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Looking to get into Mobile Development, which is the best platform?

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Looking to get into Mobile Development, which is the best platform?

Looking for objective opinions concerning Mobile Development.

I would like to develop apps for myself or clients, but avoid the online 'stores'.

I heard that all IPad/IPhone development needs to be approved by Apple and can only be sold through the Apple store, is this true? Is there any way to avoid this if I want to develop an app for myself?

Also heard that Android apps don't have to go through Google, and you can distribute your own apps, and sell them yourself.

Just looking for some advice.

Thank you

Clarifications

vishnoo.rath

Hi George,
If you are serious about mobile development and looking for turning a hobby into a profession, I would suggest you write enterprise level applications that target a certain segment of business.

For e.g. when I started out on mobile development, I wrote an app that would function as a mobile showcase gallery. The basic idea is like something like a bookshelf, but where a bookshelf is a very specific instance of viewing books and downloading purchases, I took a general approach to products and categories. My app could be used by a online jeweller to showcase categories [Mens/Womens/Children] | Sub Category [Rings/bracelets/cuffs etc etc] and then finally the products on sales or offer in a ebay like view [Grid/List]. All I had to do was come up with a basic schema [you could start off with Northwind - The MS SQL Server DB] and configure your Cat/SubCat/Prod so that the basic logic of CRUD remains the same, but all you customers have to do is upload products.
Integrate the same with a location based search and when users drive by they get alerts on what is on offer where [Geo-Location & Boundary mapping] . You could host the back-end and provide different subscription levels - Free - Upto Three Cat/Five SubCat/ 15 Products or a low priced monthly subscription with different levels - Gold/Silver/bronze (yes Olympic fever :-) that more serious customers can subscribe to. Distribute the mobile app for free and you have a business plan that is viable subject to marketing.

Hope this helps & Glad to help.