Smartphones

Poll: Which mobile development platform appeals to you?

Let us know which mobile development platform is most appealing, and whether you're doing mobile development in your shop.

With the arrival of the most recent batch of Android phones, particularly the Motorola Droid and the Google/HTC Nexus One, Android has become a real contender in the mobile device space. As a result, the market now has four major platforms for developers to target.

Android is open source but relatively new; the iPhone has a huge installation base, but the App Store is crowded, and it's been difficult for developers to cooperate with Apple. BlackBerry is still the enterprise device of choice. Although from what I can tell, Windows Mobile is definitely the easiest to develop against with the best toolset out there. Let us know which mobile development platform is most appealing to you.

Also, when I asked Programming and Development readers back in October 2008 if you're developing on mobile platforms, 53% of you said that you are. In order for us to get a current snapshot of how many of you are developing on mobile platforms, please take the following poll.

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

18 comments
tecxicoms
tecxicoms

Design interoperability for INTEL platform game programming language across all "(SMARTPHONE)" applications is really all that the market is trying to push for the "(NEW MEDIA)". So for some people in the smartphone industry we could all really care less about where the applications are published. Just a note about the so called: "smart phone applications industry". IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT PLATFORM THAT YOU DEVELOP FOR. Redesign the configuration language and the application: IS COMPATIBLE FOR ALL INTEL operating systems. Lots of fun and best wishes for the: 2010 New Year of smart phone MEDIA.

lalalulu
lalalulu

How about SharePoint and Mobile Entree.

halljasonc
halljasonc

Dear lalalulu, You get a Gold Star from the whole team at Mobile Entree! Cheers, Jason www.mobileentree.com

al881
al881

I develop generic J2ME applications and target devices that can accommadate midp 2.0.

gpomar
gpomar

We're developing dynamic, data-driven mobile sites. Please get in touch if your business has a need!

simpsonke
simpsonke

What about WebOS? It is the easiest platform to develop for even if it is the newest.

Justin James
Justin James

By all accounts, WebOS is a good platform, but it's barely on the radar in terms of market share. Palm is the biggest "also ran" currently still running, and despite how nice WebOS seems to be, the Android phones are what have really captured market share. Maybe in 6 months things will be different, and hopefully WebOS (and Palm) will have some wind in their sails, but right now, as a developer, commiting to WebOS would be a huge mistake. J.Ja

mattohare
mattohare

I bet I won't need to write specifically to a platform.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

No Maemo included in the list? For the developers, if you want something on Maemo that's not already packaged; cross-compile it from the Debian repositories and your golden. The N900 may be the first with a cell band radio and near 100% open code but Maemo's been usable and accepting of third party devs since Android was a mail-mans wet dream.

Justin James
Justin James

My impression (and I could be quite mistaken, of course) is that the platforms like Maemo, Symbian, etc. that I didn't list have a huge penetration on the "feature phones", but nearly zero market penetration in the "smartphone" (or "mobile computing") market. If you look at that market, yeah, you see some of the Nokia devices there, and they are actually pretty nifty, but the market share just is not there (then again, WIndows Mobile could be joining them soon, given its rapid decline). Another good example of a platform with a lot of promise not getting (or losing) market share despite having a lot of things better than the market leaders. J.Ja

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Nokia did finally include the cell radio band into the N900 though so that'll be the first "phone" in the tablet family. If we're looking at the technology, I'd place it in the same category as WebOS, iPhone's osX build and Android. It's a fully open os stack though. The developer is not limited to a high level abstraction layer. Kismet, nmap, aircrack, metasploit, it's all there for those that want it. The interesting thing will be seeing if the N900 catches on among the muggles since it's the first in the family that is a "phone". The previous Maemo devices have been palmtop computers with everything but the cell radio which limits the appeal to us PDA hold-outs. I'm eagerly waiting for the N900 to come within my budget range so I can replace my 810 with the newer hardware (maybe use the phone if my carrier isn't a shmuck about it) and compare it directly to my wife's iPhone in terms of hardware features and OS usage. It may be the newest kid in the product lineups but if one is going to include Symbian, seemingly on it's way out, then the potential in Maemo should justify it's inclusion. As a mobile platform, developers have a total playground of existing code and future possibilities.

halljasonc
halljasonc

Curious why the Mobile Web wasn't listed as a mobile development platform. As mobile browsers gain direct access to the hardware of mobile devices (i.e. accelerometers, cameras & GPS chips), and the performance of browser based applications improve the distinction between the Mobile Web and native mobile applications will become increasingly blurred. Our company offers a mobile application framework that provides comprehensive SharePoint functionality across any SmartPhone with minimal configuration and no custom development needed. That said, I think the Mobile Web needs to be added as a consideration for mobile development. Jason www.mobileentree.com

sysop-dr
sysop-dr

At the moment we are developing for Windows Mobile, but what we are really developing for is not Windows Mobile but the technology that is running as middleware, and this can be Java, Silverlight/.net, Ajax or for the CPU being used (ARM, Atom ...) Currently we develop for Java and .Net and Ajax.

amitd23
amitd23

Exciting! There is difference between Framework and OS. Framwork is ported on top of OS and hardware. We can say it work as a middle ware and provide the seamless API for Application developers. Framework cuold be supported by glue layer where it can support many OS.

Justin James
Justin James

I don't consider "mobile Web" a development platform quite yet. Maybe when HTML 5 is more supported, but right now, I see mobile Web as being more about a sub-set of Web development. J.Ja

halljasonc
halljasonc

Interesting. What are your thoughts on the 'Web Development' by Google? These days web development is application development. In my opinion, to say that mobile web development is a sub-set of web development is saying that it is a good platform for application development.

Justin James
Justin James

Web development requires an entirely different set of skills and ways of thinking than traditional desktop application development. Mobile application development much more closely resembles traditional desktop apps than Web applications right now. A mobile device is like a desktop or laptop with a specialize UI and with a spotty network connection. :) But you still have easy access to local storage, your "sandbox" is much larger in terms of access, and so on. You aren't tied to the stateless nature of HTTP, either. Does this mean that you can't do desktop-like apps with Web development? Of course not. Lots of people are doing very interesting things with AJAX, Flash, Silverlight, and other Web technologies. But at this time, the capabilities of the mobile browsers are no more extensive than the desktop browsers and if anything are actually more restrictive (to the best of my knowledge). Writing a Web app for mobile device consumption is a matter of scaling down the capabilities a bit (slower processors, less RAM than a full PC) and adjusting the UI to work well on a mobile device. Mobile application development, on the other hand, while being very similar to desktop development, has a lot of uniqueness to it; things like tapping into the phone's events (phone ringing, call disconnected, etc), the various sensors on the phone can be used, you need to be aware of battery consumption, etc. So to me, until mobile Web apps become more capable of accessing local resources, it is still a subset of Web development, while mobile applications have clearly become a field of their own. J.Ja