Android is set to become the number one choice for mobile application developers in the next 12 months as the Google platform pushes ahead of arch rival Apple, according to the latest research from Ovum. The analyst house interviewed over a hundred developers globally, asking them which platform they preferred and then compared …
Probably true, but meaningless
What matters is what platform the developers who are making popular apps are developing for. The kind of apps that are downloaded by millions of people. Not the people writing useless crappy me-too apps that do something that 50 other apps do, only worse. The people who think the requirement to buy a Mac (a Mini is only $500) and a $99/year developer license is a crazy requirement aren't producing the apps million use, they are producing apps hundreds use. Both the Apple and Android stores have enough fart apps.
I can well imagine Android having more developers, and more apps than iOS in the future, and the Android fanboys who said the number didn't matter back when iOS had 10x the number that Android did will scream it from the rooftops, and the Apple fanboys who screamed it from the rooftops before will now say it doesn't matter. It didn't matter before and it won't matter in the future, because most of the people producing the worthwhile apps will be doing them for both platforms.
The loser in this will be Microsoft, who will have a much harder time breaking in to be the THIRD platform that these guys develop for after iOS and Android. After all, who wants to write the same app three times, especially when between the much larger per user revenue on iOS, and the larger installed base on Android, the additional revenue of doing the Windows Phone port won't be enough versus just starting on their next great app idea for iOS and Android.
The Obvious Reason
The blatantly obvious reason developers are looking to Android in the next year, rather than iOS is because they've already developed their iOS offerings. They are simply developing for the next major platform, which is only sensible.
android lacks quality
With all the people crying about the cost of developing iphone apps it's no wonder the android market is chock full of samey me-too bullshit that looks like it was developed on a $200 PC by some stackoverflow copy pasta monkey.
I suspect the only quality android apps are the malware.
Also, 100 developers is not a survey.
That is utter tosh, the quality of android apps is no different than the vast number of samey rubbish available on iOS. Look at the vast number of poker related apps for the iphone alone. You can't tell me that each and every one of those is a highly polished piece of coding and not knocked up in an hour by a stackoverflow copy paste monkey. If anything I would say the polish for paid android apps has to be higher due to having to stand out amongst the free or ad supported apps.
What most of you neglect to consider is the cost of doing it for other people. As an iOS dev you'll expect to get around £400 a day. I've been contracting since October 2009 with no down time between jobs. My friend, an Android dev, gets around £290-£350 a day and has plenty of down time between job because, for whatever reason, Android apps don't get commissioned or downloaded as much. Having worked for possibly the largest media firm in the world the numbers for Android paid downloads or sales from apps aren't anywhere near iOS.
One area in which Android has nearly zero market penetration is music creation/performance applications (think sequencers, software sythnetisers and so on). iOS is awash with them, and they are invariable premium paid-for apps or have in-app purchase.
The reasons for this? Various, but lack of device support (and lack of uniformity between devices) , lack of SDK support, and Android architectural choices all figure, but it's basically a royal PITA to develop these types of apps for Android.
For Windows Phone 7 on the other hand, it's practically impossible.
RE: Music Apps
I'll grant you that - it seems (I can't be arsed to google the bug report) that there's something wrong with the way Android handles audio that prevents applications from achieving a low latency. This is something that's not due to the Linux roots - with Linux+JACK one can get sub-10ms latencies even with onboard audio. The ticket has been open for quite some time so I'm not sure if Google plans on fixing this. I wish they did, but while we're talking about bugs, seriously Google - Bluetooth DUN, get working on it. NOW. ...but I digress. However, some music apps do exist, if you're willing to tolerate about ~90ms of latency. I personally have had tons of fun with Caustic, and the latest ver 2 update brings some wonderful new features.
You anonymous star, you...
Hey, thanks for that tip! Caustic looks excellent...
The issue is that Android provides a high-level audio API (both native and bridged into Java) that is fundamentally not designed for this kind of application.
The phone vendor (or more likely chipset vendor) decide how they implement this API - in some cases, it's a thin-shim onto ALSA, but it doesn't have to be. You'd be an unwise if you made assumptions here.
There's also a lack of MIDI support - iOS on the other hand has CoreMIDI, which works just as it does in MacOSX, and device drivers for class-compliant USB MIDI devices. It takes about half an hour to plumb this into an application.
Finally, any performance critical real-time app - for instance a soft synth - is going to need to be a native app. Whilst the NDK is much better than it was, it's not a great experience to develop with.
Doesn't really matter
We develop for both; all our development is abstracted - the only thing our coders care about is good debugging tools (and they really don't like XCode, which needs debugging itself).
That said: "which platform provider offers the most unified experience across different devices", is going to favour Apple for a long time to come.
I develop for all three platforms and would have to disagree with you on debugging. Apple provide much better diagnostic tools than Android - just check out the profile tools. Anyone who thinks that eclipse is in any way stable hasn't used it much - Visual studio is much better than either imho (but no one cares about window mobile).
In terms of developer tools and experience its very much #1 Apple - #2 Android (getting better all the time) a distant #3 BlackBerry - embarrassingly bad.
If you want to develop for mobile mac is currently the best platform as you get unix and the 'home' platform of the #1 and #2 mobile platforms - plus BB (if you must)
I am so glad...
..that I had a large bucket of popcorn on hand whilst reading the comments...
Hot or Not
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