Android is developer's platform of choice

A survey shows that when it comes to writing applications for smartphones, developers would rather be doing it in Android.

More than two thirds of mobile developers are writing code for Google’s operating system. Apple’s iOS has 59 percent.

The survey, from Vision Mobile and Bluevia, showed that 67 percent of mobile developers indicated they’re developing for Android in 2011, which is an eight percent improvement on last year. Apple developers are also up nine percent from last year.

Apparently the reason that Android is more popular is because it is easier to experiment with. It has fewer restricted APIs and the market is essentially unregulated. It’s easier to sideload Android applications, which simplifies testing and ad-hoc distribution for beta testing.

One developer told TechEye that dealing with Apple was a pain in the ass (sic) whereas he had total freedom to do what he liked with Android code.

But the survey indicated that there is a surge in interest in developing apps using HTML and browser technologies specifically aimed at mobile devices.

Last year only 40 percent of mobile developers said they were making mobile Web apps but this year that shot up to 56 percent.

Java ME seems to be falling by four percent, although it scraped a fourth-place finish with 46 percent. RIM’s BlackBerry platform finished fifth with 45 percent of developers saying they’re targeting it. This is an increase of five percent over last year.

Symbian was sixth with 38 percent and Windows Phone came seventh with 36 percent of developers aiming at the platforms this year.

Another surprising statistic shows that the number of developers running Flash and Flash Lite projects had grown dramatically. Although it ranked number eight on the developer list, its use had increased from 22 percent to 34 percent. This was despite campaigns by Apple to purge the web of Flash. Developers seem to support an average of 3.2 mobile platforms at the same time.

Another thing which emerged from the Vision Mobile and BlueVia survey was that Windows Phone 7 was going to make big gains.

Looking at developer’s future plans, Android was still the clear winner but Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform captured the number two spot, apparently on the strength of its XNA and Silverlight development tools and the Nokia deal. Number three in “intent” was actually Google’s Chrome OS, followed by a tie between iOS and MeeGo.