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Tablets go mainstream, TV apps still niche

In our latest developer survey we asked developers about the different screens they target. The results show smartphones are the most popular target, whilst tablets are catching up fast. PCs are most commonly targeted by web developers while TVs are still a niche app market for all developers.

TV development

The majority (86%) of 3,460 developers in our survey develop on smartphones, while a large share of them also develop on tablets, led by iOS developers (76%) indicating the attractiveness of the iPad as a development and monetisation platform. Despite the rise in Android tablet share during 2012, we did not observe a significant increase in the share of Android developers targeting tablets (64% vs. 62% in our Q1 2012 survey) although we believe this is likely to change in the near future.

HTML developers take a more platform-agnostic approach, as they develop across smartphones, tablets and PCs almost equally, according to our survey, a testament to the use of HTML as cross-screen app development technology. At the same time, HTML limitations, such as lack of support for native APIs, tooling and device optimizations, prevent it from becoming a swiss-army knife for cross-platform development.

TV development remains niche, at the same levels reported in Developer Economics 2012, as the hype cycle around the “Smart TV” experience is yet at a very early stage. This seems in line with findings from research firm NPD, who reports that only 15% of HD TVs are connected to the internet (directly or via a set-top box), limiting their appeal to app developers. Additionally, only a small fraction of those connected TVs use apps for anything other than streaming video or music services. There is a much faster growing trend for the TV screen to be used via smartphone or tablet apps “throwing” content to it.
[doritos_report location=’DE13 Article – Targeting Screens’]


From Mobile to TV: The companion screens opportunity and the role of apps

[This post on Mobile to TV, by Peggy Albright, guest author for VisionMobile, first appeared on the VisionMobile blog on  17 September 2012.]

[The latest trend in app development is targeting companion screens, as a way to bridge a multi-screen experience. Guest author Peggy Allbright investigates the future of app development on companion screens -and TV apps in particular – and discusses how TV advertising has found a whole new screen to engage users on.]

The Future of TV Apps

TV applications are opening up a new business frontier for the mobile industry. But we are still in the most nascent phases of the TV app industry’s formation and it needs to evolve on many fronts. Fortunately, early startup activities are revealing some of the roles that devices, apps, developers, merchandising and advertising can play in this industry, as we’ll see in this article.

The industry is well aware that consumers want to be engaged with their devices while watching TV and that many consumers are beginning to use mobile devices and apps as interactive “companions” to supplement the TV viewing experience. New research released by Google in August provides some of the latest data to characterize this trend. Google found that in a typical day, 77% of television viewers use a second device, such as a tablet, smartphone or PC, while watching TV. More than one-fifth (22%) of these consumers are using the TV and their second device in ways that complement each other, even if it is only a simple search related to the live TV programming.