Fully 78 percent of developers said testing and debugging tools were either "extremely" or "very important," but only 34 percent said available tools were "excellent" or "very good," Evans Data Corp. said.
For wireless emulation tools, 63 percent of developers said they were similarly important, but only 28 percent rated current tools as excellent or very good. Nearly 1 in 5 wireless developers said emulation tools needed work.
"Wireless developers see a lot of room for improvement in their tools and it's a message that tool makers should heed in order to accelerate and enhance wireless application development and deployment," John Andrews, chief operating officer for Evans Data, said in a statement. "The state of tools in wireless development represents a big opportunity for any vendor willing to step up, develop a killer tool set and take over the space."
Last month's survey of 500 developers also found that smart phones have tied with cellular phones as the fourth most likely wireless device to be targeted for deployment. Smart phones are advanced cellular phones that combines capabilities of a personal digital assistant and a mobile phone.
Fully 66 percent of developers target Java in some form. The Asia-Pacific region targets Java more than any other region at 71 percent.
More than half of wireless developers, 52 percent, use open source or Linux tools in their wireless development.