These alternatives could break the grip of iOS and Android for mobile developers
Mobile developers are about to have a lot more choices as HTML5 begins to mature and some newer challenges from Microsoft, BlackBerry and open source upstarts try to vie for developer affection. Still, it's going to be a huge challenge for these alternatives to break the stranglehold that iOS and Android have among developers and consumers alike.
We spoke to Todd Anglin, vice president for HTML5 Web and Mobile Tools at Telerik, a provider of productivity tools for software developers, to get his take on the current mobile development landscape. Here's what we found out.
HTML5 is doing particularly well, says Anglin, and a recent survey conducted by Vision Mobile really bears this out. While Android lead the way in pure numbers for developer affection with 72 percent developing for Android and 56 percent for iOS, HTML is right behind at at an impressive 50 percent.
It's not a coincidence, says Anglin.
"The past year was a major milestone for HTML5 and web standards development. Not only did desktop browsers continue to race ahead adding support for emerging web standards, but the use of HTML5 for mobile development really gained traction as a mainstream idea," Anglin said.
"Developers sitting on the HTML5 fence in 2011 had much more incentive to take the plunge in 2012 with the rise of HTML5 on mobile devices, the arrival of Windows 8 (and its HTML/JS app model), and the solidification of many core HTML5 standards."
Anglin says it's not just Windows that's turning to HTML5. Lots of the newer operating environments are as well.
"There are no fewer than 6 operating systems (most targeting devices) that will put HTML5 at the center of their app strategies this year: Chrome OS, Firefox OS, BlackBerry 10, Tizen, Ubuntu Phone, and Windows 8. Combine that with even more progress in browsers and devices supporting HTML5 and you have the necessary ingredients to see developers take some big steps forward in developing software with web standards," he said.
Windows Phone 8
Microsoft has been working hard to win developer and consumer affection, but so far it hasn't had much impact. It's worth noting that Vision Mobile found in its survey that Windows Phone OS development was stuck at 21 percent in 2012 -- unchanged from the 2011 survey. So far, at least, developers are sticking to the most popular operating systems, and Anglin says it's going to be tough to break that cycle.
Google made a big splash almost a year ago with its Google Glass Internet-connected eyewear. Now the search giant is ready to broaden its assault on the wearable computing market by releasing a software development kit for developers to create Android-based software for wearables.