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Android vs iPhone vs BlackBerry: the best OS for apps?

We look at the different strengths of each platform

Android, iPhone or BlackBerry - Mobile phone app developers are finding it a difficult decision to choose an OS to create apps for. We take a look at which of the three platforms is best.

With so many mobile operating platforms available, smartphone developers are having a hard-time choosing which OS they should be developing apps for.

Not surprisingly, there's no one solution for software developers looking to thrive in the mobile application business.

Every operating system has different strengths and weaknesses and something to offer developers.

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Take the iPhone's operating system, which has consistently received praise from users for its ease of use and for hosting an applications store that has well over 100,000 apps to choose from.

While this operating systems sounds like a dream for many developers, some have said that the sheer number of apps they have to compete with has made the going tough.

"The iPhone is easier to develop for than other operating systems, but harder to make money on," says Paul Reddick, the CEO of software developer Handmark, which specialises in making mobile news applications.

"Even though it's relatively easy to get your app onto the App Store, it's not easy when you have 100,000 people that you're rubbing shoulders with. So the key thing is to figure out how get yourself discovered."

Of course, the fact that so many developers want to make applications for the iPhone is more a sign of its success than of weakness.

Additionally, some developers say that the device's uniform screen size makes creating applications for it a relative breeze.

So while an application designed for BlackBerry or Android devices might have to be tweaked to fit different screen sizes, an app for the iPhone operating system will only have to fit into the iPhone's screen.

"The iPhone's biggest strength from a developer's standpoint is that it's one size fits all," says Keith Pichelman, CEO for Concrete Software, a company that specialises in developing popular games such as Sid Meier's Pirates for mobile platforms.

"Those are the big challenges for all the other platforms that have wide variations in screen size."

However, Pichelman says that the operating system that his company has most enjoyed working with so far has been that of the BlackBerry.

The best part, he says, has been the helpfulness of Research in Motion, which he says gives Concrete specific guidelines for how to get their apps approved and up on BlackBerry App World.

"They have been extremely helpful with tech contacts and with public relations contacts and it's been that way for years now," he says.

"I would love to see Apple take a similar approach. From the outside view they're doing really well but it's just tough from our point of view working with them sometimes where we don't know what they're going to approve and not approve."

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NEXT PAGE: More views of which mobile OS is best

  1. We look at the different strengths of each platform
  2. More views of which mobile OS is best

See also: Which smartphone platform should you choose

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