Developer interest in iOS 9 is 10x that of iOS 8: Udemy

Although Android is the globe's dominant mobile platform, developer interest in iOS 9 is still sky high for several reasons.

In advance of Wednesday's Apple event and the expected debut of new iPhones, a larger iPad Pro and possibly an Apple TV, developers interest in iOS 9 is on the rise in a big way.

According to Udemy, which offers online programming classes, more than 20,000 students enrolled in its iOS 9 courses in the month following Apple's iOS 9 beta. That's a ten-fold increase from the 2,000 students who enrolled in iOS 8 Udemy courses in the month after iOS 8 was released last September.

The growth doesn't stop there, however. Two months after the iOS 9 beta arrived, Udemy saw 40,000 students -- a doubling -- taking classes to learn how to program for Apple's mobile devices. Two months into iOS 8, the figure was only 5,000 students.

"Apple continues to be enormously compelling for the developer community," Udemy CEO Dennis Yang said in an emailed statement. "Udemy has seen ten times higher enrollment in Udemy's iOS 9 development courses than in iOS 8 courses during the first month of their respective releases."

The interest levels are a bit surprising on the surface, given that Google Android is the dominant mobile platform around the world.

Look a bit deeper though and there are several reasons for the burgeoning interest in iOS 9.

Study after study, for example, has shown that iOS development can be more profitable than creating apps for Android, although the gap has shrunk over time.

While sales figures for the Apple Watch haven't been shared by Apple, several estimates have suggested that in a shorter amount of time, Apple has sold more smartwatches than Google's partners have sold Android Wear devices. Apple will be launching native Apple Watch app support for developers with iOS 9, providing more opportunities for programmers.


Finally, it's generally still an "iOS first" world when it comes to mobile apps. The latest and greatest software for phones and tablets tends to appear first on iPhones and iPads, only later coming to Android devices, if at all. Put another way: If you can name three "hit" apps that launched first on Android, I'd be impressed.

All this means that Android's massive market share hasn't done enough to move the needle when it comes to mobile app development.

Apple's iOS is still capturing the hearts and minds of developers who seek to maximize returns on their effort by targeting the Apple ecosystem as a primary strategy. Nine software iterations of iOS still prove the old maxim: The more things change, the more they stay the same.