Mobile developers still choosing Android over iOS

Android widened its lead on iOS as the format in which developers chose to code for

More than 5,000 iOS developers are in San Francisco for Apple's big party at the Worldwide Developers Conference, but a new report says the hippest place to be is the Android Market. The study, from Bluevia and Vision Mobile, found that 67 per cent of developers code for Android, while iOS trails at 59 per cent.

The percentage of developers working in each platform increased this year - Android from 59 per cent and iOS from 50 per cent.

The two leading mobile OS giants continued to capture developers' attention, but a major surprise was the fastest growing platform -- mobile Web apps written in HTML or JavaScript. More than 55 per cent of developers are working in the platform, up from 40 per cent last year. The report attributes that growth to an influx of non-mobile developers.

Mobile Web developers kept Microsoft out of the top three, but that could soon change, according to a section of the report that looks at which platforms developers are planning to use. The "Developer Intentshare Index" says 35 per cent of developers are looking toward Android and 32 per cent are looking to add more Windows Phone work to their portfolio. ChromeOS, iOS and Meego round out the top five, in that order.

Symbian and Java are the mobile platforms being most quickly abandoned by developers. Vision Mobile found 40 per cent of developers currently using Symbian plan to drop it; the figure is 35 per cent for Java.

Research in Motion's aging BlackBerry platform continued to grow this year, with 45 per cent of developers actively engaged in coding, up from 40 per cent in 2010. But it lags behind in the Intentshare rankings, with less than a quarter of developers planning to use it.

Vision Mobile also surveyed developers about their adoption criteria for picking a platform. The results - developers favor large market penetration and low-cost development tools - show Android's clear advantage with its leading reach and huge, open-source coding community.

Interestingly, revenue potential came in third in the list of reasons for choosing a platform. So, while the Android army may be growing, its foot soldiers aren't necessarily getting rich in the process.

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Eric Mack

PC World (US online)
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