Mobile User Behavior & Its Impact on Mobile App Development

The first step in mobile app development is to identify the target audience. The app’s success depends on whether it’s able to solve problems or make things easier and more convenient for a specific audience. To craft a useful solution that caters to particular people, those people need to be understood at a granular level.

Analyzing user behavior, interestingly, gives a lot of insights on the users to a certain extent. For instance, a user’s choice in a smartphone gives developers insights on their behavior, common habits, and even personality. The developer would be able to estimate the types of apps that users are more likely to download, their willingness to pay for services in the app, and the probability of an in-app purchase. This information is what a mobile application development company leverages so as to make a decision on which platform to build the app for.

Choosing a platform

Android and iOS account for over 95% of the mobile market, which is one of the main reasons why brands consider each or both of these platforms for their apps. In the first quarter of 2018, there were over 19 billion downloads in Google Play while iOS app downloads exceeded 8 billion.

As for consumer spend, iOS users are generally more willing to spend on apps. Android is not far behind however, with consumer spend in Google Play going up by 25% in Q1 2018. Still iOS apps generate more revenue compared to Android apps with Google narrowing the gap with each passing year.

To choose a platform, you will have to understand market traits, where your app can fit in, and how you intend users to interact with your app. Ultimately, making a choice between Android and iOS comes down to your priority between user acquisition and revenue generation – Android for the former and iOS for the latter.

Differences between platforms that impact user experience

Both platforms are fundamentally different, and these differences directly influence the user’s platform choice. iOS users are generally seen as more loyal advocating a consistent experience across multiple Apple devices. This is due to Apple’s strict regulations on app submissions, push notifications, and system update timeframes. iOS users prefer straightforward, intuitive apps.

Google, on the other hand, allows developers to submit and update apps and app descriptions freely. Android focuses more on a customizable experience impressing a specific type of users.

While Apple users generally vouch for consistency and uncomplicated nature in apps, Android users would want freedom and customizability.

User demographics

Android currents holds the largest market share among mobile platforms, with a dominant position on developing nations. iOS users typically have large incomes which explains why they are willing to spend more money on in-app purchases. They also exhibit more in-app engagement.

Developers shouldn’t overlook market research factors like user location, income, and education which can impact engagement. This also influences the type of apps a user is likely to download and use.

In-app engagement

Mobile user engagement in Android and iOS is also different. Apple users have been found to engage more with several types of content, while Android boasts of higher media users in leading content categories. The performance of an app when achieving its goals and serving its purpose also influences user engagement to an extent. Goals like registration, purchase, subscription, in-app purchases etc. vary between Android and iOS.

iOS clearly dominates when it comes to user engagement, while Android still manages to satisfy. Developers would again have to consider the goal and purpose of their mobile app, and how they intend to monetize the app in order to choose the right platform.


The insights from just a few questions can help developers craft the right kind of app for the right platform for maximum effectiveness. If revenue generation or user engagement is the goal, iOS is the way to go. Android, on the other hand, is all about utility, performance, customizability, and productivity.

If an Android app manages to balance all these user preferences, users are likely to spend much more than iOS users. To leverage mobile technologies for business benefits, user behavior analysis is certainly a great approach.