The growing wave of tablets is spurring mobile app developers to put the devices at the top of their priority lists, according to a new survey.
An IDC and Appcelerator survey of app developers (PDF) found that interest in Android tablets shot up 12 points over the past three months with 74 percent "very interested" in developing for the Google OS-based devices.
But the iPad is still king, with 87 percent of those polled "very interested" in developing for Apple's tablet. Interest in Research In Motion's upcoming BlackBerry Playbook nearly doubled to 28 percent. Hewlett-Packard's WebOS tablet remained flat at 16 percent.
Asked to gauge factors that would decide the fate of a new Android tablet, 57 percent of the developers said that price would be the most important selling point. Forty-nine percent pointed to minimized fragmentation among Android devices, 44 percent mentioned hardware capabilities, and 33 percent said it would rest on the potential of Google's new Honeycomb operating system.
Compiling a wish list for Apple's iPad 2, developers cited camera features, a USB connector, and an improved Retina display. Some developers also said they're hoping for a better processor and greater variety of sizes.
In the land of smartphones, interest in Android has continued to grow, putting it within reach of the iPhone.
Among those polled, 87 percent said they were "very interested" in developing for an Android phone, a gain of 5 points from three months earlier. That puts Android smartphones just behind the iPhone at 92 percent. But with 10 billion mobile apps downloaded to date, Apple's flagship phone continues to be the top priority among developers, according to the survey's accompanying report.
Trailing just behind the BlackBerry, Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 kicked up interest among 36 percent of the developers, who cited the improved user interface as a key component.
The app stores themselves are also battling for the attention of developers, especially those designing for Android. Though a majority 82 percent of developers are interested in offering their apps through Google's Android Market, 37 percent expressed interested in Amazon's upcoming Android Appstore, which just opened this month to developers.
To compile the report, apps development platform Appcelerator and market researcher IDC surveyed 2,235 Appcelerator Titanium developers from January 10 to 12.