Friday, April 3, 2015

Mobile development opportunities

I was recently asked about the differences between the major mobile development markets what opportunities are there for developers.
After some research to fill-in the gaps, I have came up with a comparison table.


mobile development plan
storepriceprice for companiesdurationmobile apps (2014)languageref
google play$25$25one-time1.3MJavahere
windows store$19$99one-time300KC#here
apple store$99$1991 year1.2MObjective-C / Swifthere

What this table tells us, is that we have right away some big differences. If you are a typical Microsoft-oriented developer, you may opt with the windows store. You will get one of the best access fees (only $19) and you will be able to develop using the frameworks that you are used to.
Being a still growing market, there is a larger chance to create new apps that haven't been thought up before.

If you want to enter the Apple ecosystem, many bloggers recommend that you start with Objective-C. But you should know that you have to pay a minimum of $99 every year, and if you have a published app, it will be removed from the store as soon as you stop paying. Apple is also known for having one of the most rough validation procedures, where most "silly" apps will be blocked from entering the store. One could argue that there is a higher risk due to these prices, but this can also mean higher return of investment if you have a good product.

The Android / Play store is known for being more permissive. This can be an advantage and disadvantage at the same time. This store has cheap, life-time access, and the application approvals don't seem to be very thorough, so although it might be good for you, often we see news of viruses or hacks making their way into the store. But if Java is your comfort zone, creating a nice app with a good monetization plan could be the way to go.

How many apps per store?
A study has found that in 2014, the Google Play store was the one with the most apps, with around 1.3 million applications!

Is there a way to develop once and for all?
Yes, PhoneGap and Xamarin are just a few of the many options.
Check this stackoverflow comparison for more.

How can I make money?
Most markets will keep a 30% commission and let you keep 70%.
Here are a few monetization options:
  • Create apps with advertisements
  • Create one free (limited/adds) and one paid
  • Create a trial app (payment required to continue using)
  • Implement In-App purchases (e.g. "Gold coins")

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