Survey Finds Android Nipping on iOS’ Heels

| iOS

While developer interest in iPad and iPhone remains strong, interest in Android has risen too, most notably in tablets, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by cross-platform development solution provider Appcelerator and research firm IDC. The two companies surveyed 2,235 Appcelerator Titanium developers from January 10-12, 2011 on perceptions surrounding mobile OS priorities, feature priorities, and mobile development plans in 2011.

According to the report: “Google has nearly caught up to Apple in smart phone popularity and is closing the gap in tablets. Microsoft and RIM made solid gains through their product line update, while Google TV and Apple TV interest dropped off. As these trends unfold, it is also becoming clear that the days of mobile app experimentation are over. This year, developers and businesses expect to triple their app development efforts and the average developer is now building for four different devices.”

While the percentage of developers who said they were “very interested” in developing for iPad rose from 84% in September to 87% this time, Android tablet leaped from 62% to 74%, and BlackBerry PlayBook saw a 12-point jump from 16% to 28%. webOS interest flatlined, however, at 16%. iPhone continued to lead all devices at 92%.

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Asked for an iPad 2 wish list, a USB connector, a better display, and cameras were the top choices. The report noted: “Think of the iPad in a retail scenario as a point-of-sale device or in the living room as a command console for home entertainment and video games. Better support for 3rd party peripherals and content streaming will be a driving factor in keeping iPad ahead of the competition.”



...“The two companies surveyed 2,235 Appcelerator Titanium developers” (...) “Google has nearly caught up to Apple in smart phone popularity and is closing the gap in tablets.”

This is completely wrong and misleading. The survey sample was among Appcelerator users. These are people who have already DECIDED that they want to develop for both Android and iOS (otherwise, they wouldn’t have bought Appcelerator, which is a tool that allows building apps for both platforms). And yet, even among those, we STILL see preference for iOS over Android.

The conclusion of the survey is actually the opposite from reality. Google is NOT fast catching up. It may still be growing, but when even among those that choose the ability to build cross-platform we have strong preference for iOS, I wonder what is the actual preference among average developers out there (i.e. those who have NOT purchased cross-platform development tool)?


A bit of a quibble. There is undeniably strong developer interest in Android Tablets. They like to code and Android is the next thing they can learn to code for.

However some of this closing up in Android interest is likely do to iOS being at nearly 90%. It CAN’T go any higher so of course any change in Android will close the gap. It doesn’t necessarily mean that developer interest in IOS is waning.

Developer Interest is not really that important. Customer Interest is what matters. Developers will code for what sells and what is selling now is the iPad. The PlayBook is vapourware that hasn’t hit the shelves yet and Android tablets vie with hen’s teeth for scarcity.

There may be developer interest but unless Android tablets take the market by storm and the Playbook is massively better than early leaks have suggested iOS will continue to be the platform of choice so Developers will continue to code for iOS. As a result this study doesn’t really mean anything.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

vasic has a good point. This is a sampling of developers that real Apple fans shouldn’t want anything to do with anyway, since they do not use the tools approved by Lord Steven himself. They use abstraction layers that will only hurt the platform later. One ideology!!!

(I’m curious… Do you people still believe that crap or have you reconciled reality with the bill of goods Jobs sold you a year ago? Seriously. Curious.)



It is clear what your position is on this issue. Do you mind answering, though, why do you feel such powerful urge to offend others? Your statement really brings nothing of value to the discussion, and its sole purpose was to offend people here.

I know you are an intelligent person, and have oftentimes argued your point with vigor. I also know that your arguments have usually been well thought out and solid. For the most part I disagreed with them, and continue to believe that you seem to be inexplicably infatuated with the Android platform, which limits your ability to see clearly. Honestly, what is the ultimate purpose of your quest to offend people? Mind you, this really has nothing to do with Apple or their customers.



Make no mistake, developer interest is of great importance. When Ballmer chanted ‘developers, developers, developers…’ at that MS Developer conference in mid- 90s, he was acutely aware of their importance. People buy platform with software. Apple made a series of “There’s an app for that” ads for iPhone, driving the same point home.

The developer interest depends, to a great extent, on the platform market share. However, that is NOT the only (nor the overwhelmingly most important) factor, especially in the horse race between iOS and Android. Second, quite important, factor is the fact that iOS is a fairly unified development environment and eco-system. Vast majority of developers who develop for both platforms agree that the SDK for iPhone is intuitive and complete. App deployment is as simple and reliable as it could possibly get. Device fragmentation is rather minimal, with SDK providing simple tools to manage screen size differences among iOS devices.

Contrast that with the Android platform development, which puts the burden of accommodating myriad of different devices of various screen sizes, processor speeds, with or without physical keyboards and/or buttons, and OS versions entirely on developers’ shoulders. In addition, distribution of the App is significantly more complex and less reliable. Finally, add to that the fact that there is s major disparity among the two app markets in the purchasing habits, with Android users’ expectations of apps to be free, and iOS users’ willingness to actually pay for apps. Let’s not forget the already rampant piracy of Android apps, vs. virtual zero piracy on iOS.

Even if the market share of iOS drops below that of Android (which is, in my opinion a distant, but unlikely, possibility), the developer interest will continue to be much stronger for iOS, since that will always be where the money is.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

So wait, vasic, you take offense because you disagreed with me about cross platform tools 9 months ago, and over time, it turns out I was right and knew what I was talking about, and I ask if you really believed that crap back then or had a change of heart. Direct and blunt, yes. Offensive? Only if you know you were being used and are embarrassed that someone would call you out.

Cross-platform tools, APIs, and abstractions are a reality if you want relevant software for your iPad.

BTW, how do you crash your Android app by dereferencing a null pointer or screw up reference counts by over-releasing an object? That’s right, you don’t, because the language takes care of those things for you. How do you make those mistakes in a Flash/AIR app? Again, you don’t. Which makes those development platforms more accessible to more developers with more interesting ideas. Objective-C is still C. It’s a waste of brain power and training for a good 98% of what goes into a GUI app, even one with touch inputs. Consider the source of the previous statement (i.e. me). I’ve sped up image stretching (bilinear) in both AltiVec (G4) and SSE (x86) for apps written with REAL Studio. So I’m no script kiddie afraid to learn C.


“I?m curious? Do you people still believe that crap or have you reconciled reality with the bill of goods Jobs sold you a year ago? Seriously. Curious.”

Put that sentence in ANY context and it will be offensive. It has nothing to do with our discussion or disagreement.

And to correct you, the cross-platform tools debate hasn’t changed only because Apple now allows other development tools. I’m sure even your powerful bias still allows you to accept that when you have a wider set of tools to work with, the resulting work can be superior to what you could build with a more limited set.

An example: I currently develop e-learning courses. I use Adobe’s Captivate. It allows for quick and easy development of Flash-based interactive content. I often end up hitting the wall due to limitations of Captivate, and end up going to Flash itself for more elaborate solutions. Also, the resulting package form Captivate is always bulkier and less polished that what I would have been able to accomplish using Flash directly. Captivate makes it easier for me to build the package with less effort.

Abstraction tools are all great, but they seriously undermine the potential of a platform. There are tons of applications developed in Flash, but real applications are certainly NOT among them (MS Office Suite, Adobe CS suite; Autodesk products; Avid/Digidesign, etc, etc, etc).


“And to correct you, the cross-platform tools debate hasn?t changed only because Apple now allows other development tools.”

Actually it has. If Apple truly believed it would “harm” their ecosystem they would have kept it off and fought any rulings the EU passed down (hell the board would be legally on the hook to shareholders if it did harm the platform). In the end they relented. The reality is that they trotted out that arguement to block the iPhone packager when Adobe did an end around on them. They saw the heat coming, knew their weak stance would not hold up, and walked back the limitation. To avoid bad press that could harm the stock value.

As for Captivate. I use it as well and support a full blown Actionscript runtime for our courses too. You see Captivate as weakening the platform. I see it, Articulate, and all the other apps that write out to the swf file spec as strengthening the reach of the platform. They open up the platform to as many users/content creators as possible. Just as components in Flash abstract and simplify things for users. Just the same as DW, Aptana, Wordpress, and Joomla open their respective worlds to users of all levels.  Why should an SME HAVE to learn code or hire a developer to deploy some training? Do the easy bake apps and flash components have limits? Sure. If you need more then learn AS3 or hire someone. The beauty is you have the choice.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

?m sure even your powerful bias still allows you to accept that when you have a wider set of tools to work with, the resulting work can be superior to what you could build with a more limited set.

Yeah, that’s been my point all along. Duh. A wider set than just XCode. APIs and languages from companies in addition to Apple.

I still can’t figure out how you’re offended though. (a) jobs fed you a line of crap. (b) You parroted it. (c) It has proven to be a line of crap. Consider how “offended” I might have been when the fanbots were saying that cross-platform software is crap. Xplat is how I pay my bills. Just consider that when you take offense grin.


We have argued this before, and you have been proven wrong, Brad. Saying you were right and we were wrong many times doesn’t just make it so (you ain’t Goebbels, and we ain’t Nazi Germany).

What Apple said was, and remains correct, and most people agree on that. The only way a developer could take advantage of all the features of certain hardware and OS is by using its native SDK. Using a higher-level, lowest-common-denominator tool severely restricts the ability to use what the platform offers. Surely, you can agree with that.

...“If Apple truly believed it would ?harm? their ecosystem they would have kept it off”...

Apple’s claim was not that those abstraction tools bring harm to the platform; they claimed (and continue to claim) that the apps developed using such tools devalue the platform, as they fail to leverage its advantages. It is obvious to everyone why Apple would do this: if the software made for your platform is identical to software made for other, technologically inferior platforms, your platform is no longer superior. If everyone developed using Flash (or this Appcelerator, or whatever other abstraction tool), none of those apps would use features unique to iOS; the ones that make it better than other platforms. Apple has an obvious strategic business goal: to encourage (if not force) developers to use native SDK, and to promote all the unique qualities of the platform, in order to maintain the dominant position in the market. They’d be foolish not to do it, especially after Google so successfully copied so many elements of their user interface.

Just as Apple is absolutely correct in pursuing their strategy of attempting to limit the use of abstraction tools for development, so do you have the right to make a living using those tools. I am not in your boat, so my angle is obviously different; as a user of Apple hardware, I can say that this particular strategic goal of Apple (native development for iOS) works very well for me as a user. If at any point in the future the consequence of that becomes a noticeable decrease in number of quality apps on the platform, I may change my mind. At this point, it is clear to me that users of iOS can only support Apple’s pursuit of pure native development.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

What Apple said was, and remains correct, and most people agree on that. The only way a developer could take advantage of all the features of certain hardware and OS is by using its native SDK. Using a higher-level, lowest-common-denominator tool severely restricts the ability to use what the platform offers. Surely, you can agree with that.

And I’ve pointed out before that this statement is incorrect and cited a specific example of a popular tool that gives developers a mechanism for using lower level APIs that the tool did not envision—on 3 platforms currently. There is an elephant in the room, and you’re calling it a gerbel. That does not make it a gerbel.

We all know why you cling to your Not Invented Here, protectionist stand. That’s because without protection, no developer worth a damn would write their whole iPhone or iPad app in Objective-C. It’s a waste of time, and leaves your app and source under Apple’s control. Chances are that will bite you. Chances are higher that I will just point and laugh rather than empathize. grin



I do not consider myself a developer. Certainly NOT for iOS. If I were to ever develop applications, Flash would be the closest thing to an application development environment that I could possibly get. I have no clue how you got the idea; apparently, you didn’t even read what I wrote.

...”(I) cited a specific example of a popular tool that gives developers a mechanism for using lower level APIs that the tool did not envision?on 3 platforms currently.”

I’m not exactly sure what you’re referring to; I shall assume you mean some high-level development tool is using some unpublished API on iOS (in addition to other platforms), which is not supported in native iOS SDK. If this is what you are saying, that may be so, but it is still not relevant. A rogue API or two does NOT compensate for everything else the native tool makes possible.

The whole ban on 3-rd party development tools lasted less than five months anyway. You are no longer affected by it, so you can develop away in Flash or whatever tool of your choice can compile into what would run on iOS (if you care to develop for it).

As I said, when it comes to iOS (or Mac OS, for that matter), I am an ordinary user. And as such, I will support Apple’s efforts to encourage native development. It is not like it is sooooo hard to develop for the iPhone; there are over 300,000 apps for it (probably more than for any other platform in the world). How hard can it be, if so many of them are out there?


“devalue the platform” equals less money, equals less stock value for the stockholders. To them that IS “harm”.

Let’s use the term “devalue” to make you happy, in no way does allowing third party compilers “devalue” the platform. It gets more devs involved, keeping costs low so they can ACTUALLY build an app rather than take a couple of months to learn Obj-C or have to hire a new dev. Thus more apps are available for a user to choose to buy. Apple gets the yearly dev fee plus at least one HW purchase to run testing on. Thus helping their bottom line and improving stock value. All it does is add value at every level of the market.

The whole “harm or devalue” is a red herring. They just don’t like giving up ANY control. Even when it improves the user’s options. That is the same “user” they always talk about being their main concern. Apple is focused on one thing-profit. Nothing else. When you remember that all their moves and control fetishes make sense.

The cross compiler issue was about control and selling more HW to run xcode, plus keeping dev’s app codebase under their thumb forever. I like when there is competition to push apple in regards to their developer tooling-flash, titanium, corona, elips studio begin to do that.


I don’t think it takes that long to learn Obj-C. Based on testimonies from so many of them, it took very little effort. I cannot say, as I never tried it myself. However, the massive number of developers (and apps), seem to confirm that.

The argument that native development allows more feature rich apps then higher-level, lowest-common-denominator toolkit is difficult to refute. I don’t think, though, that this is the whole picture. While it is no doubt true, another, more important reason is Apple’s specific strategic position regarding Flash. For better of worse, Apple is trying very hard to force Flash out of the mainstream. We could argue about their motivation (or is it only Steve?) forever, but that’s now beside the point; they want to significantly reduce the importance of Flash out there. This is why iOS does NOT allow it, this is why all new Macs ship without pre-installed Flash plug-ins. Many here may consider this childish, but there is nothing childish in business when long-term strategic goals are in question. I can understand how long-term Flash developers fear what will happen if this trend continues. In many ways, this may be Adobe’s fault, as it misjudged their own strategy and relationship with Apple.

As a user, none of this has any significance for me, as long as Apple’s ecosystem continues to grow. And I’m sure, as we have seen in September, when Apple decided to allow third-party dev tools, that as we go along, Apple will make strategic adjustments as necessary in order to protect their position. As a stockholder, I wouldn’t expect anything less.

Martin Hill

These survey results are not at all representative of iOS developers as a whole as the vast majority use Apple’s Xcode to write iOS apps, not the software sold by the company that ran this survey.

The survey subjects were part of a small minority of developers who use a single 3rd party product - Appcelerator Titanium - a cross-platform development tool which is used in 4,000 iOS apps, which amounts to only 1-2% of the 300,000 apps in the App Store.  Appcelerator not that long ago was banned from the iOS App store as were other cross-platform environments so what is surprising is that these particular devs still rate Apple highest. 

By buying this software these developers were already planning on developing cross-platform and thus represent a completely biased sample which cannot be extrapolated to the rest of the iOS dev community.

Other data strongly suggests the opposite of what Appcelerator reports - that iOS continues to garner far more dev interest than Android because that is where the money is.  For example, Larva Labs found that “Overall we estimate that $6,000,000 has been paid out to developers for games, and $15,000,000 has been paid out on apps. That is a total of $21,000,000, nearly 1/50th the amount paid out to devs on iPhone. This really indicates how much of a cottage industry the paid Android Market remains, with insufficient sales numbers to warrant full-time labor for paid content.”

Then there is AppBrain’s findings that over 45,000 of the 100,000 apps in the Android Marketplace are spam apps.

As such, these survey results are not very useful at all.



Thanks for clarifying a bigger picture Martin. Often it is hard to clear out the chaff.


Martin do you have a link for the “45,000k are spam” statement? I googled that and found your comments on several sites with the same comment but no link.

So far it seems to come from this twitter post:

Yet I can’t find any research to back up AppBrain’s claim. Do you happen to have seen the research (I’m assuming it’s a security firm who did it) and have a link to the study that analyzed the 100k apps?

Martin Hill

I don’t have more details on AppBrain’s claim, but there is evidence from many other sources including these:

Larva Labs study which found that “Overall (as of June 18th, 2010), there were roughly 2,250 paid games and 13,000 paid non-game apps in the Android Market. The reason for the large number of apps vs. games is mainly due to the proliferation of spam apps, something which is much rarer in the games category. 4 games are in the 50,000-250,000 range, while 9 apps are in the 50,000-250,000 range. No paid app or game has yet exceeded 250,000 sales. Approximately 60 apps were in the 10,000-50,000 sales range, compared to approximately 45 games. It continues from there, with the vast majority of apps and games falling in to the ignominious ?less than 50? bucket.

Also, John “DVD ” Lech Johansen, the author of DoubleTwist the popular iTunes replacement for Android has this to say about the Marketplace:
“Google does far too little curation of the Android Market, and it shows. Unlike Apple?s App Store, the Android Market has few high quality apps…. just a few examples of what?s wrong with the Android Market. Those 144 spam ringtone apps (which are clearly infringing copyright) are currently cluttering the top ranks of the Multimedia category… Developers and users are getting fed up and it?s time for Google to clean up the house.”

It also rings true considering that Google does not vet any apps going into the Android MarketPlace so it is not surprising that spam accounts for such a high proportion of apps posted.  After all, exactly the same thing has happened to email and web pages, which are other examples of platforms where anything can be posted by anyone.


Ethan Estes

So you don’t have a link but your sure that the 100k apps have 45k that are spam?  All your comments sound very FUD-like. “Be scared, be very scared. ” I’d like to see Google run some kind of check as well. I’m comfortable as I know I can still install apps outside the marketplace.

The Larva Labs quote is interesting but still no real proof that all the apps are malware (just that they didn’t sell well.) Where is the actual data?

Larva Labs also have this to say in October about Android: So they have found great value in selling apps on the Android platform.

Your welcome to your opinion but it seems based on non existent data. Others should research before taking yours as gospel.

Martin Hill

I am not saying that all the apps are malware, just quoting sources that state that a significant proportion of those 100K Android apps are spam. 

If you really want to bring up the topic of malware, then I guess I can help.  grin 

There numbers are much smaller, but enough to demonstrate one significant advantage Apple’s curated App Store has over the opposition - trust that you will not get a virus, trojan or spam app:

- More than 50 Android mobile banking apps in the Android Marketplace each targeted at a specific financial institution whose true purpose was phishing and identity theft.
- the Geinimi botnet app that is infecting numerous Android apps on Chinese app stores and spreading around the world.
- Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a, the Russian ?Movie player? app that surreptitiously sent premium SMS texts from unsuspecting users
- the new Soundminer Credit-card number stealing trojan proof of concept
- Brand new HTC Magic phones infected with the Mariposa botnet and Conficker and a Lineage password-stealing Trojan that attempt to infect Windows PCs when connected over USB.
- Mobile Spy and Mobile Stealth apps in the Android Marketplace
- SMS Message Spy Pro and SMS Message Spy Lite spyware apps also in the Marketplace

In contrast, despite hosting over a third of a million apps and 10 billion downloads, there have been Zero pieces of malware come through the iOS App Store. A 100% safety record. Not bad, and good reassurance for a public tired of virus-riddled PCs.


Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Mart, for some reason your post reminds me of a rather tasteless joke concerning the downside of winning the Special Olympics. Kinda how I’d feel about being scared into using an iPhone by your FUD. Meanwhile, Apple also protects you from the possibility of driving safely, as there is no SMS reader for non-jailbroken iPhones that will just work without entering into the modality of an app.

Martin Hill

FUD is unsubstantiated rumour and innuendo aimed at discrediting someone.  As Wikipedia says:

“Someone who employs FUD cannot generally back up their claims. To dispel FUD, the easiest way is to ask for details and then provide well researched hard facts which disprove them.”

I’m happy to wait while you attempt to demonstrate the untruth of any of the facts I have presented and present your own well-researched counter-evidence.


Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Just looking at your list at the things that passed through Android Marketplace… I don’t know if your extensive research has included, oh, actually using an Android phone and buying something from the Android Marketplace. I will give you the benefit of the doubt since you sound sincere and assume that you have and that you know what you’re talking about.

So you know that the apps that pass through Android Marketplace present a list of permissions that the user must accept before the app is installed. Like if your movie player needs to send SMS messages, you’re warned. Perhaps you have looked at reviews in the Marketplace that call out apps that are using excessive permissions? There is a different kind of filtering process that goes on. Oh, and by the way, if something is truly malware, Google has demonstrated the ability and willingness to erase it from phones remotely.

Being the kind of exhaustive researcher that you are, you probably also know that when side-loading apps that do not come through the Android Marketplace, you are presented with the same list of permissions that the app wants.

Now, for your next term paper, I think it would be nice if you looked at the difference between a centralized filtering system and a distributed social filtering system.

Martin Hill

The Android Permissions screen would have been useless against those 50 mobile banking phishing apps. 

Legitimate banking apps need internet access as does the malware for example, but there is no way to distinguish between legit or nefarious use of your bank login details. 

The same could be said for an SMS texting app needing SMS access.  How do you know that it is not going to go and send premium SMS messages behind your back?

In addition, the Android Permissions screen is far too similar to the old Vista Permissions nagware bringing with it the disadvantage that many users will just click ok and never read the text after the 20th app they download.

The problem with a distributed social filtering system is can you trust all those ratings by untrusted sources?  It is also cold comfort for the first dozen or hundred or million users who get bitten.  Makes one very hesitant to be an early adopter.

What the iOS App Store gives users is the security to not have to exhaustively research each app they download in case of mischief.  With 30 million iOS apps downloaded every day, this is a not unimportant advantage.

My desire in my replies has been to counter-balance the unalloyed PR puff pieces put out by companies like Appcelerator which are taken as gospel by bloggers and journos alike and which give people the mistaken impression in this case for example, that the Android dev scene is far more popular and lucrative than it actually is. 

I can see why there are so many vested interests out there including hardware manufacturers, other App stores and competing software companies like Appcelerator who are terrified that Apple will continue to have so much power in of all of their industries and thus are keen to push Android.  I am all for competition and am glad that Google and not Microsoft has provided decent competition for Apple and provided choice in these markets.

However, I do not like the distortions of reality and one-sided presentation of facts like this article that has come to be so much a part of this discourse.


Bosco (Brad Hutchings)


There have been apps that slipped through Apple’s stringent approval process that violated one guideline or another, only to be pulled by Apple later. Recent example is camera apps using a hardware button in a way that God did not intend, a genuine mobile abomination! Security compromisers and phishing apps would not be terribly difficult to get by Apple’s screeners. And unfortunately for iPhone users, there isn’t that permissions screen as a backstop.

The problem with Apple and developers right now is that Apple treats the mobile devices it makes as if it owns those devices once deployed rather than the devices being the actual property of the mutual customer. This will continue to cause a lot of tension, as the arrangement benefits nobody but Apple. Take your itemized list of security issues… Android is far more transparent, and they get identified and dealt with, often more publicly. If they were affecting users en masse, everyone would be having sex with his dog, er, millions of people would be totally screwed, because there are now more Android phones in active use than iPhones.

Anyway, enjoy correcting the record from a smaller and smaller niche. Apple may be able to take 150% of the profits in smartphones, but it will be doing so from 15% deployed market share while the rest of the market settles on more transparent system where they have more choice and more ownership of their own devices.


Security compromisers and phishing apps would not be terribly difficult to get by Apple?s screeners.
Really? How do you know this? Do you know the personel and the methods they use for screening?


Take your itemized list of security issues? Android is far more transparent, and they get identified and dealt with, often more publicly. If they were affecting users en masse, everyone would be having sex with his dog, er, millions of people would be totally screwed, because there are now more Android phones in active use than iPhones.
Would the average user really know. I know my mom and dad wouldn’t. Usually after only a couple months of computer use their systems were compromised and things didn’t work as well, but they assumed it was how computers were.

With folks churning out software to harvest personal data from the Android or introduce trojans onto windows machines, I would think that this would be rather hard to control unless the apps are screened, but with Android there are lots of apps in the wild I assume, because there isn’t much of a monolithic approach. That would seem to introduce a greater potential for security issues.

These security flaws will only escalate as the Android devices take over 50% or more of the total market. Malware makers will target the fat spot of the market and since there could be much less oversight, it seems that could be problematic.

Not saying this will happen, but it seems more likely than doing embedding things in code at Apples App store where some due diligence is paramount.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I know the limits of what’s knowable without a source code audit, and even with a source code audit. I know, for example, that the reviewers cannot prove that an app will not crash. That’s the kind of thing that a BS/MS from a highly ranked CS program will teach you grin.

In practice, I know how to obfuscate a lot of things and when it makes bottom line dollar sense to do so, such as in activation code schemes.

Apple’s choke point is about one thing, and that is, if the hockey stick projections on mobile app purchases turn out to be within reason, ensuring Apple gets to keep 30% of those revenues on iOS. The security aspects are security theater, much like the TSA at airports. To this point, Apple hasn’t relied much on the security FUD, but I expect it will at some point because command-and-control is “common sense” security, even if the common sense is total bullshit.

The only thing that non-experts really need to know about iOS security is how jailbreaking works. It typically exploits a crashing bug in an app that escalates privileges to the whole device. That should concern you a lot more than the app approval process calms your fears.


And back on the main topic of the article, about the difference between platforms, App Markets and developer interest:

...“Last year, a study concluded that iPhone and BlackBerry users are far more likely to pay for an app—at 57% and 33% respectively. Only 16% of Android users were willing to shell out for a program. Analyst Dean Bubley called paid apps on the Android one of the Biggest Turkeys of 2011. (full article here).

More than half iPhone users don’t mind paying for an App; meanwhile, less than one in six Android users does. So, for every one Android user willing to spend money for an App, there are at least 3 iPhone users. And the study doesn’t even include other iOS users (iPod/iPad) of which there are significant numbers.

It is clear where the money is, and will be for significant time to come.


I know the limits of what?s knowable without a source code audit, and even with a source code audit.
Not being a programmer, I don’t know all of these things, but is a source code audit automatable?

What sorts of audits does Apple do?

Isn’t doing some sort of automated scan for code that could be problematic different from determining whether the code is itself functional? Wouldn’t it be easier to scan for malicious code that is already known or for code which could raise some red flags than it would to see if a program was just generally buggy in other areas?

And so Jailbreaking is basically the same sort of thing as malware exploits you are perhaps saying?

Have there been the number of malware problems with iOS as there have been to date with Android?

Martin Hill

And yet Bosco after 3 years, 300,000 apps and 10 billion downloads there is still Zero malware for iOS while there have been 60 or more malware apps and 45,000 spam apps in the Android Marketplace. Despite your attempt at “what ifs” and FUD, the record stands. ?

Android smartphones and tablets like the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy Tab may have just pipped the iPhone recently in terms of subscribers in the USA, but the iPad and iPod touch double the iOS installed base and Apple was selling 400,000 iOS devices pe day in Nov and Dec vs 300,000 Android devices per day (Apple was doing 270,000 per day in Oct when Android was doing 200,000). ?There are still far more iOS devices out there and iOS device sales continue to accelerate at a similar rate to Android and yet it is Android that has all the exploits.?

It is iOS that continues to have the unblemished record. This is where the rubber hits the road.?

Back on topic, these stats that demonstrate the much larger iOS installed base and daily unit sales of iOS devices that still beats all Android devices, also demonstrates why it is that developers still target iOS first and in many cases only. They go where the numbers are, but they also go where the money is. iOS has both.?


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