Depending on who you believe, the Android smartphone platform either is or isn't going to be the dominant app environment for 2011.
On the pro side is famed VC Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, who last week on his A VC blog said Android is the mobile platform all developers should be focusing on in the year ahead. He pointed to Android's 6.5% increase in the smartphone market share in just one quarter as evidence of its rocketing growth, as well as the fact that many smartphone users still want a keyboard over the fully touchscreen iPhone.
So, when thinking about where to invest your precious mobile development resources, I'd say Android first and iPhone second. One thing I am sure of is that developing solely for iOS, which is a very common thing I see out there, is not the right strategy unless you only want to serve 25% of the market.
But not so fast, says John Gruber. On his blog, Daring Fireball, Gruber asserts that while Android may indeed increase in market share, the best and most popular apps created for the platform still come from Google directly rather than third-party developers.
A lot of the Android-vs.-iOS horse race coverage focuses on unit sales and market share, but never even mentions this disparity in developer support, except to simply list that the iTunes App Store has X total apps and Android Market has Y total apps .I'm not saying (here, with this argument, at least) that iOS is better than Android. I'm just saying that the iOS App Store is thriving in a way that the Android Market is not. And, that the Android Market would be thriving in this way if handset market share were all that mattered.
Both are worthwhile reads if you're looking to determine how to best spend app development resources in the year ahead.