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Developers Embrace Apple and Google's "App Experience" Transformation

Cloud web app development company Appcelerator and analyst house IDC have surveyed 2,012 developers on perceptions surrounding mobile OS priorities.

The analysis has suggested that Apple and Google are accelerating their lead in mobile by "redefining" mobile app engagement, loyalty, and cloud connectivity through their new iCloud and Google+ offerings.

Developer opinion appears to indicate that the companies' gains in the consumer application space are translating into significant traction in the enterprise space over time.

"Google and Apple are pushing mobile competition beyond OS platforms into the cloud and into social integration," notes Scott Ellison, IDC VP mobile & consumer-connected platforms. "This means even broader battles with major players like Amazon and Facebook, creating new competitive complexities and opportunities going forward for everyone in the mobile ecosystem."

Appcelerator says that as mobile app and platform leadership continues to coalesce around Apple and Google, both players are leveraging their strengths into the cloud in different ways.

Topline findings from this quarter's report focus on how developers eye new opportunities for applications to become more social and more connected.

When asked what will impact the growth and adoption of mobile the most, Apple and Google come out on top. In order of priority: Google+: 25%, Apple iCloud: 22%, Near-Field Communication: 18%, iOS 5 Twitter Integration: 14%, Android Patent Issues: 13%, Amazon Android Tablet Rumors: 6% and HP TouchPad Launch: 2%.

Other key findings include:

  • Two-thirds of respondents believe that Google can catch up to Facebook in social with Google+. li>83% of developers using social in their apps say they use or are planning to use Facebook this year.
  • When asked what social capabilities are most important in their apps, developers said that features that encourage repeat usage and offer fresh content are more important than location checkins and photo sharing. li>When asked which platform is best positioned to win in the enterprise, respondents were evenly divided between iOS and Android at 44% each. Only 7% believe Windows Phone has a shot, 4% for BlackBerry, and 2% for webOS.

Appcelerator and IDC note that enterprises are taking a more cautious approach with Android at scale due to security concerns, in which case they are looking to Apple when they go beyond BlackBerry and Windows mobile deployments.

"As OSes and consumer expectations mature, 'the app' is undergoing a transformation," says Appcelerator. "Applications are becoming more engaging with real-time notifications, social, local context, and always-on cloud connectivity becoming the norm. That 'upstarts' iCloud and Google+ can challenge entrenched players Amazon and Facebook shows how quickly these new capabilities will shake up what's possible in mobile."

Ultimately, Appcelerator suggests that these changes are an evolution of the mobile engagement lifecycle. From customer acquisition/awareness to engagement, to monetization to loyalty, mobile leaders are focusing on leveraging their ubiquitous adoption levels into new areas that, in the end, significantly enlarge the overall value that's possible on each of their platforms in the post-PC era.

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