Taken September 14-16, the Appcelerator/IDC Q4 Mobile Developer Report shows while Apple leads in iPhone/iPad interest, developers favor Android in the long-term.
- 72% of developers say Android “is best positioned to power a large number and variety of connected devices in the future,” (compared to 25% for iOS). 59% of developers now favor Android’s long-term outlook, vs. 35% for iOS (this gap has widened 10 points since a survey last June).
- Yet Apple iOS continues to dominate in all categories relating to market/revenue opportunity and current devices. iPhone continues to lead overall developer sentiment with 91% saying they are “very interested” in developing for the device (compared to 82% for Android phones).
- Developers show enthusiasm for connected TVs, with 44% saying they are ‘very interested’ in developing for Google TV vs. 40% for Apple TV.
- Android tablets are poised for developer lift-off with 62% expressing strong interest, Android has similar enthusiasm to the iPad at a similar point in time (last January showed iPad at 58%).
- Research shows webOS and BlackBerry tablets currently have little interest from developers (16% for both)...
Developers make significant use of third-party APIs. The study reveals the battles going on behind-the-scenes between these popular developer plug-ins (% of respondents say they currently use or will soon use the following APIs in a mobile application):
- Social: Facebook slightly leading Twitter 65% to 60%, with Foursquare trailing at 22%.
- Commerce: iOS in-app purchasing and PayPal payments are also locked 49% to 48% in a head-to-head battle for mobile commerce leadership. Of note, PayPal is nearly as popular as Google Checkout (33%) and Amazon (18%) combined. PayPal also leads iOS in developer popularity in Europe and Asia.
- Media: Use of the camera (58%) far exceeds use of popular photo sharing services Flickr (21%) and TwitPic (19%). Stronger interest in using the camera for barcode scanning (31%) and augmented reality (41%) shows developers have bigger plans for mobile phones than simple photo sharing.•Advertising: iAd (52%) leads AdMob (36%) with developers noting a preference for iAd’s richer ad units and higher click-through rates, even as fill rate remains an issue.
- Analytics: Application analytics (54%) is currently the most popular form of analytics, however there is strong interest in transaction (42%) and geo-analytics (35%) as location and commerce take center stage in mobile.
Four out of five developers say their users prefer native applications to mobile websites because of user experience expectations. When ranking features needed for their apps, developers prioritize native features as most important (% of developers using or planning to use feature):
- Native user interface (91%)
- Local database (81%)
- Push notifications (74%)
- Web services/Internet connectivity (72%)
- Geo-location (69%)
- Facebook integration (65%)
- Google maps (62%)
- Twitter integration (60%)
- Camera support (58%)
- Filesystem (56%)
- Application analytics (54%)
- iAd (52%)
- Audio/Video playback (50%)
- iOS in-app payments (49%)
- PayPal payments (48%)