Android and iPhone owners use fertility apps differently, apparently
But the differing trends may extend to family planning, too. According to a survey by the fertility and period tracking app Dot (and its parent company, Cycle Technologies), Android owners use the app to plan pregnancy, while iOS users download the cycle tracker to prevent it.
The app analyzed metrics from 50,000 active users. Twenty-five percent of Dot users on Android operating systems used the app to plan a pregnancy, as opposed to only 19 percent of iOS users. Thirty-five percent of iOS users tracked their cycles on Dot to prevent pregnancy, as did 29 percent of Android users.
Dot didn’t clarify exactly how it gathered this data, but users who download the app are prompted to report how they intend to use it.
“The difference between Android and iOS was surprising to us, and we are interested in exploring it further,” said Cycle Technologies founder Leslie Heyer. Demographic disparities or variations in how we market to each mobile operating system could lead people to use the apps differently.
Dot is one of several apps on the market that help women track their menstrual cycles the dates of their periods, symptoms, ovulation, etc. and use that information in reference to their fertility.
Other studies have tracked the iPhone/Android divide and sexual activity. A Match.com study in 2014 found that iPhone users had more sex, but Android users reported having more orgasms.
But rather than attitudes toward sex, Dot’s findings provide some insight into other information that distinguishes iPhone and Android owners. In its findings, Dot pointed out that iPhone use has been found to correlate with higher levels of education.
Dot’s study looked at one small data point. We don’t know, for example, the differences in age or other demographic information that could affect how iPhone and Android owners use the app.
Dot has also partnered with researchers from Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health to track how effective the app is at preventing pregnancy over time. That study won’t draw any conclusions for several more months, so it’ll take until then to determine how effective Dot’s app is for fertility tracking. Interestingly, that study only incorporates people using the Android version of the app.
Fertility apps are still relatively new, and we don’t know how reliable they are or how often women rely on them to plan their families. A tiny bit of insight into tech and family planning is an interesting place to start.