Appcelerator and the International Data Corporation (IDC) released the results of a joint survey they conducted on Appcelerator developers worldwide. The survey centered on developers’ plans around HTML5, their interest around social features, and their priorities for 2012 as compared to last year. The results speak of a maturing market where there will be key shifts in platform strategies, using plenty of social-local leverage.
In the social mobile space, developers see Google and its broad range of assets assets (i.e., Google+, search, Gmail, Android, Google Play, etc.) as key to implementing their social strategies in 2012, and prefer it over Facebook and its 900 million users. The convergence of mobile and social is imminent and developers see this as a huge opportunity, however, they are struggling to understand how to leverage social assets such as Facebook’s social graph into their mobile apps. This is where Google comes in, as it eases integration capabilities with its combined network effects such as Google search, YouTube, Gmail, etc.
“This translates into a big competitive opportunity for Google—and potential significant risk for Facebook—especially because developers perceive Google as innovating faster than Facebook,” said Scott Ellison, VP Mobile & Connected Consumer Platforms at IDC.
“Add to that, Google itself is clearly gearing up to leverage its network effects, one example being the alteration of its privacy policies to allow sharing of user data across its services.”
Moreover, developers don’t feel they have the knowledge or tools to effectively integrate social features into their app strategies, despite the interest and possibilities of social networking.
HTML5 goes mainstream, RIM and Nokia on the decline
Moving forward, HTML 5 is expected to go mainstream this year as developers focus on building pure mobile browser apps and “hybrid apps.” These can integrate both native code and substantial amounts of HTML5, helping developers innovate across multiple platforms and devices.
iOS, Android and Windows 7 continue to reign the top three spots of the OS market chart, while RIM, Nokia Lumia and others are experiencing significant decline. And while Android managed to maintain its no. 2 spot, it is battling fragmentation issues so interest in the OS is eroding despite an increase in unit shipments.
Windows Phone, cloud gain interest
Windows Phone 7 is also continually gaining traction as it occupies the third spot in terms of OS priority, following Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, despite disappointing device sales. iOS continues to sit on top of the developer interest chart with 89 percent of respondents saying they’re very interested in developing for the iPhone, tailed closely by the iPad at 88 percent.
Developers are interested in cloud services as well, eying location and notifications as the top two features that they want to integrate into their apps. Mobile strategies are maturing as developers move away from exploration and are now focusing on acceleration and innovation, many of which believe they are currently in the acceleration phase. The results of the survey speaks of a maturing market where we see growth in mobile developer population, operating system and apps supported, size of mobile app companies, and hybrid teams.