Appcelerator and IDC just released its Q1 2012 Mobile Developer report that focused on the “emerging social battle between Facebook and Google” and the increasing importance of HTML5 for app developers. The study surveyed a group of 2000+ developers earlier this year and asked them how they planned to implement HTML5, as well as “social capabilities” during 2012.
Of the developers surveyed, almost 80 percent planned to incorporate HTML5 elements in their apps. The report claimed mobile HTML5 apps would become increasingly popular in the app landscape currently dominated with native apps, but that “HTML5 will also exist in ‘hybrid apps,’ which will integrate both HTML5 and varying amounts of native code.”
Even with increased adoption of HTML5 among mobile developers, only 6 percent of respondents planned to develop their apps entirely in HTML5. Meanwhile, approximately 72 percent planned to develop hybrid apps.
In the second half of the report, the study focused on the “network effect” of Google’s services and its potential to be more important for developer’s implementing social capabilities in their apps during 2012…
Despite Facebook’s 425+ million mobile user base (around 900 million total), 39 percent of developers consider Google+, alongside Gmail, Android, and the Android Market, as “more important to them than Facebook’s social graph.” Of those who thought Google+ might catch up to Facebook, 68 percent said it was due to Google’s network effect of pulling users in with its various services. The report explained:
Developers perceive something that many observers don’t: Google’s assets are often more immediately valuable and/or more easily integrated than Facebook’s social graph. Google offers the combined network effects of search, YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, Android, Android Market, Google Docs, AdMob, and now Google+. One example of how large Google’s footprint is includes Google Maps, which is prominently preloaded onto iPhones and virtually all Android devices, and therefore increasingly integrated into iOS and Android apps. YouTube is commonly integrated into mobile apps and is often cited as one factor contributing to mobile network capacity constraints.
As for platforms that developers are “very interested” in developing for, Android phones take a bit of a drop this quarter falling 4.7-percent points to 78.6-percent. Android tablets fell 2.2-percent to 65.9 percent. On top was iPhone at 89 percent and iPad at 88 percent. “HTML5 Mobile Web” came in behind Ice Cream Sandwich tablets with 67 percent of respondents very interested in developing non-native apps for mobile.
You can get the full report here to see how developers also responded when asked about Facebook social graph versus Google’s network effect (below):