Why Apple I hear you asking, aren’t there more Android users than Apple iPhone users?
Yes that is true, there is but keep in mind a few things here.
Firstly, Android is a lot more fragmented.
What I mean by fragmented is there are a lot of different devices that “run” Android, many have their own idiosyncrasies and many work differently on each device. Although its getting a lot better, it’s still generally not that easy to produce a single Android app that works on ALL Android devices without at least some configuration.
Plus, unlike Apples App Store, which is a one stop shop for ALL Apple iPhone, iPod and iPad users, there are a LOT of Android stores, and different Android users download their games form these stores.
Let me give you an example. In 2012 Funky Squid Games (one of my game companies) released a game called Syncroz. We started in IOS and then in early 2013 published it to Android.
If you have Android, then there is just one place to get it, right?
Here is the listing for Syncros on Google play “Android” store
Syncroz listing on Google Play
But wait here is another, yes it’s Amazon’s App Store
Syncroz on the Amazon App Store.
You thought I’d finished right.. . Wrong.
Lets all give a warm round of applause for…
Syncroz, on the Barnes and Noble “Nook” store
And finally, last but not least, lets all stand up and say hi to…
Syncroz on the the Samsung App store
Now that is just for Android app stores, there are others (a lot of others). Admittedly these are the main ones, but by no means all of them.
Contrast that to Apples “one stop shop”
Syncroz on the Apple app store.
Yes 100% of all Apple IOS “users”, irrespective of the device they are running, will use this store and it’s actually installed on their device when it leaves the factory. Android phones on the other hands have whatever the appropriate “Android” store the Android device manufacturer chose.
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Now you might be thinking, well Tim having to upload 4 apps is not really that big of a deal is it? I have fast internet.
Well here is the thing.
Each store operates differently and requires different code for some functionality.
For example, in app purchases require different programming for Google play, Amazon, Barnes and Noble nook store, and Samsung. They all do things “their own” way. Now a lot of the app will be the same, but you cannot assume that. What about other features?
Amazon has a cool “game center” thingie that allows you to record achievements and the like and share with other Amazon users who are playing you game. Guess what? That requires special code and only works on Amazon’s “version” of your android app. See where I am going with this?
It’s certainly not insurmountable and as can be seen in the examples about we did manage to get our game installed and working for all these platforms (go download it and let me know what you think of it).
It should also be remembered that I am geek who loves doing this stuff, and I was technically challenged at certain points in the process.
My point is, I would not recommend you start out with Android. There is a lot of extra complexity you are giving yourself, and if you read on I am going to tell you something else that may convince you to focus on Apple IOS anyway.
2nd point? Players spend more on IOS than on Android.
There is increasing evidence that Apple IOS users spend more money than Android users. Now that is a huge generalisation, I am sure there are Android users who spend thousands of dollars on their apps like this guy:
One guy spent $5,000 dollars on in app purchases on a single game!
The industry has even coined a phrase for them. Whales. According to the article. “A whale is a player that is willing to invest a significant amount of money in your game.”
Some big time spending right there. If your income is derived from ads rather than currency items that can be purchased for in app purchases, then you are probably not going to get many people clicking ads thousands of times (which would be seen as fraud anyway).
That said, in my experience the “average” ad click on an Android device puts a lot less of the folded green stuff in your pocket than the equivalent on an Apple IOS device.
Don’t believe Apple people spend more than Android?
I can tell you first had that with Syncroz, in terms of downloads, and revenue, 95% of our income was and still is being made on Apples app store. Yes despite the app appearing in four separate Android app stores, the Apple IOS version gets more downloads and makes more money day after day.
But don’t just believe me, check out these stats in this article:
Despite Android (the article talks about the Google play store only) having only 27% of total mobile app revenue, compared to Apple’s 73%. It does show Android is on the way up, but there is still a big gap there right now. My suggestion is not to bank on it changing for a good few years yet.
Continue to part 2 of the post