Android’s App Development Enthusiasm Falling Behind OS Market Share

Android may have the largest smartphone OS market share, but that doesn’t seem to be translating to enthusiasm in app developers. Apple’s iOS still has more apps available than the Android platform and the pace of Android app development seems to be falling behind, according to data from Flurry Analytics.

Android, in Apple's Shadow

Bloomberg Businessweek reported on the data gathered by Flurry, a company dealing in mobile application development, analytics and advertising. That data indicated that developers made approximately one new Android app for every three iOS apps during January.

That’s down from last year, when there were two Android apps created for every three iOS apps. And while this data comes from developers (55,000+) using Flurry’s own tools, it is backed up by other research that indicates interest in developing for Android has dropped off while it has remained steady for the iOS platform.

“Developers can make more money on iOS,” said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry. Apps can be developed more quickly for iOS and it’s simpler to market and sell them through Apple’s App Store. 

Apple currently has more than 550,000 apps in the App Store, while there are 400,000 in the Google Android Market. There are as many as 90 places where Android apps are sold compared to the single App Store.

The sheer number of Android devices and versions of the operating system itself has become difficult for developers to manage, as well. They are not able to test their apps on every device and often devices have different specs for things such as accelerometers, responsiveness, and pre-installed apps. A single device can mean months of work in adapting an app to work on it, and it seems that Android owners are less inclined to purchase apps than their iOS counterparts.

However, Android market share can not be ignored and the number of Android apps has increased tremendously over the past year. As Ken Murphy, vice president of GameHouse, maker of apps such as Doodle Jump and NCIS the Game, put it, “in the short term, there’s a lot of money in iOS. In the long term, we are very bullish on Android.”