Android is losing popularity among developers

Developers are losing interest in creating Android apps due to problems with fragmentation and a large number of app stores, Appcelerator reports. 

According to the latest Appcelerator study, the number of developers interested in working on the Android platform has been steadily declining for three consecutive quarters. 

Platform crisis?

In June 2011, 88% of developers surveyed by the company said that they might start creating an Android application. At the end of January 2012, their number fell to 79%, the lowest level since March 2010. 

If this drop had been observed only for one quarter, we would not have attached importance to it,” explains Mike King, one of the Appcelerator specialists. – “But we were interested in the constancy with which interest in the platform is falling. As we found out, developers are not satisfied with the strong fragmentation of the platform from device to device, as well as a large number of incompatible monetization models.” 

Last week Staircase3 published its own research that revealed the true scale of fragmentation in the Android market. It turned out that the company’s application – Open Signal Maps, which collected information about users’ devices, was launched on 4,000 types of gadgets, many of which had a unique (!) resolution and old versions of Android.

Is it all about money?

Monetization on Android for developers (especially international ones) is also like a bone in the throat. Unlike Apple’s operating system, which has only one distribution channel – the iTunes App Store, Android developers have to choose among dozens of official and semi-official markets every time. 

You place your applications on Google Play, on a couple of other markets, perhaps somewhere on your website. As a result, you distribute the application in four or even five ways,” says King. “It is well known that most applications do not bring much income, but on iOS you at least know how much you will get if you make a cool game.” 

King explains that the problem becomes especially obvious in the fast-growing Chinese market, where developers have to choose between dozens of third-party markets – independent, as well as launched device manufacturers or local app publishers. The difference in fees and income, various risks associated with this choice, and, in general, the lack of standards prevent developers from making informed decisions.

So, despite the significant steps taken by the search giant to improve monetization in Google Play, the lack of uniform standards for the same monetization in markets such as China harm the platform. 

By the way, Google Play is not officially represented in China. At the same time, according to the latest data, Apple’s revenues in the Chinese market have tripled compared to last year. So, perhaps Google should forget about its ethical principles for the sake of profits, because of which, in fact, the company is not fully represented in China.

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