Mobile Apps: Sometimes Less Is More

ComScore has some interesting data on its website examining differences between iPhone and Android phone users. While user (market share) numbers are now favoring Android, iPhone owners look like a better demographic audience in some ways: a bit younger and more affluent, for example.

According to ComScore, iPhone users also seem to be more engaged with their phones, using them more frequently, more regularly, for a larger variety of purposes.

With these differences, ComScore asks, which audience is a bigger priority for your app development? If resources are tight, should you focus more on developing iPhone apps or Android apps?

I have a problem with the basic premise behind the question. Even if you’re running short on resources (and honestly, who isn’t in this day and age), can giving up one of these important market segments really be the best answer? In most cases, I think not. Maybe there are a few niche audiences with whom this choice wouldn’t be a mistake, but in almost all cases I think a better approach is simply to scale back on your app’s feature set.

Consider this: Build in increments, as you have resources available. Roll out your app’s feature set in phases – spreading out the development costs while ensuring you have an offering for both iPhone and Android users. When you have more resources available (staff time, money, or both) a few months down the road, build onto what you have. Although you won’t offer as deep and rich a user experience when you first launch your app, you’ll have more opportunities to renew your marketing push each time you add a new feature.

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