Now that Google and Apple have both unveiled their future plans for their respective mobile platforms, it’s up to the consumers, and more importantly, the third-party app developers to make their decisions. Which OS do they make their priority?

Back in the good old days, this was an easy decision to make: go with the one that had the most users. More users typically meant more downloads (and $). But now that Android and iOS are almost even, developers have to look at other metrics…

One of the more popular measurements to gauge has become app-retention — how often are users actually opening your app after they download it? And in this category, iOS is still the king.

Localytics reports:

“But not all apps are created equally. Delving deeper into the retention and user metrics, iPhone and iPad users are 52% more loyal to their apps than Android users. A healthy 35% of Apple iOS users launched an app more than 10 times after downloading, compared to 23% of Android users. The average Android app also suffers from 24% one-time usage rate compared to just 21% one-time usage rate for iPhone and iPad.”

Given the well-documented fragmentation issue on Android — thousands of different devices, with different screen sizes, running different versions of Android — it’s not surprising that the platform’s app retention is low.

Imagine how many apps users come across in the Google Play store that either aren’t compatible with their particular device, or don’t look right due to screen size/resolution, and are then, immediately deleted.

Apple, on the other hand, is fairly particular about what apps make it into its App Store (despite a few missteps). And it even has a list of guidelines for developers to stick to, so that all iOS apps have a similar look and feel.


  • Kok Hean

    Wow, I didn’t know that the strict guidelines of the App Store apps have such great advantages too!

  • skychet

    Android “suffers” a 3% difference in one time usage rate to “just 21%”? The graph “Retention of app users acquired” is completely misleading. It measures the total number of times an app was used, it does nothing to quantify how many “users.” Take this poorly worded report with a grain of salt.

    • Melvco

      “A healthy 35% of Apple iOS users launched an app more than 10 times after downloading, compared to 23% of Android users.” I think that’s the bigger find here.

      • Ibz

        But exaggerating the difference between 24% and 21%?? I hate Apple FanBoy talk. In the world of business reporting, you don’t take sides. But I guess this is yet another fan site instead of a true business info site.
        I mean come on! Android suffers from a staggering enormous 24%!!!!! while apple has just a very tiny 21%!!!

      • smtp25

        Did you REALLY think this was a business info site? Its fanboy site.. its not an unbiased industry commentary site

      • Ibz

        So we cry about 3% drop and rejoice bout a 3% increase? Because its a fan site? Lol

  • Loopthree

    What about the fact that android users can return an app for a refund within 15 mins of download? I’m sure that plays a part in changing these stats. And also the fact that more android apps are free. iOS users probably feel more compelled to use an app after paying for it, thanks to Apples unreasonable terms. There are too many confounding factors to take these results seriously.

    • Sorry but majority of Android apps aren’t highquality enough.

      • Loopthree

        I don’t see why that’s relevant.