A question that gets asked a lot is why do many new apps first get released on iOS over Android? For example, the latest craze is Clubhouse and many phone users keep asking for an invitation to join the platform. But the app is restricted to iOS for the time being. Then there is Dispo. Also Twitter rolls out some new features first on iOS, like the Spaces audio chat option.
It’s not a simple answer. Many app developers prefer iOS because it’s a much more controlled universe to work within. Look at Android. There are several phone manufacturers out there offering Android devices, each having a different camera set up, processor, screen size, RAM options… the hardware is all over the place. Not that it’s bad (or good). An app can end up running very well on Android Smartphone X but may not work on Smartphone Z from a different Android brand. There is no control over hardware.
You may argue that there is variety in Android, which is absolutely true but Apple offers a selected number of devices without going overboard. Equally embarrassing for Android is the issue of OS updates. At the moment, some new phones are offering Android 10 out of the box, which is from 2019. Then there are some that are giving Android 11 while talks are on about Android 12. On top of that, security patches don’t arrive on time. Compared to this, if an iPhone is eligible for an OS update, the latest version gets rolled out globally over a couple of days. To help, Android started Project Treble, which facilitates quicker deployment of Android updates but sadly, it’s not helping a lot.
But to be fair on Android, the number of devices it is available on is huge. Apple recently confirmed that it has roughly 1.5 billion active devices, with about one billion of them being iPhone. Compare this to Android’s 2.5 billion active devices, which was announced in May of 2019 during the annual Google I/O developer conference. The figure must have increased. When a developer releases a popular app on Android, it has to tackle a rush through the floodgates.
In case you just come across the headline that Bill Gates uses Android phones, there is a reason behind it. On a recent appearance on Clubhouse, the Microsoft co-founder explained his stance. He uses an Android phone for daily use but also plays around with iPhones. But the main reason for his Android leaning has to do with handling of Microsoft apps. He said: “Some of the Android manufacturers pre-install Microsoft software in a way that makes it easy for me and they’re more flexible about how the software connects up with the operating system so that’s what I’ve ended up getting used to.”