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App developers prefer Apple's iOS over Android

Application developers still favour Apple, with 69 per cent of all new app development projects started during the first quarter of 2012 intended for Cupertino's iOS mobile operating system, according to new data from mobile analytics company Flurry.

In comparison, just over 30 per cent of apps project starts during the same period were targeted at Google's Android platform. While Apple has the majority of developer support, interest in Android is growing. Back in the third quarter of 2011, just 25 per cent of app development projects were intended for Android, while 75 per cent were built for iOS.

Apple currently has around 615,000 apps in its App Store, while Google has just over 450,000 in Google Play.

Apple's iOS is likely more attractive to the developer community due to Apple's dominance in the tablet market, Flurry said. With iOS, developers have to build an application just once and it can run on the iPhone and iPad, giving developers the most consumer reach for their effort.

"Not only does Apple offer a large, homogenous smartphone base for which to build software, but also when developers build for smartphones, their apps run on Apple's iPad tablets as well," Flurry wrote in a blog post. "That's like getting two platforms for the price of one."

In comparison, the Android platform poses significant development challenges.

"Android fragmentation appears to be increasing, driving up complexity and cost for developers," Flurry said. "Further, this fragmentation is concentrated primarily in just smartphones, as there is no serious Android tablet contender to the iPad."

In terms of consumer tablet usage, the iPad drove 88 per cent of total worldwide user sessions during the first five months of the year, according to Flurry. The Galaxy Tab and Amazon Kindle Fire hold "very distant" second and third places, driving 9 and 3 per cent of user sessions, respectively.

Overall, Android also drives less revenue for developers, according to Flurry. After comparing the revenue generated by top apps on iOS and Android, Flurry found that iOS generates four times more revenue per active user than Android. This means that for every $1 (64p) a developer earns on iOS, they make about $0.24 (15p) on Android.

"In short, Android delivers less gain and more pain than iOS," Flurry said.

Earlier this year, game developer Mika Mobile made headlines after announcing it is no longer supporting Android over fragmentation challenges.