Android vs. iOS User Behavior: How Does It Impact Mobile App Promotion

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Understanding the target audience’s characteristics is at the heart of any product development and promotional campaign. It is essential to know not only its needs and requests but also its attitude nuances. In the case of developing mobile apps and games, a vital part of market research is immersing yourself in the features of Android vs. iOS user behavior.

At first glance, it may seem to inexperienced developers that all users of portable gadgets are the same. This misconception can play a cruel joke on you. The fact is that the iOS and Android operating systems (and the products developed for them) have several significant differences that make them more suitable for certain categories of users. For example, experts believe that users of Apple gadgets pay more attention to the overall experience of working with apps. At the same time, owners of Android smartphones and tablets are interested in the content itself.

Apple devices give users minimal tools to set up the system. Android gadgets, on the contrary, are more suitable for those who want to keep every nuance under control. Understanding these and many other fundamental differences between the iOS userbase and the Android target audience will help you promote your product.

Which Has More Apps, Apple or Android?

The total Android vs. iOS apps count changes from time to time. It happens not only because new products are published literally every day but also because both App Store and Play Market regularly get rid of outdated and low-quality games and applications. For example, Google announced a global clean-up last spring, warning developers about the planned removal of products that have not been updated for a long time.

At the time of writing, the share of apps on Google Play was significantly larger than on App Store. About 3.4 million titles are published on the first platform, and a little less than 2 million are on the second one. This dominance of the first giant has several reasons. The fact is that there are much more devices that work on the Android operating system than those that work on iOS. Moreover, they have a lower cost; that is, they do not require a large start-up capital from users, which means they are more affordable from a financial point of view.

At the same time, the solvency of Apple gadget users is much higher than those with Android. Apple apps ratings show that they are more likely to opt for paid services and make in-app purchases to get a better experience. Their activity in terms of willingness to spend money is higher than that of all other devices’ owners.

Google Play and App Store are leaders in this area, and their total share of mobile games and applications is about 97%. Of this number, Android accounts for about 64%. The remaining 3% of mobile services are distributed among digital stores like Amazon AppStore, Samsung Galaxy, Microsoft Store, Huawei, and others.

Who has more iPhone or Android users?

Google Play dominates the number of applications for a reason. According to the Android apps rating, the total number of users is much larger than on iOS. It is because of the large number of devices that run on this OS, as well as a lower price compared to Apple gadgets. Applications for Android are built taking into account a large selection of smartphones and tablets with different technical parameters. Developers try to make them universal, offering versions for different screens, RAM, CPUs, and other characteristics.

iOS products are not as versatile and flexible. Firstly, they can only be used on those devices that Apple releases. Secondly, some titles are not adapted for use on both iPhone and iPad (although it is more an exception than a rule, such cases do occur). Also, in general, this operating system limits the freedom of action of users and offers only limited customization options. Unlike Android, which separates updates for devices from different companies (Huawei, HTC, Samsung, etc.), Apple developers provide a consistent experience for all gadgets.

The difference between Android and iOS users largely depends on the described differences in the approaches of the industry giants. As a developer or publisher, you have no choice but to study all these features and take them into account when creating and publishing your product. By adjusting to the behavioral nuances, you can create and offer the target audience a service that will be really in demand. If you want to know how to make your product more visible and increase its discoverability, read our experts’ article “How Do Apps Get Popular.”

iOS vs. Android Users: What Are the Differences in Behavior

You will be surprised, but the difference in the behavior of users of different mobile operating systems is enormous. Moreover, it can differ both at the global level and in small everyday habits. Regardless of the scale, all this characterizes users very well and allows you to draw certain conclusions.

For example, let’s consider the time of the day when people look at their smartphones. A typical iPhone user checks information on their device much earlier (literally right after waking up) than a person who uses Android. It may be because of the peculiarities of the lifestyle of the Apple gadgets’ owners and the nuances of the system itself.

The thing is, on iOS, you can’t completely turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth using the shortcut buttons. To do it, you need to go to the settings, which most users don’t do. So, after you turn off your alarm clock, the Internet connection is activated, and various notifications begin to pour on your device. You have not yet had time to get out of bed, but you are already actively checking the incoming information. Android users do it too, but less frequently, as the system’s quick buttons allow you to turn off communication with the outside world completely.
The second important factor is how often users turn to their portable devices. So, to check email, surf the Internet, and do other activities, owners of Android smartphones can use any other device, e.g., a PC or laptop. In contrast, Apple owners tend to do all these things with their iPhones, even if they have other devices from the same company.

By the way, it is also relevant to compare iPhone vs. Android customer satisfaction. Almost two-thirds of Apple device users are completely satisfied with their experience and intent to continue buying gadgets from this company. The Android satisfaction level is lower, about 48%. At the same time, users of this operating system are more likely to buy models from different companies than to remain loyal to one brand.

Besides, there is also a difference in how Android users see iPhone users. Due to their higher solvency, the latter tend to be interested in and spend money on various luxury items. It is believed that iOS users are more likely to buy a MacBook than a high-quality (and possibly not cheap) laptop from any other company. Android device owners are more practical in their approach to purchasing gadgets. The difference in buying behavior is extremely important to consider when building marketing campaigns.

Since we have touched on the issue of preferences, let’s see if personality plays any significant role. Studies show that the character traits of Android and iOS users are indeed different:

  • Android clients are likely to be introverted, more frugal and careful, tend to follow and obey rather than lead, and are honest with themselves and others.
  • iOS clients, as a rule, are extroverted, spend more money (and can do it impulsively); among them, there are more leaders ready to go to all sorts of tricks to achieve their goals.
It is also believed that the owners of Apple devices are more suspicious and attentive to what exactly they install. They will not endanger themselves once again by using unreliable software. That is, their level of safety awareness is higher than that of Android owners.

It is clear that such characteristics are only averaged portraits. Your target audience may differ depending on the specific region due to the difference in mentality, social life, and government policies. At the same time, understanding the typical portrait and behavior patterns of users of different systems allows you and your marketers to understand the difference in Android vs. iOS user experience and how mobile devices and applications are generally used.

iOS vs. Android demographics

In addition to assessing the habits of your target audience on specific platforms, you also need to consider demographic parameters such as gender and age. According to statistics, men use iOS devices more often, while women prefer Android gadgets. While Android dominates the app market as a whole, the 65 and older age group is dominated by iOS. It is probably because this system is unified and does not require individual settings.

In general, the gender and age differences between an iPhone user vs. Android user are not significant enough to have a strong impact on product development. It is much more important to consider the region. Education, financial well-being, and solvency of your audience depend on it. Android devices are more popular in developing countries with low and middle living standards because they are more affordable. Apple gadgets are more prevalent in developed countries with high-income and educated populations. Moreover, iOS users are more likely to use paid apps and subscriptions than Android owners, who are ready to put up with ads and the limited functionality of free versions.

Choose the Platform Wisely

There are many factors for evaluating the behavior of mobile systems’ users. In summary, Google Play offers more apps, has more users, is more popular in developing countries, and is compatible with various devices and brands. App Store, although smaller in terms of the number of users, has a higher engagement level, and its audience has a greater ability to pay. Besides, when comparing customer satisfaction iPhone vs. Android, the former is significantly superior to competitors.

When it comes to in-app activity, Apple customers are much more engaged across almost every category, from signups to purchases and subscriptions. iOS users spend more time with their smartphones than Android device owners. Despite it, the Android audience is much larger; that is, they dominate due to the number of customers. This feature is essential to understand when developing products since you have to choose what is more critical for you: engagement or mass character.

Understanding the target audience’s behavior is essential for choosing the platform for which you plan to develop a product. Of course, the best option is a hybrid form, but if you want to choose one, iOS or Android, it is necessary to know how your userbase behaves.