Survey: Developers Rooting for Android’s Long Term Success


A recent survey held by Appcelerator revealed that more developers were banking on the growth and momentum Android will continue to gain over the next couple of years over the iPhone. While iPhone and iPad development is surely the platform to target now, we could find that tide will turn with time (let’s not forget that Android is still under 1.5 years old, while iPhone is just about 3).


2,733 developers were surveyed, with 40% favoring Apple’s platform in the long run as opposed to 60% going for Google and their Android strategy. Obviously, this doesn’t echo the feelings of the hundreds of thousands of developers out there, but I can’t imagine there are a good amount more that don’t feel the same.

You can check out the full details of the report over at Bloomberg.

[via AndroidGuys]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Of course, from what you read, some devs don’t want to program for Android because they don’t feel the investment would be worth it, but I’m sure they’d all love not to rely on Apple and the App Market for their source of income, lest their apps be pulled without noticed, requests left in limbo, or iOS5 has a new feature that makes their app redundant.

  2. Apple’s “war on developers” can’t be helping them any.
    Let’s compare.
    To develop for iPhone:
    1. I must pay Apple for the privilege of being “honored” by them to develop on their platform.
    2. I must sign a draconian NDA.
    3. I must buy a Mac. (And learn to use it.)
    4. I must get XCode development tools (and learn to use it). And Xcode doesn’t get great reviews compared to competing tools like Eclipse or Visual Studio.
    5. I must learn an obscure language – Objective C – which is from the 80’s, and used by nobody but Apple.
    6. Can only use Apple approved languages to develop. (Part of their “war on flash” and “war on dynamic languages”.)
    7. Apple is adding automatic memory management (GC) to Objective C — way to go Apple! Step into the 21st century already! Oh, but no GC in iPhone, just for desktop Macs.
    8. Once I develop my application, I have to pay Apple yearly to list it in the App Store.
    9. Apple is in no hurry to approve applications or updates to applications in the App Store.
    10. Apple can arbitrarily reject my app from the app store, no reason given and no recourse. (Fanboys tell me that this is not really a concern because it doesn’t happen much. But it’s happened enough times that developers should be truly concerned about it BEFORE they make their investment, not AFTER.)
    Now Android:
    1. No cost to begin development, the tools are open source, just download and begin.
    2. No NDA to sign. Google even said they’d be fine with “leaks” about Android OS updates.
    3. I can use any platform, Linux, Windows or even Mac to develop on.
    4. The development tool, Eclipse, is open source, free to download, and an industry standard (not the only one), and overall excellent and supports plug in’s.
    5. The language is Java. Like with iPhone, the API’s are non-standard, so this is not worth mentioning or comparing. But I don’t need to learn a new language.
    6. Not only Java, but I can use almost any language compiler that generates JVM bytecode. (Jython, JRuby, Groovy, and others, and yes, dynamic languages.)
    7. Android not only has automatic memory management, but JIT as well. Way to leave Apple in the dark ages with their static compilation.
    8. ??? I don’t know if I have to pay Google to list my app in the Market.
    9. ??? I’ve heard no complaints about apps being slow to be accepted into the Market.
    10. ??? I’ve heard no complaints about apps being arbitrarily rejected. But even if this were a problem (and it is not), there are alternate ways that end users can obtain and install applications. (Except on AT&T, maybe because of Apple?)
    Hmmmmmm. I wonder which platform developers are going to like best?
    Wanna bet that the developers who “believed” iPhone was the long term winner only think so becasue that is what they already know and don’t want to change?

  3. dannyB don’t forget private betas. Apps don’t have to be on the Market.

  4. @ari-free /agree

    @DannyB The price to put apps on the market is the $25 free for the “developer license” which allows you to put up free apps. If you want to do a paid app, you simply give them your business’ tax ID, and then the price cut I do believe is 30% to Google, 70% to the dev. Also Android allows for third party apps, so if you want to sell it through your own website, or another market (SlideME as an example) you are allowed to do so.

    Another point, IMHO, is with chrome coming soon, I think apps made for AOSP will work, thus giving an even greater market to develop for.

  5. On the other hand, piracy seems to be more rampant in the Android market. Apple users are more conditioned to pay for apps. Google said “stay tuned for developments” on anti piracy efforts at this year’s I/O … but I haven’t heard what the developments are yet. It is not surprising that a more open platform with a more tech savvy user base is going to be more pirated. If it’s overall easier to make an app and get it into the Android market, and then your sales numbers get killed by folks who have appointed themselves to make the decision that devs shouldn’t get compensated for their work, then that kind of sucks.

    But, I totally concur w/the list of cons of developing for Apple. Just noting that it is the total end-to-end ROI, all the way from development costs & risks of the walled garden, to piracy losses, that matters.

  6. By the way, any thoughts on whether webOS has a real second chance with the HP acquisition being approved today? There was real interest in it when it came out and its fans seem to think their “everthing will be a web app someday” approach is the eventual winner. (Personally I’m skeptical. A good programmer can pick up a new language w/no problem; it’s the platform API’s that consume your learning curve, especially if they are poorly documented.)

  7. @DannyB totally agree. Apple is having a war on developers. Saying that developers can only use certain language to program is the worst of all. Even Microsoft does not limit developer’s choice of language on Windows.

  8. @Justin2

    Was it not 70% to developer, %3o to carrier?

  9. google needs to enable purchasing priced apps in the market in other regions, this will make bring more and more consumers which in turn will make the devs happy

  10. The pro’s of the iphone are obviously just how many ios devices are currently out there, right now, sadly, that is where a developer can make a lot of money. I have heard you cannot make a living off of android just yet…that is the only pro for apple. For android obviously its a better os is rapidly expanding, will soon have more handsets and be more profitable than apple, is open source, Google is just a heck of a lot nicer and more caring than apple as a company, etc. (just look at DannyB’s comment). Android is nice, but you cannot make enough money to make a living off it just yet. Hopefully that will change in the near future. Android eats apples for breakfast!!!!

  11. On balance, devs will go where the ROI is, not counting folks who are just doing it for fun, charity, or a broader product/service strategy. Hopefully Google will make Android the economically rational destination.


    Really nice apply …. you write your own death

  13. @bartholemew Google forces people to pirate because majority of countries of the world (including huge countries) can’t buy and sell on the market. So people try to get popular apps from black market sources.

    I’m afraid that pirating will be so developed when Google allows to sell/buy from anywhere that people will not buy even it possible.

    Currently I’m very skeptical about investment to Android as Google’s Android Market strategy is really unintelligible.

  14. @Tomáš Hubálek LOL … “forced” to pirate.

    There are millions of things for people to do in
    the world. But you can miss out on them unnecessarily
    if you focus on the few things you can’t have.

    Ironically, one of the lame arguments of pirates is that
    the market is big enough that a few sales here and there won’t be missed, so developers shouldn’t worry about it,
    and besides the world will continue to turn.

    So let’s turn the argument around. There are plenty of things for pirates to do if they can’t get a pirated copy of this or that app. So go outside and feel the sun on your skin, and observe that the world continues to turn.

  15. @Tomáš Hubálek
    You think google doesn’t know that? New countries are being added as they can secure the rights to process payments there. If pirating ever threatened the success of android, google could lock their new handsets down. They practically *let* us have root and pirate apps.

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