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Apple opens up lead on Android in enterprise mobile app dev

Developers are rapidly losing interest in Windows Phone 7, but see potential in Windows 8

Apple's iOS mobile platform has amassed a substantial lead over Google's Android when it comes to which platform developers prefer for building enterprise mobile applications, according to survey results released Tuesday.

The Appcelerator/IDC second quarter mobile report, which polled 3,600 developers using Appcelerator's Titanium mobile development tools, found that 70 percent of respondents stated they are building applications for an enterprise audience. Fifty-three percent of respondents believe Apple was best positioned for the enterprise, as opposed 37 percent who believe Android has the edge. This is a significant increase from the third quarter of last year, when the two platforms were even at 44 percent.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Find out what developers like about the Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" OS. | Learn how to work smarter, not harder with InfoWorld's roundup of all the tips and trends programmers need to know in the Developers' Survival Guide. | Stay informed on both on mobile computing and application development by subscribing to InfoWorld's Mobilize and Developer World newsletters. ]

"iOS is basically very well positioned in the enterprise, according to our developers," said Michael King, Appcelerator director of enterprise strategy. Apple has outdone Android in security and management, with Apple offering a measure of control over applications getting onto devices, King said. Apple also has courted enterprise developers, with productivity applications and complex applications built on SAP making their way onto iOS devices, he added.

The study did see stabilization for Android, with 69 percent of respondents very interested in building for the platform. The number had been dropping steadily since peaking at 88 percent several quarters ago. Sixty-seven percent were very interested in Android in last quarter's report. Overall, 63 percent of developers find developing for multiple OSes to be the biggest annoyance they face, King said.

Developers also are cautiously optimistic about the upcoming Windows 8 platform, which features the Metro UI geared for tablet interfaces. Sixty-eight percent are interested in Windows 8 and find Metro compelling, the survey found, and 33 percent are interested in developing for Windows 8 tablets.

The currently available mobile OS from Microsoft, Windows Phone 7, did not fare well in the survey, which found declining interest in Windows Phone 7 devices. The number of developers "very interested" in these phones dropped to 25 percent. The number had been 37 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Also, cloud application development is catching on, with 64.2 percent of developers planning to implement mobile cloud services in their applications during the next year. Top services include push, social, user administration, photos, and status updates.

This article, "Apple opens up lead on Android in enterprise mobile app dev," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Read more about application development in InfoWorld's Application Development Channel.


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