Building native mobile apps for multiple platforms can double or triple the amount of resources and time necessary to develop native apps. Professional mobile application developers have only so many hours in a day, and so in the past, many have felt that they needed to spend their time becoming an expert in only a single mobile app platform. But increasingly, that seems to be a losing proposition. More and more, application developers are turning to cross-platform mobile development. A new survey from Vision Mobile provides details on that, and much more about the current state of mobile development.
The report, "Developer Economics: State of the Developer Nation Q3 2015," was based on interviews with more than 13,000 developers. It covers a wide variety of topics, including mobile apps, desktop, cloud, and Internet of Things.
One of its more intriguing findings has to do with what mobile platforms developers target. Android is the most popular, with 71% developing for it. iOS came in second, and Windows Phone is a distant third and shrinking. But more interesting is how many developers build both Android and iOS apps --- a full 44% of professional developers. (If you include hobbyists, that number shrinks to 37%).
Also of note is that mobile browsers and mobile Web sites are becoming more popular. The report found "A year ago we saw developer interest in the mobile browser, as a platform hit an all-time low - just 15% of mobile developers were targeting the browser at all. Now 26% of developers are targeting the mobile browser."
Why mobile Web sites?
The reason for the popularity of mobile Web sites, according to the report? "Users are becoming more reluctant to download new apps just to try them out, and developers can’t rely on app stores for discovery. A presence on the mobile web enables developers to provide a better idea of the product or service on offer - more interactive than an app store listing. Having a desktop-only website that points mobile visitors to the app stores is increasingly seen as unacceptable."
All this points to the importance of finding a tool that allows developers to build an app once and then have it run as an Android native app, an iOS native app, or as a mobile Web site. That's what Alpha Anywhere does. Alpha Anywhere's rapid mobile application development platform allows you to build an app once and deploy it to multiple platforms - including desktop, web, and mobile.