Feeds

Android gaining on iPhone among developers

Survey finds Google OS is most highly rated for long term outlook in US

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

The iPhone 4 may be on sale now, but the Android community is doing a good job of keeping quite a lot of the spotlight on itself - mainly thanks to Verizon Wireless' aggressive promotion of its flagship phones, Droid Incredible from HTC and the new Droid X from Motorola. Such efforts are beginning to show results in terms of Android's market share and developer commitments, and could even create some enterprise momentum soon, say analysts.

According to a new survey from development tools firm Appcelerator, Android is gaining ground on Apple among US programmers. Its Q2 mobile developer survey questioned 2,733 respondents, and found that 90% were 'very interested' in creating apps for the the iPhone, and 81% for Android.

The other operating systems came well behind, partly because they are currently ageing and the market is waiting for their upcoming new versions. About one-third were 'very interested' in BlackBerry, 27% in Windows, 15% in Symbian and 13% in Palm webOS. There was even some showing for MeeGo, which has only just been released to selected developers but gained a score of 11% 'very interested' respondents, while 6% voted for the Amazon Kindle, which has a content publishing platform but is not a full apps development system.

The reasons why developers rated iPhone and Android highly were quite different. Apple scored well ahead of its rival for the size, quality and commercial capability of its app store, and 78% thought it had the best short term prospects, compared to 16% for Android. Android beat iPhone on its OS capabilities though, with 55% saying it was the leader in this respect, compared to 39% for Apple. More predictably, Android scored on openness, with 86% rating it the most open platform, compared to 8% who, oddly, chose iPhone.

Perhaps most worryingly for Apple, 54% said Android had the best long term outlook as an OS, compared with 40% who put Apple at the top of that league.

Other positives for Apple were the consumer appeal of the phone, while the main negative was the vendor's iron control. For Android, the positives revolved around flexibility, multiple device factors and openness, but there were complaints about fragmentation and the time and money that is required to test apps across all Android gadgets.

As for tablets, 84% said they were very interested in developing for the iPad, while 62% said the same about a putative Android tablet.

There is more controversy about whether Android is ready for the enterprise. Verizon Wireless and Adobe both said it would be suitable for corporate use once upgraded to Android 2.2 or Froyo, and because it had business friendly features like a personal hotspot. But analyst Jack Gold of J Gold Associates said in a research note that Android was "not ready for the enterprise", even with Froyo. He said that upgrade would improve security but said Android 2.2 "still suffers a lack of real enterprise class policy enforcement ... and poses a significantly greater risk to enterprises than other major mobile OSs."

Copyright © 2010, Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.