App Development Up Nearly 3X on iPad Hype
The launch of the iPad has sparked a surge in iPhone OS app development, according to a report from mobile research firm Flurry Analytics
today. January project starts nearly tripled from less than 600 new apps in December to over 1,600, and the firm is attributing the spike to the hype ahead of and immediately following the iPad's unveiling on January 27. The report also holds some caution for developers that rely on in-app ads, with its finding that users get bored with apps very soon after they download them.
Flurry's "Smartphone Industry Pulse" compiles data from 20,000 live applications - registering over 2 billion user sessions each month - on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and J2ME platforms to build a report on mobile industry trends. Growth of development for Android devices continues to be strong, with a steady 25% increase month over month. The upswing in iPhone development widens a gap that had been narrowing in recent months as new Android phones - including the Google-branded Nexus One - hit the market. According to Peter Farago, Flurry’s vice president of marketing, the "recent spike in Apple iPad support has swung the pendulum back in Apple's favor to a level not seen at Flurry in six months."
The report also compared iPhone and Android user retention (how many times a user launched an app that had been launched in the previous seven days), user session frequency, and user session lengths (how often and for how long people ran apps) over a six-month period. The data was virtually identical for iPhone and Android apps. "Our ultimate conclusion is that the content trumps the platform,” Farago wrote.
The retention data shows that the novelty factor rules most app usage patterns. Within one month of installing an app on their iPhone or Android smartphone, only 15% of people keep using it. And after six months, only 5% of users are still interested.