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iOS vs Android: Which Gets More Downloads?

Published February 26, 2013

Android vs iOS Jewish AppsOne of the more common questions we get from companies looking to hire us to build app development is where do they start first? Do you start with iOS development or Android development.

The answer is not always clear cut, it depends a lot of the market you are trying to reach. But most often than not, we recommend starting with iOS. Why? Because iOS users are (1) more likely to download apps and (2) more likely to pay for apps or in-app purchases. This is a generalization and the trends may change in the future but from our experience with building out several hundred apps both internally and externally for clients, iOS is typically the way to go first.

I am often asked to share numbers, data, proving this. I figured I'd share the statistics on some of our free apps that we distribute within the Apple App Store and Google Play store. These are Jewish apps, so the data might be skewed there. RustyBrick is also incredibly popular with the iOS Jewish market and not as popular in the Android Jewish market, so again, take these numbers as you will.

Megillas Esther App: iOS vs Android:

Purim was this past Sunday and we had an app for the holiday. We had the iOS Megillah App and the Android Megillah App available. The iOS version has been available for a few years and the Android version just came out last Wednesday. So when I compare the NEW downloads for each market over the past 5-7 days or so, it is interesting. I did not look at total downloads (the iOS version has tens of thousands of downloads historically), I compared only new downloads even though many folks already have it on their iOS device so they did not download it again.

iOS Megillas Esther App NEW Downloads: 7,200
Android Megillas Esther App NEW Downloads: 3,150

The in-app purchases were even more shocking. We have a way to pay for more sounds within the app and this Purim, the iOS app earned 170% more than the Android version specifically with the in-app purchases.

Other Jewish Apps: iOS vs Android:

We have several other free Jewish Android apps that are replicas of the Jewish iPhone apps and this is how they differ.

  • Shabbat Shalom (All Time): iOS has over twice as many downloads than Android all time
  • Shabbat Shalom (30 Days): iOS has ~20% more downloads than Android in the past 30 days
  • Hebrew/English Translator (All Time): iOS has 40% more downloads than Android all time
  • Hebrew/English Translator (30 Days): Android has 35% more downloads than iOS in the past 30 days

As you can see, the download rate in the more recent months have pulled closer for our apps. More and more users are downloading our apps on Android but it is rare to see Android have more downloads than iOS for our apps. I guess, except for the past 30 days with the Hebrew/English Translator app? Of course, you need to keep in mind, many of these apps are already installed on our iOS users devices and when they transfer or upgrade devices, those are not considered new downloads. With Android, most of our users are new to our apps and are considered new downloads.

Maybe one day I will share the numbers on the paid apps we have in both markets.

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Barry Schwartz is the CEO of RustyBrick, a New York Web service firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales. Barry is also the founder of the Search Engine Roundtable and the News Editor of Search Engine Land. He is well known & respected for his expertise in the search marketing industry. Barry graduated from the City University of New York and lives with his family in the NYC region.

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