Developers prefer Android over iOS, whilst Windows interest grows

There are two current kingpins in the smartphone war; Android and iOS. The companies behind each ecosystem take different approaches to their respective platforms. Android has a reputation of being more "Open" and, let's be honest, a bit more geeky. iOS is less flexible and instead relies on Apple making all the important decisions on behalf of its users and developers. 

In the latest "State of the Developer Nation" report from Vision Mobile - which pulls together data from more than 10,000 developers spanning 137 countries - we've gained a much clearer insight at which platform is most popular. To answer that simply, 70% of developers target Android, whilst 51% of the respondents target iOS. 

What is most interesting is that, despite only having single digit marketshare, 28% of developers are targeting Windows Phone and 18% are for modern-style Windows 8 apps. Microsoft is converging the various platforms into, essentially, one for developers. Code which works on the desktop can work on mobile and vice-versa with little or no changes whatsoever. This is sure to drive developer interest even further. 

The popularity of Android isn't surprising due to its vast marketshare. Devices running Google's OS account for approximately 80% of the market according to ABI Research. This popularity is despite the relatively miniscule amounts of revenue generated when compared to iOS. As DeveloperTech reported last week; whilst Android leads in downloads, iOS dominates in revenue. 

Let's be clear, it is still extremely difficult to make money on either platform. Half of iOS developers and 64% of Android developers make less than $500 per app per month, and nearly a quarter of all developers make no money whatsoever. Enterprise Apps (cheeky plug - check out our sister site) is where the real money is. The 16% of developers which target enterprise users directly are twice as likely to be earning over $5000 per app per month, and three times as likely to be over $25,000/app/month. 

When it comes to programming languages in-use; 42% use HTML5, 38% use Java, C/C++ is used by 26%, 24% use Objective-C, and 23% use C#. 

It shows that nearly a quarter use the cross-platform but best for Windows, C#. Many tools such as Xamarin and Unity (which was recently integrated with Visual Studio) allow for "native" release across Android and iOS which is helping to make the language an increasingly popular choice. 

What do you think about the report's findings? Let us know in the comments.

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28 Jul 2014, 8:17 a.m.

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