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WWDC survey finds 47% of iOS developers support Android, 7% write for Mac

post #1 of 66
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A new survey of attendees at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference found that nearly half of iOS developers attending the conference support Android, while just 7 percent write applications for the Mac.

The details come from Piper Jaffray's WWDC Developer Survey Summary, released Monday. Analyst Gene Munster and his team polled 45 developers at the Apple conference, where naturally they would support Apple platforms.

The survey did find that 22 of those 47 developers also write applications for Android. But all of those 22 developers said they prefer iOS monetization and ease of development over Google's Android platform.

Last year, shipments of devices running the Android mobile operating system surpassed Apple and the iPhone. While Android has seen tremendous growth, iOS users have repeatedly been found to be more likely to purchase paid applications. Android developers have expressed concern over fragmentation on the platform, and even Google has said it is "not happy" with slow application sales.

Android wasn't the only popular platform among those surveyed at WWDC. Among respondents, 36 percent indicated they create applications for BlackBerry, while 13 percent support Windows Phone 7.

A total of 36 percent of respondents develop solely for Apple's iOS. That's up from the 30 percent who said they only supported Apple in a similar survey in 2008.



Among the 45 developers polled, 51 percent said they believe iOS has the highest potential for future growth, while 40 percent said growth would come from Android. But among the 22 developers who also write for Android, two-thirds of those said Android has the highest potential for growth.

On average, developers surveyed by Piper Jaffray have 7 applications in the App Store. And 93 percent of those who write for the iPhone and iPod touch also support the iPad.

But just 7 percent of those polled at WWDC also write applications for the Mac. That's a major change from 4 years ago, when native applications didn't even exist on the iPhone platform, and WWDC was a show represented by 100 percent Mac developers.



Piper Jaffray has maintained its "overweight" rating for AAPL stock with a price target of $554. Munster believes the survey shows Apple's devoted core of developers is an important component for future success.

"We believe our survey shows that Apple's strong developer base is one of its greatest assets in mobile and differentiates iOS from the early days of the Mac, suggesting iOS is better positioned than Mac OS to maintain and grow market share," he said.
post #2 of 66
Way too small of a sample size to mean anything. This number represents less then 0.9% of the attendees this year and less then 0.4% of attendees in the past year. It is fairly rare to have a developer that writes for both, so somehow this survey is skewed. Maybe the developers had a co-worker that wrote for android? My impression was that the number is much smaller. I rarely found someone working on Android at the conference. I heard a lot of things like: Sometimes we write Android apps but generally iOS only. Most developers say Android owners don't buy anything, so I don't know where the growth potential comes from. Maybe the most growth for free apps.
post #3 of 66
I'm starting to wonder if Microsoft actually has the right idea in tossing out the old Windows UI.

Would it really be so crazy for Apple to do the same thing? i.e. hide the legacy OSX UI behind some power user option and present a new user with a default user experience that closer mimics an iPad than a current iMac?

It would sure help those iOS developers move across to Mac if they were running similar code and UI/UX.

The geek in me screams "no way"... but the geek part of my mind has consistently been wrong about this kind of stuff.
post #4 of 66
OK... So, according to http://www.mobiledevhq.com/developers, (the only reference I can find at short notice) there are at least 61,000 iPhone developers.

This means that Piper Jaffray's "survey" of 45 developers is a sample of around 0.074%.

As any qualified researcher will tell you, this sample is simply too small to be able to draw any meaningful conclusions about the entire body of IOS developers. To then go further and translate these small numbers into tables of percentages demonstrates heroic cretinism skills. And to then try to infer conclusions about Android or IOS market changes from this microscopic speck of data... Well that's beyond ridiculous.

This is like me stopping 45 people wearing shoes, asking them some basic questions and then claiming to have some insight into the global shoe market.

The fact that this sort of bogus, primary school spin is being hyped as 'research' by a so-called investment company suggests two things: (1) they are morons; and (2) they may have a hidden agenda...

Idiots!
post #5 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"We believe our survey shows that Apple's strong developer base is one of its greatest assets in mobile and differentiates iOS from the early days of the Mac, suggesting iOS is better positioned than Mac OS to maintain and grow market share," he said.

I don't really think that their conclusion is justified by their data. For starters the data only really allows us to compare iOS to Android. The fact that iOS developers don't tend to develop for Mac isn't any indictment of the Mac, but a simple statement that mobile developers have a set of specialist skills that transfer better across to other mobile platforms than to desktop.

Second while the data is very suggestive that iOS beats Android as a developer platform, the survey was at an Apple conference. So there's an obviously bias in the sample.

Now if they get similar results at an Android developer conference I'm interested!
post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Would it really be so crazy for Apple to do the same thing? i.e. hide the legacy OSX UI behind some power user option and present a new user with a default user experience that closer mimics an iPad than a current iMac?

Yes it would be crazy, it would be horrible. Keyboard&mouse is a completely different input paradigm to touchscreen - retrofitting legacy software results in a horrendous experience - why do you think previous windows tablets failed so spectacularly?

Users don't want to pay 500 bucks for the worlds worst laptop, but they will happily spend it for the world's best tablet.
post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I'm starting to wonder if Microsoft actually has the right idea in tossing out the old Windows UI.

Would it really be so crazy for Apple to do the same thing? i.e. hide the legacy OSX UI behind some power user option and present a new user with a default user experience that closer mimics an iPad than a current iMac?

It would sure help those iOS developers move across to Mac if they were running similar code and UI/UX.

The geek in me screams "no way"... but the geek part of my mind has consistently been wrong about this kind of stuff.

What you are saying doesn't make any sense. Code between the Mac and iOS are very similar already with most of the same APIs. A developer needs to add support for a resizable window and controls that are mouse pointer friendly. It doesn't really make sense for many apps to run on both. You do different things on a computer then on a phone or iPad. Remember, computers are the trucks.

Microsoft is also using the same APIs and UI as Silverlight. So not really a lot different. The Windows UI is too heavy weight, so that will never run a a battery powered device. As it is, it shouldn't even run on a laptop since battery life is really only good enough to move the computer from one power outlet to another.
post #8 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

Way too small of a sample size to mean anything. This number represents less then 1% of the attendees this year and less then 0.5% of attendees in the past year. Most likely these were developers companies also make Android applications. It is very rare to have a developer that writes for both. My impression was that the number is much smaller. I heard a lot of things like: Sometimes we write Android apps but generally iOS only. Most developers say Android owners don't buy anything, so I don't know where the growth potential comes from. Maybe the most growth for free apps.

Android is popular in the user space due to it being free and used by so many vendors. It's the new feature phone OS that also allows app so I'd expect quite a few shops to try to increase their revenue base.

I think those Android numbers help Apple's case. I wouldn't want to see a low Android number also doing development for Android because the more important factors like ease of development and monetization couldn't be polled.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I'm starting to wonder if Microsoft actually has the right idea in tossing out the old Windows UI.

Sure, it's the right idea just as Apple tossed out the Mac UI to create the iPhone and then tossed out the iPhone UI to create the iPad UI. But is that what MS is doing, or are they just putting an additional UI layer using IE's new web code over Win8. How effective will a Chrome-like UI work on a tablet that is Windows underneath? Google started from scratch to make their Chrome OS efficient. Can MS really do that?
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post #9 of 66
Glad to see so many of them writing for iPad too.

Perhaps someone could convince Facebook and Spotify to do the same?
post #10 of 66
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post #11 of 66
The sample size is small and the article doesn't mention how they were picked so randomization may be an issue. But the interesting thing for me about this is that all of the developers that were on both iOs and Android thought that iOs was easier to develop for and monetization was better with iOs. It means that Apple is doing the right things as far as developers go which is good for Apple and the platform in the long and short term. I don't think there is too much else to draw from this little survey.

Neal
post #12 of 66
With all due respect to the researchers and/or data analysists, this type of appleinsider headline reporting is inappropriate. So lets take a look at the actual research design. At first glance, a sample of 47 participants appears to be very small. One wonders how many attendees were at WWDC? For example, if there were 4,700 attendees, then the sample size is a mere 1%. Additionally, is the sample representative of the attendee population? Factors such as age, gender, employment, etc. are essential for accurate representaiton in the data sampling techniques if one desires to generalize results to a larger population. It's conceivable that the sample contained a disproportionately large percentage of Android developers. Additionally, how were participants in the sample populations selected? It would appear that a convenience sampling technique was employed, which may be subject to researcher bias. How was the data collection done? Written, verbal, or interview? Were pilot studies done on data collection instrumentation?

These are points to consider when attempting to generalize a 'quick and dirty' study such as this one appears to be, to a larger population. The inference that the headlines screams (IOS developers prefer Andriod over Apple) is unspported. The study is what it is (complete with threats to both internal and external validity), nothing more. Perhaps serving as the basis for additional studies which may more accuratley depict developer preferences.
post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Glad to see so many of them writing for iPad too.

1) How many Android Honeycomb apps are there now? More than 100, I hope.

2) I wonder if the running of 480x320 resolution iPhone/Touch apps on the iPad will disappear now that there are plenty of iPad apps on the market. I think we can deduce Apple allowed them only as a stopgap because they never allowed Retina Display apps to be displayed with the 2x option was invoked.

Quote:
Perhaps someone could convince Facebook and Spotify to do the same?

They have such a nice iPhone app, too.
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post #14 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I'm starting to wonder if Microsoft actually has the right idea in tossing out the old Windows UI.

Would it really be so crazy for Apple to do the same thing? i.e. hide the legacy OSX UI behind some power user option and present a new user with a default user experience that closer mimics an iPad than a current iMac?

It would sure help those iOS developers move across to Mac if they were running similar code and UI/UX.

The geek in me screams "no way"... but the geek part of my mind has consistently been wrong about this kind of stuff.


good idea, when you need the "power" it can be selected, or in another partition
ios is the future for 98% of consumers
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post #15 of 66
Like stated many times before, the sample size is too small, and I find it annoying. I never liked survey stuff for this reason. 45 people out of the thousands attended at WWDC? What if the developers who make many Mac apps were in groups out of he reach of Piper Jiffary survey team? They have to at least survey half, or even quarter of the people at WWDC, not 1% or less. I'm sure many will be misled by the chart and the quick conclusion by the survey. Either they do a better survey or get rid of this one.
I don't find iOS developer developing apps for Android a problem, though. Developers for Angry Birds develop in many platforms, so does other developers. Just mentioned it because some people I think had a problem with that...
post #16 of 66
First of all, I agree with the other people who state that this sample size is ridiculously small, regardless of the results.

Second, the title of the article implies that Android development far exceeds iOS development. Yes, the title refers to Mac development, not iOS development, but I think many will quickly read that as Android 47% and iOS 7%. Based on the the table, it is iOS at 100% and Android at 47%. I think that is the statistic that should be stated in the title. Some might say that anyone at the conference is a Mac developer, but there may be some there that are just testing the waters.

Another way it could be stated is that roughly 1 out of 2 developers at the conference also develop for Android. However, why Mac OS development -- development for Mac computers, not iOS -- is being compared to Android development is unclear. It's certainly misleading. Why not compare Mac development for the attendees to Windows development or Chrome development? Again, it's misleading.

Based on the survey, my guess is that the survey designers were just interested in the scope of development done by the attendees: iOS iPhone/iPod, iOS iPad, and/or Mac OS. Where are developers for iOS and Mac devoting their time and resources? It's unclear, however, who took the Mac component of that question and compared it with Android. Was it Piper Jaffray or AppleInsider?

This was either a poor understanding of statistics, a lack of logic in interpreting the statistics, or, I suppose, poor editing.
post #17 of 66
I notice the one column adds up to 243% ??????
post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeNsteinNo View Post

I notice the one column adds up to 243% ??????

If every person at the conference developed for each platform, each answer would be 100%, so the sum would be 700%. However, you don't add these up because they're independent questions. It's essentially saying:

Question 1: Do you develop for iOS? Yes=100%
Question 2: Do you develop for Android? Yes=47%
etc.

If you asked a question where the person had to pick one answer, then they would add up to 100%, for example:

Which mobile platform do you primarily develop for (pick one)?

iOS: 95%
Android: 3%
RIM: 1%
etc.
post #19 of 66
I believe you need a random sampling size of roughly 1,050 developers to get a realistic representation of the entire dev populous, assuming there are 61,000 of them.
post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeNsteinNo View Post

I notice the one column adds up to 243% ??????

I'm interpreting the percentages as percent of the total population (n=20, n=45) and that there appears to be duplicated reporting of the data (e.g., an individual developes for multiple platforms).

So besides the poor research design, we now have confusing depicting of the data in tabular format.

Something else to consider is: of what relevance to the survey is the reporting of the average number of apps in the app store? First, there are only apple apps in the app store, no andriod or symbian. Second, they're reporting mean data? What's the range, median, mode and SD? Average means very little, and is often misrepresentative especially with regards to non-parametric data. Which is one reason why the median housing price is reported, not the mean.

In essence, collecting this data is irrelevant to the study, reporting the results is meaningless...
post #21 of 66
If Apple really wanted to boost the development for Mac OS, they would make cross-platform (Mac + Win) dev tools. Then at least 50% of iOS devs would program for Mac OS.
post #22 of 66
QUOTE: "I believe you need a random sampling size of roughly 1,050 developers to get a realistic representation of the entire dev populous, assuming there are 61,000 of them".

Sample size is definately a factor if one intends to make inferences from the data. However, such factors as confidence interval and representtive sampling are also essential when the intent is to determine if the data reduction and analysis yields statistically significant results.
post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I'm starting to wonder if Microsoft actually has the right idea in tossing out the old Windows UI.

Would it really be so crazy for Apple to do the same thing? i.e. hide the legacy OSX UI behind some power user option and present a new user with a default user experience that closer mimics an iPad than a current iMac?

It would sure help those iOS developers move across to Mac if they were running similar code and UI/UX.

The geek in me screams "no way"... but the geek part of my mind has consistently been wrong about this kind of stuff.

Steve Jobs briefly mentioned in the last keynote something about people "not needing to learn the file system"

Most people I know, if something is not on their desktop, they have no idea where it is. They don't get the concept of folders in folders... and if you think about it... the more all of our "files" are on computers.. then even the "folder" concept won't make sense because eventually people won't have paper and never have used actual folders.... notice the CD was removed from the iTunes logo...

The next step is hiding the file system.... even on desktops:
- If you want your photos they are in the photos app.
- if you want your movies they are in the movie app.
- If you want your music, they are in the music app.
- If you want your documents and spreadsheets, they are in the docs/office app.

This is also why google has a simple "archive" button...People are not librarians and can not (and shoot not) organize their info/data/files/etc.
post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

Way too small of a sample size to mean anything. This number represents less then 0.9% of the attendees this year and less then 0.4% of attendees in the past year. It is fairly rare to have a developer that writes for both, so somehow this survey is skewed. Maybe the developers had a co-worker that wrote for android? My impression was that the number is much smaller. I rarely found someone working on Android at the conference. I heard a lot of things like: Sometimes we write Android apps but generally iOS only. Most developers say Android owners don't buy anything, so I don't know where the growth potential comes from. Maybe the most growth for free apps.


The sample size actually isn't anywhere close to the largest issue (although certainly it is not great and would yield pretty large confidence intervals). The proper sample size actually has absolutely nothing to do with the size of the total population you're measuring. For instance, national polls for presidential election are routinely only a couple thousand people. This is a MUCH smaller percentage of likely voters than .9%. The main issue is whether this is a representative sample?

The answer is almost certainly a big fat no. Does anyone really think someone with the resources to attend WWDC represents the typical developer? Almost certainly not. This really is not a survey of "iOS developers" but rather a survey of iOS developers with the resources and time to attend WWDC. Those groups are almost certainly rather different, which severely limits the generalizability of the survey, no matter what the sample size.
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post #25 of 66
At least Fortune understands this:

"iOS developer survey: 47% are on Android too, only 7% on Mac"

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/...oo-only-7-mac/

Just adding the word "too" changes everything.
post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

For instance, national polls for presidential election are routinely only a couple thousand people. This is a MUCH smaller percentage of likely voters than .9%. The main issue is whether this is a representative sample?

Exactly! This survey is a decent cover of WWDC attendees who develop for iOS. It's suggestive of the sentiments of the wider iOS dev community - rather like a focus group might be. It's marketing puff for the entire mobile dev universe.
post #27 of 66



I attended the WWDC but was not surveyed. I am 100% iOS and has no interest whatsoever on xxdroid. So that increase the sample to 46 and the revised figures

iOS 100%
iPad 94%
Mac 8%

No other platform 37%
Android 45%
post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich2 View Post

At least Fortune understands this:

"iOS developer survey: 47% are on Android too, only 7% on Mac"

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/...oo-only-7-mac/

Just adding the word "too" changes everything.

AI title is perfectly clear.
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post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevewithmanyjobs View Post




I attended the WWDC but was not surveyed. I am 100% iOS and has no interest whatsoever on xxdroid. So that increase the sample to 46 and the revised figures

iOS 100%
iPad 94%
Mac 8%

No other platform 37%
Android 45%

it's interesting that 63% of devs don't code for another other than iOS.
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post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

AI title is perfectly clear.

Do you work for AI? The title may be "accurate" based on the data collected, but it's misleading. Something can be correct but be communicated poorly. It's certainly not clear.
post #31 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Exactly! This survey is a decent cover of WWDC attendees who develop for iOS. It's suggestive of the sentiments of the wider iOS dev community - rather like a focus group might be. It's marketing puff for the entire mobile dev universe.

Woah, hang on there a minute. A focus group is both a data collection and analysis methodology. Typically consisting of 8-12 participants, facilitated by a trained facilitator, and yielding in depth descriptions from a small homogeneous sample. WWDC developers are not a homogeneous population but rather diverse.

The design and methodology utilized in the article is a survey. Mostly likely employing paper-and-pencil data collection techniques and incoportating descriptive statistics.

Two entirely different research designs and methodologies.

Suggestive = inferential.
post #32 of 66
Quote:
Analyst Gene Munster and his team polled 45 developers at the Apple conference

Some team - in a whole week, they polled only 45 developers? Some team!
post #33 of 66
How is this even news?

It's hardly surprising that iOS (mobile developers) would be more likely to develop for another mobile platform, than for a desktop platform. I mean, honestly!!!
post #34 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tawilson View Post

How is this even news?

It's hardly surprising that iOS (mobile developers) would be more likely to develop for another mobile platform, than for a desktop platform. I mean, honestly!!!

Good point!
post #35 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

Way too small of a sample size to mean anything. This number represents less then 0.9% of the attendees this year and less then 0.4% of attendees in the past year. It is fairly rare to have a developer that writes for both, so somehow this survey is skewed. Maybe the developers had a co-worker that wrote for android? My impression was that the number is much smaller. I rarely found someone working on Android at the conference. I heard a lot of things like: Sometimes we write Android apps but generally iOS only. Most developers say Android owners don't buy anything, so I don't know where the growth potential comes from. Maybe the most growth for free apps.

Depends how the sample was select, but it is likely off. (Mostly because PJ is nor known for its rigorous methodolgy) Keep in mind that they can get a fairly accurate view on 60 million voters with a sample size of 1-2k.
post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

Almost certainly not. This really is not a survey of "iOS developers" but rather a survey of iOS developers with the resources and time to attend WWDC. Those groups are almost certainly rather different, which severely limits the generalizability of the survey, no matter what the sample size.

I agree their methods are likely flawed, but they do state it as representing attendees and not the community as a whole.
post #37 of 66
post #38 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich2 View Post

Good point!

Exactly! The headline could read: Survey finds of 47% of Android developers only 2% write for Windows. Pahleese!
post #39 of 66
But a bit high on multi-platform from what I found last week. For any developer working for a company of developers, I found they all seemed to have cross platform solutions though Android was the bastard step child that no-one wanted to work on. For smaller single person individual developers, they seemed to concentrate on a single OS. This is true with the exception of a single programmer doing Mono-Touch apps that were fully cross platform. Yes, his apps were very successful with over 12.5 million downloads on iOS alone.

I did find one comment from a cross platform game developer interesting, however. At his company (20 programmers), 80% of their revenue comes from iOS. All Apps start life on iOS. 70% of their developer resources are dedicated to Android. Only 2 programmers actually prefer developing on Android compared to iOS. They keep 8 iPhones/iPod touches/iPads for testing. They keep almost 100 Android phones for testing.

I found those numbers interesting. You need substantially more resources to work on Android for substantially less returns. 70% of your resources for 20% of your returns. I wonder how long companies will continue this loosing combination?
post #40 of 66
IOS is HOT now and Mac is not so hot but warming up
Android is a consumer hottie but not a hottie for developers for their monatization so Not so hot, worrisome. Apple will continue to be the steady, solid, dependable OS going into the future. MS is full of holes and pirated like crazy and the Android family seems to be going down the same road. The fork in the road came 4 years ago with iPhone. Now the one path takes us down Cupertino Lane and the other to MsAnadoid Fun Palace. You Choose...
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