Humanoid Robots & Glass Covered Portals

15Feb10

I’ve made it fairly clear that I intend to start out developing for Apple’s iDevices, as well as OS X on the desktop. But that doesn’t mean I’ve got my head stuck in the sand. In fact, if my plans take off in a meaningful way, I’ll certainly be interested in developing for any other mobile platform which is on-par with iPhone OS (however, I don’t see myself developing for other desktop environments at this time, my current thoughts are to handle those via web-based apps).

In my humble opinion, the one platform which really has shown it is up there with iPhone OS currently is Android. This is Google’s mobile OS, primarily showing up on smartphone competitors of the iPhone. The devices are selling well, and a market for applications seems to be developing. Development seems to be primarily with Java, which is a big negative for me (I’m not a fan of Java). Also, I would prefer an iPod touch like device to work with. The only one I know of for Android is the Archos 5. However this device is quite different from most other Android devices, and that exemplifies the biggest problem with Android: device fragmentation.

On February 15, 2010, Microsoft finally unveiled Windows Mobile 7 (aka “Zune/Xbox 360 Phone Edition”). My understanding is this is a ground-up rewrite of the mobile OS, with Microsoft finally realizing that a phone is not a desktop. From what little I have seen of it (and the Zune HD), the OS is certainly on-par with iPhone OS. Though the Zune HD market really isn’t worth developing for yet, the WinMo7 market likely will be at some point. Hopefully the Zune HD is basically the iPod touch version of a WinMo7 phone, and that I could develop for both the same way I can develop for both iPhone and iPod touch. But again, WinMo7 is going to have a plethora of different devices to target, which may be a problem it will share with Android. Another negative is that I likely will not be able to develop with Mac OS X, but will have to purchase a copy of Windows 7 and spin up a virtual machine.

Of all the other platforms out there, I don’t see one that hold any interest or potential to my future plans. RIM devices are too business oriented, and too varied, for my ideas. PalmOS, though interesting, doesn’t look like it is going to gain any traction. Samsung announced their Wave device, but again I don’t see that growing to a large enough market size. At least some of these devices, however, use WebKit based browsers, thus should support HTML 5, which I could target with the web-based applications I am considering.

But all of this is way down the road. This post is just to say that competition is good, and I’ve got my eyes on what is out there. I would also suggest to other developers that, while you may think you’ll never program for other platforms, you should keep your eyes on them, and take note of what interesting things they may be doing.

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2 Responses to “Humanoid Robots & Glass Covered Portals”

  1. The Zune HD likely will be developed for the same way as the new WinMo 7 phone. The latest update for the Zune included some defs that had “Phone” in the title. Additionally, it will be .Net platform so I imagine the only difference will be the option to referance/use various libraries that are not available on the Zune – largely dealing with phone/gps stuff.

    Of course, I just recently upgraded to Win 7 and have only built my dev environment back up, not started poking into the Zune and what I can do for it yet. (Ok technically I haven’t gotten the SQL development environment completely back yet, but I believe there is only one install left – I just have to find it.)

  2. ThanX for the info, bro. That makes *complete* sense that they’d develop the WinMo7 and Zune HD platforms to be compatible, though I think we have to wait for MIX to get official confirmation.


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