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Developers turn sour on Apple iPad

Well, as sour as a world of fanbois can get

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Just before Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, a survey of developers by webdesktopmobile kit maker Appcelerator indicated that 90 per cent intended to build an app for the Apple tablet over the coming year. As Apple prepares to unleash the device on Saturday in the US, that number now appears to have dropped to 80 per cent.

Appcelerator blames the drop on Steve Jobs' eccentric decision to prevent his tablet from multitasking. Before Jobs revealed that the device would shackle the multitasking talents of its own operating system, 58 per cent of developers polled said they were "very interested" in developing for the platform. Now that figures is down to 53 per cent. Shame on you, Steve.

Nonetheless, the iPad is still the third most popular device among developers using Appcelerator's Titanium kit, an open source platform that lets you build applications for desktop and mobile devices using traditional web tools such as JavaScript, Python, PHP, and Ruby on Rails. The most popular platform is the iPhone, with 87 per cent saying they're very interested, followed by Android, with 81 percent.

Android is on the rise, despite the fact that Google insists on fragmenting its fledgling market. Meanwhile, BlackBerry is up to 43 per cent, and mobile Windows - following the introduction of Windows Phone 7 - has leapt from 13 per cent to 39 per cent.

Palm is down to 17 per cent. Symbian is at 16 per cent. Meego - the love child of Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo - is at 12 per cent. And, well, the Amazon Kindle is at 12 per cent too, following the introduction of its SDK.

Naturally, Titantium is poised to offer APIs for the iPad. Appcelerator's Titanium Tablet offering - which will eventually offer APIs for Android tablets as well - is set to debut on Monday, April 5, two days after Apple's iPad launch. This will be followed in June by the kit's BlackBerry incarnation.

With Titanium's current APIs, you can build native runtimes for Windows, Linux, Mac desktops and notebooks, iPhones, and Android phones. The idea is that experienced web developers can build for the iPhone without knowing Objective-C or for Android without knowing Java. Appcelerator offers a free version of Titanium as well as a "professional" version that includes support, app analytics, and access to more beta tools for $199 per developer per month. ®

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