Diversity in Mobile Phone Platforms
There seems to be an explosion of mobile phone platforms these days. Mobile phones is certainly where the growth is. The number of people regularly using them is expanding, plus people tend to break, lose or get stolen phones, that the replacement cycle is very fast. We have a number of legacy platforms like Symbian, Microsoft Windows Mobile, Motorola. Then there are a great number of new contenders including Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, RIM’s Blackberry, Intel’s Moblin and Palm’s Pre. Then there are dozens of smaller players all contending for developer’s attention.
Each of these systems has its own SDK (whether closed, proprietary or open) where you can write applications for the particular platform. Then if you can certify your application you can get it sold through some sort of proprietary app store. So as an application developer, do you just choose one platform and lock yourself into that and live with the risk that the vendor can kick you off the app store on a whim if they think you are competing with them or annoying a major cell phone carrier? Or do you develop the same application over and over in each SDK? Doing this is a lot of work and you can still get kicked out of major markets.
Now doing this you don’t have access to the cell phone hardware, so you can’t initiate calls and can’t access the GPS (at least yet). But you still have open to you a wide range of things you can do. Additionally you are writing an application that runs on any hardware, not just cell phones, so your application can be accessed from Windows PCs, Linux PCs, Apple PCs, Game Consoles, WiFi devices (like iPod touch or PSP), and many more.
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