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KEY FINDINGS

Some key findings:

Forget ‘Mobile First’, Embrace ‘API First’

In the survey’s starkest finding, nearly three quarters of developers (72.4 percent) say that getting mobile-optimized access to backend data is becoming the single greatest challenge to building apps. When asked to rank the chief difficulties in getting data access, the work of building and deploying mobile APIs took the “prize”, with 46.7 percent of developers naming this the top bottleneck.

Leaders vs. Laggards: Lessons Learned

The survey also provides an opportunity to compare the habits of self-identified mobile “leaders” and “laggards.” Among the biggest differences? Release velocity. 42.6 percent of leaders report a weekly or bi-weekly app release cycle. Among the laggards, this number drops to 9.5 percent.

Home Is Where the Hack Is

This is the second year we’ve asked about developer interest in emerging markets such as wearables and IoT. And for the second year, home automation devices leads the pack, with 58.5 percent of devs saying they’re “very interested” in building apps for the segment.

RMAD Underwhelms

Of developers who’ve tried low-code, drag-and-drop app development tools—also known as “RMAD” (Rapid Mobile Application Development)—only a quarter described the experience as positive. Most (58.9 percent) were neutral; 16 percent were negative.

For App Moneymakers, In-app Purchases are the Winner

A majority of respondents (60.4 percent) reported building apps to generate revenue. Of those, 43 percent said that in-app purchases were the best method for making money. Only 19 percent said they charged for the app itself.

Apple Watch Trumps Apple TV

Apple’s announcement of an SDK for TV wasn’t enough (yet) to steal developer interest in building for the Watch. Only 39.2 percent of devs reported being “very interested” in building apps for Apple TV, against 60.8 percent for Apple Watch.

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