Survey: Company apps thwarted by mobile device diversity

The biggest barrier to creating mobile apps is the fact that there are so many to support, companies say in a new survey from Appcelerator.

Appcelerator's survey of 804 businesses found that the biggest obstacle to writing mobile apps was the number of platforms programmers had to cope with.
Appcelerator's survey of 804 businesses found that the biggest obstacle to writing mobile apps was the number of platforms programmers had to cope with. Appcelerator

What's standing in the way of your bank, employer, or favorite museum creating that app you want on your mobile device? The fact that there are so many devices, according to a quarterly survey by Appcelerator.

"The survey's top reported obstacle to mobile app delivery is building for multiple devices and platforms," Appcelerator said Tuesday after surveying IT executives, development directors, programmers, and others at 804 companies in August. Fanboys can quibble about how bad fragmentation really is within the realms of Android or iOS, but a higher level, it's definitely a concern.

Of the respondents, 34 percent write apps that support three operating systems, 23 percent support one OS, 20 percent support four OSes, 11 percent support two OSes, and 8 percent support five or more OSes.

That's good news for Appcelerator, which makes a business out of cross-platform programming tools, but bad news for anyone venturing farther away from mainstream devices like iPhones, Samsung's Galaxy Android phones, or Wintel laptops.

What systems did survey respondents say they were "very interested" in writing software for? Apple's iPhone and iPad topped the list, with 80 percent of respondents showing high interest. Android phones garnered 71 percent, Web apps for mobile devices 60 percent, Android tablets 59 percent.

Windows phones were much farther down, at 26 percent, and Windows tablets at 25 percent. That was still ahead of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets at 15 percent, BlackBerry phones at 12 percent, and BlackBerry tablets at 6 percent.

Apple's devices topped the interest levels among the 804 companies that Appcelerator surveyed in August.
Apple's devices topped the interest levels among the 804 companies that Appcelerator surveyed in August. Appcelerator
About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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