Design & Dev, Mobile

App developers challenged by number of different devices

Consumers may be thrown by all the different mobile devices on the market. But app developers face an even thornier problem.

Creating software for the mobile landscape has become harder as the sheer number of different devices have proliferated.

The number of major operating systems might be limited — Apple’s iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry. But each OS can be home to dozens or hundreds of different phones and tablets, especially in the Android arena.

Developers who want to write for 90 percent of all active devices would need to support 331 different models, according to a report out today from Flurry. Those who would settle for 80 percent would still have to support 156 different devices. Even reaching just 50 percent of all active devices means building apps for 18 different models.

A large development company may have the time, money, and staff to devise apps for all those different models. But a small independent developer lacks those resources. So, how do they compete? Are indie developers becoming an “endangered species?” asks Mary Ellen Gordon, author of today’s Flurry blog

[more @ CNET]

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