Actually, many of the reasons Apple should and do have them (the apps and developers, that is) are well understood:
- They’ve got a great distribution channel, for consumers and publishers
- They’ve got great hardware (iPhone and iPod Touch)
- They’ve got a pretty darn good SDK (certainly miles better than any of the other smartphone OS SDKs)
- They’ve essentially only got 1 device, so no fragmentation for developers
In terms of (2), the consumer is now spoilt for choice in terms of super-functional and super-sleek devices that could easily go into the ring with the iPhone.
But the fact remains that today, the vast majority of developers making cool and interesting apps are going only for iPhone. Why? Well it’s really no surprise - (3) and (4) are still a huge issue. In fact (4) is the real biggie.
Most developers will tolerate a dodgy SDK, with bespoke APIs, if they can see gold at the end of the rainbow. But what if there’s no proven distribution channel for targeting those devices? Developers won’t take the investment risk of porting to that SDK. And that’s before we even consider the huge cost of porting between devices, even devices sharing the same OS. For example, think about the huge variance in screen sizes, input types, chipset capabilities etc. even within the Windows Mobile family; it’s vast.
By the way, thanks to all of you who helped make our launch party a night to remember!
Here’s why Airplay SDK 4.0 is a big deal for developers. For the first time, you can download a single SDK that allows you to write a rich mobile app in vanilla C++, compile it to native ARM CPU instructions (including support for ARM’s best-in-class RVCT compiler), then literally click a single button to generate standard app installer packages for all the open native operating systems (iPhone, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile and BREW). That’s right; you’re literally running the same ARM CPU instructions across every single OS and device. There’s no virtual machine being used at any stage, so you can harness the full power of the ARM chipset, including full access to any OpenGL ES drivers.
What’s more, Airplay handles all the device-specific quirks for you. Want a text-entry box? Write one line of code, and on a touchscreen device it will bring up a soft keyboard; on an alphanumeric keyboard device you’ll get full keyboard input, and on a keypad-only device you’ll get a standard texting interface. What a relief!
Sounds too good to be true? What if I told you that it’s entirely free to download and evaluate? And for true “indie” developers, it’s entirely free to use for iPhone development, and only $99 per year to target all platforms?
Sorry if I’m sounding a little excited. It’s just that for the past 2 years, we’ve been licensing Airplay SDK only “behind closed doors” to major publishers such as EA Mobile. That’s been great business for us, but we’re now opening a new chapter by making Airplay SDK freely available to all. So go on, download it, and see just how easy it is to take great native apps across hundreds of devices, and ultimately make more money. It’s the Airplay mantra... rich apps, richer developers.
Let me know what you think.
Tim Closs, Chief Technology Officer, Ideaworks Labs, a leading developer of mobile applications technology. Tim had several 8-bit games published whilst still at school. He gained a Maths degree at Cambridge University before returning to the games industry. At Ideaworks Labs, Tim has overseen the creation of Airplay SDK, a binary-portable solution for native applications on mobile and embedded devices. Airplay SDK allows developers to compile their application once as native ARM CPU instructions, then deploy the same single application binary across any device, irrespective of the operating system, chipset or form factor.
Shortlink to this post: http://bit.ly/3MTYkr
0 Comments On This Entry
Please log in above to add a comment or register for an account
Computex Taipei, Android TV, Education Tablets and maybe some time for work as well
on Yesterday, 10:12 AM
Computex Taipei - Shifting Toward Post-PC Era
on Jun 10 2013 09:44 AM
on Jun 07 2013 08:50 AM
ARM Processor based Educational Tablets Shine at Computex 2013
on Jun 07 2013 08:39 AM
A Computex Moment - The Outlook®
on Jun 07 2013 01:20 AM