Android First is the New Normal

The mobile platform landscape was fairly stable for more than two years. Having both won the platform wars, Android and iOS seemed quite settled into their market positions. Android selling the most units in every market, but with iOS taking a dominant share of the lucrative high-end. Similarly, Android’s greater developer mindshare was always counterbalanced by iOS developers making the most revenue, and iOS being the primary platform for more full-time professionals. In the last six months we’ve seen a very significant shift on that last point. Apple will now have to work extremely hard in the next few years to avoid giving up further ground.

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Why developers are prioritising Android

Towards the end of 2013, Steve Cheney wrote a very widely-read post on Why Android First is a Myth. We wrote a response at the time highlighting the strong silicon valley bias that made the conclusions doubtful, but also confirming with our data that, at least, professional developers were quite heavily prioritising iOS. In 2014 we heard that Android first was a fallacy – the user base might be there but fragmentation, plus inferior documentation and tooling, would make it a poor trade-off for many. In 2015 debate on the topic continued while our data showed Android gradually winning the priority of professional developers from other platforms, but not iOS. We entered 2016 with Android marginally ahead: 40% of professional developers globally prioritised the platform versus 39% for iOS. That seems to have been a tipping point, with our latest survey showing a large shift from iOS to Android. A massive 47% of mobile developers now tell us they consider Android most important, while preference for iOS has slipped to 31%.

The reasons for this shift are many but related. The fastest growing regions in terms of mobile developers are those dominated by Android already. New mobile developers are increasingly choosing Android first in all regions. Existing developers are shifting their priority to Android because the types of app they build are changing. We’ve been highlighting for some time that the app economy is shifting away from direct monetisation of apps, to using apps as a channel for some other business. Mobile commerce is by far the largest and fastest growing (at least in terms of total revenues) part of the app economy. Demographics still matter – users of iOS spend more on real-world goods and services through each device than Android users. However, unlike with downloads and in-app purchases, the difference is nowhere near enough to make up for Android’s larger user base.

Leveling of the playing field

For startups trying to find product-market fit, and enterprises needing to deploy across multiple platforms, a key reason to build on iOS first has been the ability to get to market faster. Android had more relaxed deployment policies and much faster publishing cycles, but it was was easier to develop higher quality apps for iOS. The most critical area in this regard has been the UI. Historically iOS had a few fixed resolutions and higher quality APIs for UI development. Android had a vast array of screen resolutions and aspect ratios, and fairly basic abstractions for dealing with that complexity. However, with the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 plus in 2014, along with split screen mode for iPads in 2015, Apple has forced iOS developers down a scalable UI path as well. Once the UI of an app has to adapt to multiple resolutions dynamically, the complexity isn’t significantly increased by having to work with many more resolutions (maybe in testing but not in development). So iOS development has become harder, whilst Android has had time to mature their UI APIs, providing support libraries to reduce fragmentation across operating system versions.

The other area where a major Apple advantage has been eroded is in the design of app interfaces. Both Apple and Google moved towards a flatter and more minimalist style, which shifts the emphasis towards animation as the way to both give an interface personality and help users to understand it. Apple’s approach has been to show rather than tell, and leave artists to create, while Google has provided extensive guidance to developers on how to implement their Material Design. The latter has been favoured by many developers that don’t want completely custom UIs deciding to design for Android and adapt that for iOS, where the reverse was previously the case.
Apple isn’t doomed just yet
It’s important to note that mindshare for iOS is still within the range it has occupied for the last few years at 52%. Developers are not abandoning the platform. Shifting developer priorities towards Android are quite a long-leading indicator for device sales, and Apple are already making big moves to counter this trend. Swift is a boost to iOS developer productivity. Cutting app review times increases iteration speed. Apple Pay on the web gives iOS a greater advantage in the booming mobile commerce market.

The danger for Apple is if Android first becomes firmly established as the new normal. If some of the best apps and services come out on Android first then some of the early adopters will start to migrate. Where the early adopter user base goes, other users and the cool startups will follow. Without an app ecosystem advantage, Apple would become almost entirely dependent on hardware differentiation to maintain a price premium. This battle is far from over but Apple will be working a lot harder to keep developers focused on iOS than they have in the past.

The tip of the iceberg

We’ve just taken a deep dive into one interesting trend in the mobile developer ecosystem, there’s more going on with the mobile browser and Windows 10 too. We also have the latest trends from desktop, cloud and IoT, as well as new insights into augmented and virtual reality, plus data science and machine learning. Our State of the Developer Nation Q3 2016 report is filled with interesting trends as seen by 16,500+ developers across 145 countries.

Get it here

Every year software developers get less experienced

That might sound odd, but it’s one of many conclusions draw from our biannual study, and presented in our (free) State of the Developer Nation report. The report draws on data from our most recent survey of those working in software, which reached nearly 22,000 respondents, and found that [tweetable]software developers have less experience than they did a year ago[/tweetable].

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Not individually of course; there’s no memory loss involved here, but the developer community is growing, and new programmers inevitably bring down the average level of experience, and that has serious implications for the future of the industry.

If we take mobile developers, who are typical, we can see that right now 40% of them have been developing software for more than six years, but a year ago that proportion was 43%. Conversely, at the other end of the spectrum we have 17% of developers with less than a year under their belt, up from 14% this time last year.

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That pattern is repeated across all sectors, even IoT (which is so nascent it often bucks the trends). While a good proportion of software developers have built up their skills over time we are going to have to adjust to a world where more software is being created by developers with less hands-on experience, and understand the implications of that trend.

One of those implication is a shift in the popularity of certain programming languages over their more-traditional brethren. This time we’re focusing in on the last six months, but if we again look at mobile developers we can see them embracing scripting languages, at the cost of Java and the various forms of C. Objective C takes the biggest hit, assaulted by Apple’s new wonderkid Swift on one side, and the (JavaScript powered) cross-platform toolkits on the other. [tweetable]Objective C is dropping fast, while C/C++ has a gentle decline[/tweetable] and C# is just about holding its mindshare (thanks to Xamarin, which compiles C# to Android and is now a Microsoft property).

On the cloud the trend is less pronounced, but still evident. Java is growing, but so are all the other languages. PHP… C#… Python… in fact all the top languages have gained mindshare as cloud developers become increasingly polyglot while giving up on some of the niche dialects.

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One area on the rise, across all the sectors, is the use of visual tools for software development. These drag-‘n-drop environments are often looked down upon by “proper” programmers, who respect the digital hierarchy (where Assembler is king, dialects of C make up the court, Java is left outside the room, and scripting languages aren’t permitted into the palace). These visual tools are still only used by a minority (25% of mobile developers, 19% of cloud) and fewer still rely on them as a primary tool (5% across mobile and cloud) but that proportion is growing steadily, and relentlessly.

The fact is that there aren’t enough low-level programmers to go around, and most applications don’t need them. Visual tools, and scripting languages, are good enough for the vast majority of applications in any sector. That applies across consumer and enterprise markets, as users of all kinds start creating apps with a few clicks, but there is a question about how long can we consider those users to be software developers, and the tools they use to be designed for software development.

“If This Then That” (IFTTT.com) is a marvellous tool, enabling anyone to create “recipes” where an event (“this”) triggers an action (“that”). So an incoming email can trigger the (Philips Hue) lights to flash red three times, making the owner feel like Batman while simultaneously aggravating his whole family. IFTTT users can chain recipes together, creating actions that seed multiple events, loop back on themselves, and even branch based on inputs, so at some point we have to accept that the IFTTT user has become a software developer, or that IFTTT shows us what the future of software development might look like.

Not all applications will be written that way of course, lower-level languages will still be needed to plumb the functionality together, but there will come a time when the vast majority of applications will be created by developers with no software development experience at all.

That day is a long way off, but with every year it gets a little closer and our data shows that process in action. You can see more by downloading our State of the Developer Nation report, or talking to us about drilling down into the survey data.

Who, What, How, and Why: software development laid bare

Every six months we ask developers around the world those four questions, to see how the industry is evolving. Now in its 9th edition the VisionMobile Developer Economics survey reached out to 13,000 developers, from 149 different countries, and the results are available in our biannual report: State of The Developer Nation Q3 2015.

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Who

94% of our 13,000 developers are male, showing a gender imbalance which needs to be addressed if the industry is going to reflect society as a whole. North America is making some progress here, but even in the land of opportunity only a tenth of developers identify themselves as female, and the figures of the rest of the world are much worse.

It’s perhaps surprising that Africa is next best in terms of equality, while Europe is positively embarrassing with only 4% of developers ticking the box for the minority sex. South America offers the greatest imbalance, but nowhere do developers reflect the proportion of women in the general workforce.

What

Cloud is increasingly important for developers, and cloud developers the most likely to be generating revenue (67% of them are bringing in more than $500 a month). But there’s no rush to the public offerings such as AWS or the Google App Engine, despite all the media attention: 44% of cloud developers are creating apps in private, for use on private clouds.

The Internet of Things is also getting a lot of developer attention, though more a quarter of IoT developers (26%) don’t know who their eventual customer will be. Half of those developers are making applications, rather than hardware or firmware, reflecting the evolution of the IoT industry.

When it comes to mobile the two dominant players (Android and iOS) are squeezing out the competition and 37% of mobile developers are targeting both the leading platforms. Interest in creating apps for Windows Phone has dropped slightly since we last asked, from 30% to 27%, but developers are understandably nervous of Windows 10 and the uncertainty over Microsoft’s commitment to mobile.

How

Across the developer community the most-popular development language is now a combination of JavaScript and HTML5. The evolution of web languages has imbued them with functionality, while cross-compilers and packaging tools can make them indistinguishable from native applications. That’s been enough to attract 71% of developers in North America, though only 58% in Asia where old-school languages such as Java and C retain their presence.

Learning a new language is always a challenge, though the growth in Apple’s Swift shows that developers are willing to invest in their education. Swift is, perhaps unsurprisingly, attracting a good proportion of self-taught developers (27% of those primarily using Swift consider themselves self-taught), while Java, C#, and Objective C, all appeal to degree holders (around 60% have degrees) who prefer a more-formal learning environment (around 17% are self-taught).

Why

Not all developers are motivated by money, in fact many professional developers are hobbyists or amateurs in another field. More than half of our mobile developers, for example, are also mucking around with IoT – some professionally, but mostly just to see what it can do, and what they can do with it. Developers are predominantly young, with an average age of around 30, and have both the time and the motivation to explore new areas. Many are involved in open-source projects: 11% tell us that Linux is their primary desktop target platform, despite the fact that the open-source OS accounts for less than 2% of desktop installations.

In mobile the path to revenue, if not riches, is clearly selling products and services, in the manner of Uber or Just Eat, rather than downloads and booster packs, in the manner of Candy Crush and Minecraft. Only 10% of mobile developers are chasing e-commerce revenue, but almost a fifth (19%) are taking more than $100,000 a month – a figure that only 6% of those reliant on advertising can match.

The State of the Developer Nation

The whole report, complete with graphics and figures, is a free download, and packed with more insight and analysis from Vision Mobile.

App developer trends Q1 2015

Our 8th Developer Economics survey has once again achieved an industry-leading scale, including responses from more than 8,000 app developers and 143 countries. Their collective insight shows us an app economy that’s beginning to mature. Platform mindshare and priorities are fairly stable and developers are increasingly turning to cross-platform technologies to deal with the multi-platform reality. Tool adoption is gradually increasing and a shift in focus towards enterprise app development is underway. You can get a copy of the full report here – it’s a free download.

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The big changes on their way are in development languages and the Internet of Things. Apple’s new Swift has had an impressive level of uptake but C# and JavaScript are also growing in importance. Meanwhile mobile developers are showing a very strong interest in the next wave of connected devices.

Platform Wars
The platform wars have ended in a stalemate. [tweetable]Apple have an increasing lock on the high-end with iOS and Android dominates everywhere else[/tweetable]. Windows Phone is still growing, now at 30% mindshare, but not generating enough sales to break through the app-gap. The split of developer platform priorities amongst full time professionals best illustrates the stalemate. Android has 40% of developers, iOS has 37%, whilst Windows Phone and the mobile browser have just 8% and 7% respectively.

Although not yet a priority the mobile browser has also bounced back strongly from an all-time low in terms of mindshare 6 months ago, with 25% of developers now supporting it. With the massive growth of mobile apps it’s important to remember that the desktop and mobile web combined is still the most important digital channel for the majority of businesses. [tweetable]The web is definitely not dead[/tweetable].

The Rise of Swift
Our development language rankings show absolutely unprecedented growth for Apple’s new Swift language. [tweetable]20% of mobile developers were using Swift just 4 months after it was introduced[/tweetable] to the world. For comparison, Google’s excellent Go language doesn’t make it onto our new top chart for server-side programming languages, having reached just 5% mindshare amongst mobile developers after more than 5 years. [tweetable]Amongst the first wave of Swift adopters, 23% were not using Objective C[/tweetable], a sign that Swift may succeed in attracting a much wider range of developers to build native iOS apps.

Revenues
Growth in direct revenues from the app stores is slowing. As these direct revenues are preferred sources of income for the Hobbyists, Explorers and Hunters that make up around 60% of the mobile developer population, competition for them is becoming more intense. 17% of developers who are interested in making money generate no revenue related to apps at all. A further 18% of developers make less than $100 per month and the next 17%, bringing us to a total of 52%, make less than $1000 per month.

Those low revenue earners are not at all evenly distributed across platforms. Of those that prioritise iOS, only 37% are below the app poverty line, making less than $500 per month on iOS. On the opposite end of the revenue scale, 39% make more than $5,000 per month on the iOS platform. Rather surprisingly, the revenue distribution for Android-first developers is not much different than for those targeting BlackBerry 10 or Windows Phone. In fact, developers that go iOS first actually earn much more revenue on Android than those that prioritise the platform.

Internet of Things
Despite the relative immaturity of IoT platforms, mobile developer interest is high. A massive [tweetable]53% of mobile developers in our survey were already working on some kind of IoT project[/tweetable]. Smart Home was the most popular market with 37% of mobile developers working on IoT projects targeting it. Wearables were a close second with 35% mindshare. The majority of these mobile developers involved in IoT development are doing it as a hobby (30% involved at this level) or side project (just under 20%), whilst working on mobile apps in their day job. This is expected at this stage of the market where revenue opportunities are still limited.

Tools
Tool awareness is increasing. The fraction of developers not using any third party tools at all has fallen to an all time low of 17%. The second most popular category of tool is ad networks, with a 31% adoption rate. Unfortunately this is the one category of tool that’s negatively correlated with revenues. Cross-platform tool adoption is on the rise. The percentage of developers using these tools has grown from 23% to 30% over the last 6 months. While cross-platform tool use was previously uncorrelated with revenue it’s now a positive revenue indicator. We don’t believe this is due to a significant improvement in the tools, rather it’s because of their disproportionate use in enterprise app development.

Enterprise vs. Consumer
The enterprise app gold rush is now well underway with 20% of developers primarily targeting enterprises, up from 16% in Q3 2014. This shift in focus is paying off. [tweetable]43% of enterprise app developers make more than $10K per month[/tweetable] versus 19% of consumer app developers reaching the same revenue level.

Amongst consumer app businesses, the majority of the revenue is coming from free-to-play games. A typical game is giving a third of gross revenue to the app store provider as a cut of in-app purchases and spending half of what’s left on ads to acquire new users. These game developers are starting to look more like typical fast moving consumer goods businesses, with significant benefits from scale. Despite overall revenues from the stores still rising, life is getting much harder for the small independent developers that try to serve consumers.

The good news for consumer app developers is that 3 of their top 5 favourite categories are common with enterprise app developers. It’s definitely not too late to re-focus on B2B rather than B2C sales. Also, the skills developed building consumer apps are in greater demand than ever now that more and more businesses are taking mobility seriously. This is a trend that will keep running for several years yet.

Want more? Download and read the full report

North American App Developer Trends 2014: Insights into the app economy powerhouse

North America plays a very central part in the app economy. Not only is it home to the companies that create all of the leading mobile platforms, it is also the largest creator of app revenues. We estimate that [tweetable]in 2013, North America contributed 42% of the world’s app economy output[/tweetable]. Developer mindshare in the region is also considered particularly valuable by OEMs and tools vendors. This is due to the disproportionate global shares of both venture capital and media coverage focussed on the region. North America is often the starting point for new developer trends with high smartphone penetration and relatively mature 4G networks.

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For those that see value in understanding developer trends and preferences in North America we have created a new report which compares the region to the rest of the world. The report covers developer mindshare for platforms, languages and tools, as well as revenues and deeper dives into enterprise and game developer markets. It answers questions like these:

  • Why are developers in North America more likely to target mobile browsers than those in the rest of the world?
  • Android mindshare is higher than iOS in North America but by how much?
  • Despite lower mindshare, iOS is prioritised by more North American developers than Android but how many?
  • How much more revenue does a developer in North America earn on average than one elsewhere in the world?
  • How is that extra revenue distributed amongst the developer population and across platforms?
  • Which revenue models are most popular and which are the most successful in North America?
  • Enterprise developers in the region make significantly more revenue than those targeting consumers – how many times greater is the average revenue?
  • Which revenue models do these enterprise developers favour and what’s their share of the total revenue pie?
  • Games are also monetised differently than other apps, which are the most popular revenue models for North American game developers?
  • Ad networks are the most popular category of tool globally but not in North America – what’s more popular there?
  • What’s the breakdown of developer tool usage across platforms in the region?

The North American App Developer Trends 2014 report includes many more insights and explanations of key trends. It is also packed with 20 graphs, slicing the relevant data in different ways. If you need to know more about developers in the region, then this report is for you.

Which apps make more money?

[How do app developer revenues vary by country, or platform? Does the number of platforms make a difference to app revenues? Which models bring in the most revenues? We revisit our November analysis of app monetisation with more insights from our Developer Economics 2013 survey across 3,400+ developers – while launching our latest survey, which is available here]

New Developer Economics survey

Back in November, we looked at which apps make money based on research on how app revenues vary by platform, app category, country and more. In this article we update our analysis on app monetisation based on the latest research from Developer Economics 2013 across 3,400+ app developers, including analysis that did not make it into the report.

We ‘re also proud to launch our very latest Developer Economics survey, which reaches across thousands of app developers and provides the data for our famous state of the developer nation reports. Thanks to the sponsorship by BlackBerry, Mozilla, Intel and Telefonica it possible to provide these reports and additional insights, for free, to the entire mobile community.

Take part in the survey, spread the word and help us drill deeper into the app economy and what makes it tick. We have prizes aplenty for developers, with 7 devices up for grabs (one iPhone 5, two Samsung Galaxy SIII, two Nokia Lumia 920 devices and two BlackBerry Dev Alpha handsets) – plus an AR Drone 2.0, a Nest Learning Thermostat and a Nike Fuel Band for participants who also subscribe to our developer panel. Last, but definitely not least, our friends at Bugsense are giving away one month of free crash reporting to each and every participant.

[ab_testing prettylink=’blogDS13′] Continue reading Which apps make more money?

Developer Economics 2013 – Key Insights

[We’ve just published Developer Economics 2013: the tools report. This report [vm_form_download link_text='(free download)’ product_id=’3789′]! is based on a large scale survey across 95 countries and 3,460 developers. This is the definitive guide on the app economy packed with facts and figures about the platforms, screens and revenue models that developers are using. In this edition we take a close look into the tools and services that developers use to create, monetise and market their apps, including Ad networks & exchanges, Cross-platform tools and Backend-as-a-Service.]

In this article, you’ll find all key insights from the report – please give us your feedback and leave a comment below. Also – keep an eye out for more Developer Economics articles, and don’t forget to visit our newly launched Developer Economics portal!

Developer Economics 2013

Mobile market duopolies

Mobile handset Industry growing at 23% CAGR. Despite the doom and gloom circling many mobile handset makers, the industry has been on a steady growth trajectory achieving a 23% CAGR in revenues since 2009. Underlying this growth are the increasing smartphone sales that now account for over 40% of all handset sales, fuelled by low cost Android devices that are rapidly eating away feature phone market share. Continue reading Developer Economics 2013 – Key Insights

Developer Economics 2013: Best practices for app development & marketing

[As we launch the Developer Economics 2013 online survey, Senior Analyst Andreas Pappas introduces Developer Economics 2013, the fourth in our series of developer research reports. This time we’re benchmarking the building blocks of the app economy, from analytics tools to voice APIs. Join us in Developer Economics 2013, take our online survey and win great prizes.]

Developer Economics 2013

Back in June 2012 we launched Developer Economics 2012, the third in our series of reports that focused on app ecosystems, developer segmentation, platform economics and global app trade routes.

Continue reading Developer Economics 2013: Best practices for app development & marketing

[Survey] Calling all developers: Making sense of a fragmented world

[Calling all developers: VisionMobile launches the most ambitious developer research to date. We also take the opportunity to look back at our past developer research to present some of the most interesting findings]

We ‘ve recently launched what is probably the most ambitious mobile developer research to date – benchmarking the developer experience across 400+ developers, all 8 major platforms (iPhone, Android, Symbian, Java ME, RIM, Windows Mobile, Flash Lite and mobile web) and the entire developer journey.

The project has been sponsored by Telefonica so that the research findings can be made freely available and widely publicized.

The most ambitious mobile developer research to date
Our research will take a closer look at developer needs and expectations by examining all aspects of the development life cycle, from design to delivery. More specifically, we’ll be looking at platform selection, platform features & application design, code development, tools &debugging, developer support, go-to-market and application marketing – as well as covering hot topics like open source and the future of network operators.

We ‘ve spent a long time in planning, peer reviewing and logistics of the research. Our methodology includes 200 one-on-one developer interviews over the phone in addition to an online survey and an in-depth hands-on platform benchmarks; we ‘ve designed this three-pronged methodology to combine quality, consistency and depth of analysis in what is the most ambitious mobile developer research to date.

Calling all developers
Are you a mobile developer? Register at visionmobile.com/developers to participate in our research via 30 minute one-on-one interviews.

We ‘re giving away a free MWC pass, a 500 EUR Amazon voucher and 20 wallcharts of the Mobile Industry Atlas which will be drawn out to participants. But do hurry, as the free MWC pass is only valid until Friday 5 February.

We have been excited in launching this project, as we believe this research will become a seminal point of reference for developer research, and provide new insights into every aspect of mobile application development. Plus – thanks to the generous sponsorship of Telefonica, the results will be freely available and widely disseminated in Q2 as part of the report Developer Economics 2010 and Beyond.

Cross-platform insights from our earlier survey
In view of our latest research, we’d like to share some noteworthy findings from our earlier developer research project.

Our research carried out during the first 8 months of 2008 included an online survey; we polled over 350 mobile developers across 60 countries and 5 platforms: S60, Android, Java, Windows and Linux.

We ‘ll share a small subset of 6 questions out of 40+ we polled during that survey – in what will probably be a small appetizer prior to the main course, i.e. our Developer Economics 2010 report coming in Q2 2010.

One of the most important questions we asked was also one of the most naive ones: What is your favourite mobile OS or platform?

Quite understandably, the S60 users and professionals went for S60 or Symbian in general, Android fans went for Android and so on. However, this is only half of the story.The Java group was the least ‘faithful’ to its platform, with only 62% of respondents citing Java as their favourite platform. The highest percentage of ‘faithful’ developers were those working with Linux, with 92%.  Linux was also the most popular platform, stealing away 3% of S60 and Java users and 7% of Android and Windows users. The next graph shows preferences for platforms, based on platform selected for survey. Note that all graphs are normalized to a total of 100 developers.

What is your favourite platform?

The next logical question after the ‘what’ is the ‘why’. Why is this your favourite OS or platform?

The answer on most people’s lips was ‘ease of use’, followed by ‘rich APIs’. ‘Faster to program with’ and ‘better dev tools’ were also popular answers, while financial and self-promotion reasons were almost non-existent.

How the world has changed in just under two years; post iPhone App Store, monetization and addressable market are much higher up in the agenda of mobile application developers.

Why do you prefer this platform or OS?

The most important factor in selecting an OS or platform was ‘feature-rich APIs’, while the least important was ‘responsive and accessible technical support’. It’s worth noting that Android developers seem to go for rich APIs, having the highest percentage, but complain about the lack of documentation (esp. in those early days of Android).

Most important factors in an OS or platform

In terms of the IDE, the vast majority of respondents believed theirs was lacking in terms of the UI editor for apps – which was particularly painful for Android and Java at that time. A well-integrated toolchain was another major pain point in the IDE for most developers.

What does the IDE lack?

It’s love or hate time! We’ll start with what developers love in their platforms. ‘Easy to use the APIs’ was the most popular answer, followed closely by ‘access to all APIs’. Linux and Android users were particularly impressed with access to all APIs, a sentiment not at all shared by their S60 colleagues. Windows users mostly went for ‘productivity due to the tools and environment’, while Java users preferred the ease of use of the APIs.

What do developers love about their platform?

What do developers hate about their platform? Well, most of them seemed peeved with the difficulties they faced in reaching the market; a reason that is mostly relevant to the way the market is set up (or was setup – in the pre- iPhone App Store era), rather than a fault in the platform. The main inherent fault most people found was the disparity between emulator and device performance, a view shared by all platform users except Android. Android users were also pleased with the production cost of the apps, as well as the support their platform offered. Unsurprisingly, less than half of the developers found something bad to say about their platform.

What do developers hate about their platform?

Of course the world of mobile development has gone through a sea of changes in the last two years. Apple introduced a single platform to target 50+ million handsets. GetJar, Apple and others paved the developer-to-consumer route to market. Google led the open source wave with the majority of the device platform published under a non-copyleft license. Adobe went back to square one introducing the Flash and Air runtimes to replace its fragmented Flash Lite installed base. And Palm left a thriving Palm OS developer community die a slow death. Mobile application development has gone through a roller-coaster history, with even more twists and turns behind the next corner.

So – stay tuned. The Developer Economics 2010 will tread new ground in understanding mobile developers, across platforms, regions and across the entire developer journey – and thanks to Telefonica’s sponsorship – we ‘ll be publishing the insights from the research far and wide.

Join in or spread the word!

– Matos