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Android continues to make an impression on developers and consumers alike. According to a new report from Ovum, Android is set to replace Apple’s iOS in terms of importance to developers in the Asia-Pacific region over the next 12 months. Looking at its second annual developer survey, Ovum’s findings mirror noted trends in the wider smartphone market. And when it comes to a growing mobile ecosystem, developers tend to follow consumers’ lead, creating apps and services on the most prominent platform.
And it’s not just Android that’s been encroaching on the iOS market share this past year. There’s a building momentum behind Windows Phone, indicating their incentives to the developer community are paying off. One trend that’s leveling the playing field is HTML5, a standard that’s being readily adopted for building cross-platform applications. Even the mighty Adobe has given up Flash in favor of HTML5, though vendor-specific distribution channels, such as the Android Market, are the most popular ways to deploy applications.
“A smartphone platform’s success is dictated not only by the pull of consumers and the push of handset vendors and mobile operators but also by a healthy economy of applications delivered by third-party developers,” said Adam Leach, devices and platforms practice leader at Ovum. “Therefore, it is important for all players in the smartphone ecosystem to understand the choices developers are making today and the downstream impact of those choices.”
Android Market alternatives
While Android’s OS and Market are well-positioned for a long-standing global takeover, there’s some developers that still seek alternatives to the traditional channels. A group from the CyanogenMod ROM team have started a discussion on hosting their own app store to raise funds for the development of their alternative Android build. It’s a movement to diminish the lax restrictions Google already places on its Market and OS, enabling even more control over your device and software. Some Android users want to do things like root their handsets or strip spyware installed by manufacturers or carriers, seeking a legitimate option for CyanogenMod fans.