Which mobile platforms do Aussie developers favour? A survey of 221 Australian developers by Embarcadero Technologies suggests iOS is retaining its edge despite the rapid growth of Android. Plus: one factor causing HTML5 development to stall.
Asked which platforms they currently developed for, 28 per cent specified iOS, while 25 per cent picked Android. Similar figures emerged when developers were asked what platforms they would like to develop for, though here Android (81 per cent) had a very slight edge over iOS (80 per cent).
“The surprising part for me was how neck-and-neck Android and iOS were,” Embarcadero APJ senior director Malcolm Groves told Lifehacker. “I didn’t expect that. To be honest I expected Android to be higher.” Embarcadero commissioned the survey to mark the launch of Android and iOS support in its RAD Studio XE5 cross-platform development suite.
The main barriers to developing across multiple platforms identified in the survey were the complexities of managing multiple code bases and the difficulty of finding experienced staff. Building HTML5 apps is often proposed as a solution to the former issue, but Groves said despite improvements many developers had found it too consuming in practice.
“It’s certainly more of a viable solution now than it was two years ago,” he said. “It used to be that you were told you couldn’t talk to hardware. That doesn’t come up now. What does is the time taken to do something device-specific in HTML5.
“We have customers who have been down the HTML5 path. They could build something just as responsive, but it took them two to three times longer to get that level of optimisation, and they had to hire the absolute best HTML5 developers to do that level of tweaking. With a native tool, they could just use the native apps.”