iOS first. This way you are developing on a more consistent platform, and can focus on getting the functionality of your software where it needs to be (which is often an iterative process through updates). Once you release on Android you need to be prepared to spend time addressing device-specific issues that only appear in a limited amount of Androids out there. Developers rely heavily on Android’s built-in “Crash Report” system that allows users to fill out a crash report if they experience a problem. The developer receives a crash report specifying the details of the crash, as well as device details (phone model, version of Android etc). Fortunately new builds with fixes can go live in the Google-Play very quickly (often less than 1 hour). So updates to Android apps is much faster than Apple products.

BlueRail recognizes many model railroaders are Android users and always strives to support the Android community.