How much longer will Android come second for applications?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| Published: April 26, 2013

It never fails. Every time that one app that you’ve really wanted to try out gets released, it’s only for iOS. Guess what you carry? Not an iOS device. So unfortunately for you, you’re going to have to wait until some developer realizes that he could be making more than double what they’re making now by porting their new trendy app over to Android – and unfortunately that can take months, or it might never even happen.

But how much longer will this whole “waiting for apps” thing last for Android users? After all, Android is the leading mobile operating system in the United States. It would make sense to port the app to the biggest money maker first, right? Right! Unfortunately, it seems that iOS truly is the biggest money maker at this point in time. But how can that be if most of the country is using Android? It’s simple: More iOS users are engaged in their devices.

There are several factors that play into this scheme to have it turn out the way that it does. First of all, according to research, 19 percent of iOS users come from the younger generation (18-24), while only 16 percent of Android users do. We, the generation that does all things mobile, are continuously glued to our devices 23 out of 24 hours in the day so it makes sense that there are more of us doing more things on iOS devices. Other research studies showed that iOS users tend to get comfortable with their devices and spend longer periods of time on them, while Android users tend to use their devices passively and on-the-go.

Speaking of on-the-go, when it comes to travel it turns out that iOS users make up 84 percent of WiFi usage. This primarily has to do with two main factors: one being that iPads dominate the tablet market, and the second being that those who purchase iPads tend to fall in the higher end of the salary spectrum, thus allowing them to afford inflight WiFi packages, not to mention have less of a problem purchasing applications from the App Store.

However, studies do show that the tables might be turning relatively soon. As it turns out, there was little difference between how Galaxy S III users used their devices and how iPhone users used theirs. Perhaps the advancements and popularity that Samsung is bringing in for Android could be persuading Android users to actually use their devices, and the more premium Android devices that are released bring more people that are willing to spend money on paid apps. This is the key in order to change how apps are released. I, for one, think it’s about time that Android gets a chance to be the first to experience major applications, but first we need to start using our Android devices.

 Some of you may wonder where this rant is coming from, with me being primarily an iOS user. I read on Mashable that Vine, a popular iOS app used for recording 6 second video snippets, plans on porting a version over to Android fairly soon. My first thought was that I didn’t realize that Vine was not yet available for Android – but then I realized this is how most apps go. They release for iOS first and then to Android second, which made me go out and do the research on why this is given that I knew that the number game plays in favor of Android.

And quite honestly, I still find it weird that iOS users are supposedly “more engaged” than Android users are. Yes, I do hunker down with my phone to watch a video or two and browse some websites pretty often with my iPhone 4S, but I also did the same thing with my Android device – and I know I can’t be the only one that did this.

So the question still remains: how much longer will Android users be placed on the back burner when it comes to being the first to experience applications? Given the direction that both platforms seem to be heading in, it almost seems like it won’t be long before we see that “popular Android app” being ported to iOS.

Readers, what do you think? Do you ever get frustrated that Android seems to always come second when it comes to app release? Do you prefer it to be released on iOS first so that issues like bugs can be fixed before coming to Android? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!