Consumer Experience

Apple vs Android: Avoiding the Dark Side! (Mobile)

Mobility.  Once a “Leading Edge” idea, Mobility is now deep in the Main Stream.  Every company has some app to engage it’s customers and / or it’s associates. Since joining IBM, I’ve spoken to leadership at many companies about developing and implementing a Mobile Strategy.



When developing a Mobile Strategy, one question that always comes up is which platform to develop for…Apple or Android.

That’s actually a relatively easy question to answer … so long as you don’t let your emotional beliefs sway you.  (Funny, but listening to people arguing about Apple vs. Android is like listening to a political or religious argument….).

When developing an app for the CONSUMER, you really need to develop an app on both platforms.  Simply stated, you need an app for all for consumers no matter which phone they own.  That said, you should avoid the shortcut of developing a web-based app.  While this may save you some time and money, the web-based app will not be able to use all of the functionality compared to a platform written app, because it won’t link with your phone to drive functionality thru the phone…such as Location GPS services.

Developing an app for ASSOCIATES is a totally different story!  There are many good reasons to develop an app for internal associates.   In retail you can give a store associate the ability to know consumers and answer questions that they may have.  In a hospital, the lead nurse can have an app that outlines all tasks that are coming due or are past due on his or her floor, can review a list of planned discharges for the day, with predictive analytics driving a warning list of those discharges that are at risk.  In Telecom, an app can help a maintenance team route their stops better based on customer need, also ensuring that trucks making customer calls have the correct materials to fix specific issues.

When making an associate app, a company can choose which platform and which devices to buy.  IBM can develop apps for either Apple or Android…and if customers have a strong preference and insist, we will [obviously] work in that platform.  BUT there is a correct answer…can you guess what is it???  APPLE and iOS.  Here are some reasons why:

Devices:  There are so many manufacturers that create Android phones.  Each manufacturer has many different models out there.  Manufacturers all choose different components and features.  For example, one manufacturer may use cameras created by different companies.  On top of that…all of the different manufacturers out there….  If your app is going to use the camera as a feature, it is much more difficult in the Android platform because you don’t know which camera you are working with.

Operating System: Different Android phones use different versions of the Android operating system.  This depends on the phone manufacturer and the mobile network the phone/tablet is on.  If you are developing apps in the Android platform, your app needs to work across many different releases of the operating system.

Apple makes it easy to create apps that work on any device (iPhone or iPad), in any country, and on any carrier. So long as the app is created for iOS, the app will work on any apple device.

Apple Compatibility:  Apple has many features in their phone that you can easily incorporate into an Apple App.  Your associate can use Touch ID as a signature for work completed…or you can easily link to iBeacons in retail stores… While not impossible on Android devices, it will be much easier to create and maintain the app in an Apple iOS platform.

Associate Familiarity:  More people own Apple phones than any other Mobile manufacturer.  In other words, the learning curve for your associates is much shorter!

We’ve already done the work for you:  IBM and Apple have created over 100 apps across industries that are transformational and drive analytics to improve associate and customer engagement.  These apps are affordable and can be launched in your environment within 6 weeks.  Sound incredible, but it’s true!

Want to know more about how we can work with you to drive change in your business?  Interested in creating a mobile strategy that is not driven by hype, a strategy that will transform and drive your business?  Reach out to me…I’m happy to discuss this with you!!!


The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.


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