Companies still deploying iOS first as Android remains MIA online

By , Apr 24, 2013

Google Maps 1.1 for iOS (teaser 001)

You would think, given Android’s raw numerical advantage, that app developers would first build for the larger market. However, Apple’s iOS appears to offer companies other, more valuable qualities. Indeed, one need only look to last Friday, when Twitter unveiled its #music service – available initially only to iOS users. Another iOS exclusive, Twitter’s Vine, has yet to hit the Android platform.

Key to why companies are still developing apps first for iOS are findings that Apple’s mobile software is both used more often and the users are more loyal to the apps they download. What is Android’s response: change how such things are measured….

Sarah Perez, writing for TechCrunch:

But perhaps most importantly is the fact that some number of Android owners aren’t downloading mobile applications at all.

Google tacitly acknowledged this fact earlier this month, when it made a change to the way it measures Android version adoption on its Developers site.

The company explained that, going forward, it would only show data reflecting those devices that had visited the Google Play Store.

But what’s causing iOS users to browse the web on their iPhones and iPads while Android users simply aren’t?

In the past, we’ve written how survey after survey shows iOS leading in mobility activity: online, viewing ads, downloading apps. Yet other surveys show Android leading by sheer number of handsets shipped.

Perez offers an interesting possibility: Android handset owners make use of the ‘phone’ portion of their smartphones, while iPhone owners pay more attention to the ‘smart’ component.

Some believe there are quite a few Android owners who simply don’t use their phones like smartphones. IBM’s Black Friday 2012 data seems to back this up. These users are phone-first, and ‘smartphone’ second.

IBM in 2012 found 77 percent of mobile traffic on Black Friday was from iOS devices (iPhone or iPad), while 23 percent was from Android devices. The disparity was even wider when surveyors looked at specific devices.

Chitika (tablet usage 201303, chart 001)

For instance, Apple’s iPad 88 percent of tablets online with Amazon’s Kindle appearing next with five percent. Along with iOS having more mobile usage, Android owners just don’t download as many apps.

It’s worth repeating Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s words from June of 2012. Responding to a question from an Android-toting audience member who was frustrated with iPhone exclusives, Schmidt was adamant developers would soon change their mind:

My prediction is that six months from now you’ll say the opposite.

As we’ve written developers love iOS because they earn more revenue from apps written for the Apple mobile software. Earlier in April, Google went so far as to change how it counts Android adoption, now recording only Android devices that visit Google Play.

Canalys Q1 2013 app stores (chart PED 001)

The TechCrunch piece only highlights the folly of judging which smartphone camp is ahead simply by counting devices.

As we’ve seen with how much revenue Apple can squeeze out of a square foot of retail space, one shouldn’t count out the iPhone too soon.

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  • Mohammed Sahib

    Yeah. Android users are too busy customizing their phones to do anything else. iOS users, on the other hand, have little to do with their expensive gadgets other than going online and using 3rd party apps.

    • Kurt

      iOS is an apple launcher. nothing more, nothing less. We all hoped iOS 5 would change that. It didn’t. iOS 6? nope. iOS 7? I’m going to look at history and go with, nope.

      • Alicia

        Android sucks dont tell me u like that os!!??

      • Kurt

        Never used it. Just to play youtube videos so that doesn’t count. But I watched a ton of vids on youtube about Note 2 and it blows our iphones away. iOS can’t compare. I like my iPad, but its really about the apps. With a phone its more about the OS + apps. I want real multitasking. we have enough ram to support real multitasking. My Touchpad is awesome for multitasking. iOS devices are capable, but communist apple doesn’t allow.

      • IndiePhoenix

        We have multitasking, done smart. You multitasking bitchin’ people are crazy!

      • lmao

        The iPhone has multitasking, or at least something they call multitasking. The apps actually pause or just quit when you press the home button. The apps that simply quit will show in the double-tap task list, but will restart when you click on it – many games do this.

        Other apps such as browsers are much better behaved, but they just pause when you go back to you home screen, or turn the device off – it would be nice if it finished downloading the page it was on at least before pausing.

        * There are special apps such as Skype, Safari downloads, App Store downloads, and music that can continue to play or function in the background, but this does not extend to most regular apps.

      • Kurt

        You wouldn’t want to watch a youtube video, then perhaps quickly go to write an email while still listening to the video? Because you can’t with this “done smart” multi-tasking. Even when iDevices had 128 megs of ram we could have a few apps open and running with backgrounder. Now we have far much more ram. Our iDevices could easily handle it. I just want my smart phone to act like a smart phone.

      • IndiePhoenix

        That’s probably because Google didn’t ask for that privilege for the YouTube app. There are many non-Apple apps that can still play music or videos in the background, like Vimeo or DailyMotion. How come those apps can play video in the background? It’s not Apple’s fault if Google didn’t properly design the app.

        I also hate the seek bar that the YouTube app has, I would have much preferred the one designed by Apple.

  • http://twitter.com/Kevinfest Kevin

    Its true! Most of my friends that currently own Android devices don’t even have any apps on their phones. I am always on the look out for new and interesting apps, even with a jailbroken iPhone.

  • http://twitter.com/wamid Em Oh Shi-Habi

    The nike FuelBand does not support android as well, and it says it has no plans whatsoever to do so.. The gadget is a huge success and I’ve seen many people complain about lack of android support. #JustSayin’

    • http://twitter.com/El_Barto_01 El Barto

      i believe cook is on Nike’s board so you can definitely forget about android support..it just wont happen… guess nike doesnt like money

  • seyss

    you forgot that cracked apps in android is so much easier to get.. in android you can just download an apk and send it to your phone. in iOS you have to jailbreak, install appsync and other stuff

    • Krel Adam

      and this is why android has low quality apps and never get exclusives

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Android is feature packed right out of the box, whereas basic features (such as creating a contact group) is missing out of the box in iOS, which forces users to go find a solution in the AppStore…

    • http://twitter.com/Konahamarue ElementalXTC

      did you miss this “Android owners who simply don’t use their phones like smartphones”

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Did you miss this “But perhaps most importantly is the fact that some number of Android owners aren’t downloading mobile applications at all.”

      • Krel Adam

        Are you not noticing the lag in your android? Or are you just in denial like 80% of android users?

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Are you that blinded by your iTardness that you can’t realize that it depends on what you install? Only reason iPhones (running official iOS) don’t lag is ’cause they barely do anything in comparison to Android phones. Install only sandboxed apps (no widgets/tweaks) on one of today’s Android device and it won’t lag.

        If you free your iDevice and install tweaks that consume RAM and run continuously in the background, you’re guaranteed to eventually notice some lags, like I randomly do on my freed 4S. I’d rather have small lags here and there than get locked out of a device I bought…

        Ps. Incase you still haven’t noticed, I don’t use Android…

      • Krel Adam

        Its all about the user experience. Android just cant seem to provide that. Maybe Keylime Pie will fix it (probably not)

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Neither can iOS’s limited stock functionality. Missing basic features that have been available in dumb phones for years (such as creating contact groups and bluetooth file sharing) isn’t considered good user experience.

        Unless you’re saying a user is only an iTarded individual who’s a computer illiterate (which you seem to be), in which case, they wouldn’t even know what they’re missing out of the box…they’re the kind of people who buy iPhones just so they can say the “I have an iPhone” phrase.

      • Krel Adam

        I don’t think you understand why people go with iOS. I Personally went with iOS because of the few android devices i previously had either lagged, had terrible quality apps, and was a nightmare to deal use. I’ve tried everything from a S3 – HTC ONE (high end phones).

        And I am not computer illiterate in any way, Ive built all my PC’s and even rooted and tweaked some of my Androids. iPhones can be for people who want something simple,but for me its because it works.

        I don’t think you will ever understand unless you own an iPhone.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Lol, keep telling yourself that iTard. I use a freed iPhone 4S as my main phone today and I would never have bought an iPhone if it wasn’t jailbroken in the first place.

        The official iPhone is just nothing compared to the competition, IMO….I just want my SmartPhone to be smart and being limited in functionality is just not smart at all. Period.

  • lmao

    All results from Chitika are skewed. They are a cheap Adsense alternative, however what they, and people fail to realize is iOS Safari dies not block their advertisements, or have any form of advert privacy, where as Android’s Android browser (or Chrome, or Firefox) browsers tend to block these by default. This makes it look like iOS is the only game in town, but in fact, it’s the only one allowing advert tracking.

    • IndiePhoenix

      Right, first thing every Android “power user” does on their phone is disable ad-tracking… Let’s get serious. If Android users were that smart they wouldn’t install apps with malware in them. But since we know they do just that…

      • lmao

        Most people would, if they could (which they can). Does not matter much anyhow, as many manufacturers have this enabled by default on newer releases. If you look at browser headers on all android versions up to early 4.0, you will see they actually represent themselves as Safari on iOS, simply to have the pages render properly as Android was not as popular back then. These devices are still widely used today which again skew the results…. It does not take much to come up with reasonable conclusions on your own… if you are not blinded by the big silver apple that is.

      • IndiePhoenix

        So, in the future, the results won’t be as skewed, let’s see them then.

      • lmao

        Once those older devices are retired, absolutely.

    • Kurt

      +1
      You should contribute to IDB as a writer. You always have good info to share. Thanks you, thank you

  • lmao

    “But perhaps most importantly is the fact that some number of Android owners aren’t downloading mobile applications at all.”

    This could also be simply because most Android users already have everything they need on a stock device, where as iOS needs to hit the app store simply to be usable.

    • IndiePhoenix

      Let’s get serious! First, even if they wouldn’t need apps because they have everything in their “feature packed” phones then surely they would surf the net and they would get a bigger procentage for Android in web surfing and ads revenue. That doesn’t happen and I’ll tell you why. Because since the iPhone touchscreen devices are trendy and everyone wants one. But those who can’t afford an iPhone or a Galaxy S3, a genuine smartphone, will get a cheap touchscreen phone with Android on it. Yes, those with 240×320 resolution like Samsung Galaxy Fit, Galaxy Mini, Mini 2, etc. I work in a phone shop and see these people everyday. They just want a phone, to phone from it, but want to be trendy. So they’ll get a cheap dumb-phone with Android.

      • lmao

        Android devices come with more useful apps, plain and simple. They even come with a full fledged office suite (Polaris Office) which is nothing short of amazing. The fact more iOS users are active on the web does not mean much (see my points in my other post), but also because the Android devices are already ‘ready’, and don’t need pissing around on-line to get the things you need. Facebook, Twitter, and dozen other apps are pre-included, or easy to get with the app store (which is not web based btw – not taken into account on these stats)… iOS is simply boring in it’s factory state. The only time it is truly useful is when it’s jail broken, and updated with more useful apps. (*caugh* google maps *caugh*)

        iPhone was trendy once, but today it’s boring, and the fact that every 5yo kid on the street sports one, makes the matter worse. The Galaxy S3 / Note 2 phones (even in their plastic wonder), or the HTC One will get more attention from others than an iPhone 5, any day.

        The iPhone was so last year, and they need to come up with something completely new and refreshing to keep them on top. They will fall if they do not, and I am pretty damn sure they are aware of this. iOS 7 could be the holy grail – we will see. As it stands right now, Android beats iOS in almost every aspect (talking OS, not manufacturer) – Apple has the hardware down pat, they now need to get something ‘different’ on the devices to keep them interesting.

      • IndiePhoenix

        Even if you had many useful things pre-installed on your phone you would still have to go on Google Play and get other stuff if you really want to use a smart phone to it’s full potential. You don’t get WhatsApp, Skype, Endomondo, etc. and other awesome apps pre-installed on Android. And it’s pissing me off when I see an Android device with apps that I don’t need and don’t want. Maybe I hate Facebook. Apple done us all a favour when they rid the iPhone of carrier junk apps. But back to why so few Android devices show on those graphs. Maybe some of them really have browsers which identify as Safari, as you said, but like I told you, everyday I sell Android phones to people who just want to own a touchscreen phone and they want to get it cheap. These people’s needs would still be met by a dumbphone from Nokia but they just want to have a smartphone like everyone has these days. They tell me that they don’t need a data plan because for them Wi-Fi is enough and even if they have data in their plan they want the APN not set, or mobile data off.

      • lmao

        Android devices do tend to be filled with manufacturer specific crap, but thankfully that is very easy to rid yourself of. Some of the apps are not so bad, so I guess it is a tad better to have, and delete them then not have them at all. No, skype and others are not pre-installed, but dropbox and others are. You are absolutely right though in that many people just want a phone and could care less about surfing. I have never used a cheap 320×200 android phone, so cannot comment too much on how they are.

        On my HTC One, and Galaxy Tab 2 (4.1.2), the default android browser does report as using Android, so things are in a positive move forward at least for statistics such as the OP is trying to report.

      • http://twitter.com/Konahamarue ElementalXTC

        that bloatware is not easily removed. Trust me, on my Galaxy Note 2, I tried EVERYTHING but rooting. I finally had to live with “disabling” the app. I never had this issue on iPhone.

      • wheebang

        Disabling the app is all you need to do to prevent them from running, and also hide any app that are unneeded.

        The iPhone has no support to disable apps, hide apps, or even see what it is running in the background. (no, not talking about the running app list) This is a failure on Apple’s part, as some carriers pack their own statistic and tracking crap with the phones. Every OS out there (desktop, or mobile) has this ability, EXCEPT for iOS.