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.
Stephen Shanklandprincipal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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I've been covering the technology industry for 24 years and was a science writer for five years before that. I've got deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and other dee
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.