Android vs. iOS Users: How Do They Behave Differently?

Android vs. iOS Users: How Do They Behave Differently?

Smartphones are becoming small extensions of us and send messages about who we are to those around us.

Our phones are now an integral part of our lives and we’re more mobile than ever. One of the most recent US Mobile App Reports from comScore indicates that:

  • We now spend 50% of our digital media time in smartphone apps
  • Time spent in mobile apps absolutely dominates over mobile web
  • We most often only access 20 or fewer apps in a month, but we position them on our screens in a way that makes them easily accessible

And what’s even more interesting is the fact that our choice of smartphone and mobile platform can speak volumes about our behavior, habits, and even personality.

This post will help you understand the different context your app may face between iOS and Android users. It will also show you why you may want to measure your app’s success differently because of this.

Let’s go!

But first, the basics

Let’s begin by covering some basics on the mobile operating system market. Android and iOS devices combined make up over 97% of the mobile OS market share. And as of August 2017, Android takes up almost exactly two thirds (64%) of those!

Because of its broad price range and a lower entry-level price point, Android has the largest global share in lower income areas and developing nations. It holds an advantage over Apple in emerging markets such as Asia and Africa.

Apple, however, dominates the profit share despite Google’s global dominance of market share because the average iOS user is more active that the average Android user.

They offer different capabilities

There are several core differences between Android and iOS that affect user experience at its foundation and the choices we make when we engage with either of them.

Apple is incredibly strict when it comes to app submissions, push notifications, rules and timelines, and they push operating system updates to users to ensure consistent experience for them.

On another hand, Android apps and app listings can be updated without a human review. They are also fragmented across various phone manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, HTC and Motorola, which gives a customizable experience to the end user.

Now, both of these scenarios come with benefits and disadvantages, and if you ask the users of either iOS or Android, they will tell you it’s exactly what they want. Apple users are usually loyal to the consistent experience across all their devices and any updates that come along, while Android users vouch for the freedom and customizability their devices provide.

This just goes to show that, while all smartphones are similar in their core purpose, each user sees their own smartphone in a unique way.

The differences in core demographics

As mentioned earlier, Android currently has the largest global platform share, with a particular prominence in lower income areas and developing nations. Comparatively, iOS users typically have higher income, higher education levels, more engagement, and spend more per app. Of course, that doesn’t mean that those who have those same characteristics won’t own an Android device. Instead, this data is simply indicative of the general Android population.

Men are slightly more likely to be iOS users than women. Android seems to be the most common platform among all age groups, but its edge over iOS was a bit smaller in the 65+ age bracket.

While the age and gender differences of users between platforms probably aren’t significant enough to influence a platform decision for an app, income and location definitely shouldn’t be neglected. As you’ll see below, this can impact actions like in-app purchases and paid subscriptions, which plays a huge role for a business model that relies on such behavior!

Share this post