Android development gathers steam in S'pore

Mobile app development on the Android OS is gathering steam in the country, with location-based apps among the most popular, says developer group.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

Mobile app development on the Android OS is gathering steam in Singapore, with location-based apps among the most popular, according to the founder of a local Android developer group.

Chua Zi Yong, who runs CodeAndroid, one of the more active Android interest groups in the country, told ZDNet Asia there has been mounting interest in Android app development.

In the four months the group has been alive, it has hosted two local meet-ups, and boasts a membership of 356 on its Facebook group. Its meet-ups have attracted upwards of 30 attendees, said Chua in an e-mail.

CodeAndroid has also received numerous requests for Android developers from Singapore companies looking to extend their products onto the mobile OS, according to Chua.

Developers in Singapore have been working on a wide variety of apps on the mobile platform, said Chua. The last meet-up saw interest in topics ranging from augmented reality to VPN (virtual private network) applications.

"In general, location-based apps seem to be more popular among users... Based on my conversation with Skyhook Wireless, they told me Singapore is one of the cities where location-based services (LBS) has really taken off, judging from the number of location base apps we have," said Chua. He named some made by Singapore developers: ShowNearby PathFinder, buUuk, Foyage and SGBuses.

On the recent launch of an Android app directory for Singapore-based developers, Chua said he hopes the directory will give more visibility to local developers. "From my own experience as a developer, it's very hard to get apps out to market to the eyes of users, because there are just too many apps."

The directory is aimed at helping Singapore users find local apps specific to their needs, and make it easier to get started with their Android-based phones, he added.

CodeAndroid is looking to recruit more members around the Asia-Pacific region, said Chua. He expects interest to pick up as the phone is launched in more neighboring countries.

According to a March Informa report, Android smartphone sales are expected to outstrip Apple iPhone sales by 2012.

"Having many chapters of CodeAndroid around [the region] will be great, because this is when we can leverage the networks that we have built up with manufacturers and carriers to organize bigger-scale events and garner support for the developer community, instead of just having mini-events everywhere."

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