With several hundred applications now available in the iTunes App store, I decided to consider alternate ways of gauging interest in the platform. Using MarkMail, one can quickly scan thousands of mailing lists and restrict the results to those related to software development. Based on the number of posts to (MarkMail) mailing lists, Linux-based alternatives generate considerably more email chatter than the iPhone:
Staying with the previous metric (posts to mailing lists), there does seem to be growing interest in the iPhone among developers. Since the launch of Android (November 2007), the number of iPhone related messages has grown at a faster rate than those for its competitors:
Other online tools suggest growth in the number of job postings that mention the iPhone. But while a majority of the most recent iPhone related job postings were posted by Apple (making the recent growth in job postings less impressive), Android jobs postings came mostly from outside Google.
For now the launch of the iPhone puts the spotlight on Apple’s App store and platform. The reality is that the mobile landscape is evolving rapidly and with Android yet to launch, the previous numbers will change dramatically over the next months. We will continue to monitor developer interest in the different mobile platforms using a variety of indicators.
Yet another option lurks, one already familiar to web developers and users. At last weekend’s Foo camp, I attended a session on the mobile web and left convinced that with access to the right hooks into mobile devices, web developers can deliver equally cool apps through mobile browsers. Which mobile platform are you most excited about?