Android leads in mobile developer interest

Mobile app developers are still in love with Android and iOS, but the latter seems to be losing appeal. Interest in Windows Phone and BlackBerry is flat, while Symbian and Bada are on their way out.

According to Vision Mobile’s latest Developer Economic Report, developers are still looking for a viable alternative to Android and iOS, but they are having a hard time finding one. The report, which covered 3,460 developers across 95 countries, also notes that app development for tablets is increasing.

Android leads in terms of developer interest, and it is extending its lead over iOS. Android interest stands at 72 percent, up four percent from June 2012, while interest in iOS is down five percent, from 61 to 56 percent. Windows Phone and Blackberry are flat at 21 and 16 percent respectively. HTML5 is also getting a lot of traction, with 50 percent of respondents interested in it.

The real money is concentrated on iOS and Android. Most developers use two or more platforms concurrently, but developer platform choices are slowly narrowing, which is bad news for smaller platforms.

Although Android gets a bigger slice of the pie, most developers take the iOS-first approach and they prioritise development for Apple over all other platforms. Developers also moaned about the need to improve HTML5 APIs, but they believe HTML5 is becoming a viable alternative to native development.

Developers feel HTML5 needs better native API access, a better development environment and better debugging support. An increasing number of developers are starting to focus on tablets and the iPad is in a clear lead. TV development remains niche, with just six percent of Android developers interested in the Smart TV hype.

The report found that advertising is still the most popular revenue model for developers, at 38 percent. However, new concepts such as in-app purchases and Freemium content are also making their presence felt. In fact, in-app purchases are now the second most popular revenue model on iOS, with 37 percent of developers on board. Google’s AdMob remains the dominant mobile ad platform, adopted by 65 percent of developers.