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 >50,000 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 50,000+ Android devices out there are running thousands of different versions of Android (ranging from version 4.3.1 to version 12). Most Android device manufacturers write their own Android software, which makes it even trickier. Large companies (like Samsung) have giant programming teams developing updates for every device they have ever put out (so Samsung devices operate fairly consistently). Smaller Android manufacturers obviously have less programming resources, and their updates may be slower to come out (and perhaps not entirely bug free). Bluetooth control products require and rely on an Android operating system that is bug-free (when it comes to handling bluetooth).

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.

Our development process is: develop on iOS, verify everything functions, port to Android. We know there are many Android users out there and appreciate their support.

If you are an Android user, while you are waiting you might consider you can generally purchase a used iPhone6s plus on eBay for ~$50, and you don’t need any sort of plan to use it.