Android is developer's favourite mobile OS

For the first time, Google's operating system is proving more attractive to developers than Apple's, with no other players in the running at all.

Android logo

Apple's App Store may have more apps, but it's Google's Android operating system that is getting more attention from developers, a new survey has revealed.

Of the 400 developers surveyed globally by VisionMobile, six out of ten reported having done "some work" on Android OS 10 per cent more than for iPhone OS.

Cross-platform plug-in environment Java and "dumbphone" OS Symbian also scored well, with just shy of half of the developers saying they had done some work on the platforms, but they admitted the platforms were no longer as dominant as they were two years ago.

BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone - along with its ancestor - meanwhile, both scored around the 40 per cent mark not surprising given how long they have been around. No other mobile OS had numbers of any significance.

VisionMobile analyst Andreas Constantinou pointed out that the iPhone OS and Android's lead became more significant when the actual number of devices they were present on was factored in.

"For example, the Symbian operating system is deployed in around 390 million handsets (Q2 2010), and claims over 6,000 apps, while Apple's iPhone has seen 30x more applications while being deployed in just 60 million units over the same period," he argued.

Interestingly, the survey revealed Apple and Google's platforms appear to be largely mutually exclusive.

Despite both platforms being familiar territory for more than half of the 400 developers questioned, just one in five of those who had released apps on one, had gone on to do so on the other two.

Either way, the iPhone OS and Android seem to have replaced Java and Symbian as the developer's platforms of choice a fact borne out in both the official figures and some of the anecdotal evidence surrounding them, Constantinou said.

"In the last two years, a mindshare migration has taken place for mobile developers away from the incumbent platforms Symbian, Java ME and Windows Phone, while a substantial number of PC software developers have flocked to iPhone and Android," he revealed.

"The vast majority of Java ME respondents have lost faith in the write-once-run-anywhere vision. Moreover, anecdotal developer testimonials suggest that half of Windows Phone MVP developers (valued for their commitment to the platform) carry an iPhone and would think twice before re-investing in Windows Phone."

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