IDC and Appcelerator have released the findings of their survey concerning developer interest in working on various mobile platforms. Android and iOS are well ahead of others. Developers always wonder which platform they should develop for Android or iOS.

Parameter

Android

iOS

Programming language Java Objective C
Technology Interface builder in Android does not exactly link directly to code and just generates a rough draft. Setting up GUI is lot easier. Links the objects to the code
API’s Android is catching up in API’s. Apple API’s have been in existence longer and have been developed further
Fragmentation Huge selection of devices with many device specific OS modifications. Different screen sizes and resolutions to deal with. Can safely target iPhone hardware platform and achieve compatibility with iTouch and iPad
Distribution mechanism Android marketplace has become much better with Google continuing to tweak the user experience User experience in app store is uniform and simple. Larger audience for iPhone app store.
App store Features highest percentage of free apps with over 57% being free to download Only 28% of the apps are free
Approval Easily manageable Arduous approval process
Monetization Using Google Checkout Using iTunes account

Writing apps is a hits based business based on downloads. So from a distribution standpoint, cross-platform development is key. If the focus is only on building native app, then the decision has to be made based on target market and the comfort level of the developer in programming for iOS or Andorid.

Adapted from answers in Stackoverflow.com and quora.com

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