Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hello (mobile) World

Yesterday I've completed my first Android application. One can read about mobile platforms all over the place these days, as the competition between them heats up. So I decided to give it a shot.

This is not my first attempt to write a mobile application, as about a year ago I've written some Python apps for Symbian. Moreover, few weeks ago I've written a simple application for the iPhone. This puts me in a position where I've tried coding for most of the popular mobile platforms, except RIM and Windows Mobile.

Quite surprisingly, mobile development environment has reached maturitiy. This manifests in the existance of visual development tools (drag-n'-drop controls), debuggers, code completion, etc. Not having such tools as my day-to-day development (I mainly use vi and notepad++) isn't a big deal, but for mobile development this is a must. The complexity of creating an application is just too big, and reminds me of the first days of J2EE development - tons of XML files, source files, resources, etc.

This also means I got to try Objective-C, as this is the language for iPhone development. I really don't understand why would Apple insist on that language, with such great alternatives.

I expect we'll see even better ways to develop mobile applications, and such applications would take greater market share, as the lines between the desktop and the mobile starts fading away.

Addition: If I had the means, I would have written something for OpenMoko as well.


  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I have developed apps for all of the major mobile platforms today (Windows Mobile, iPhone, Symbian, WebOS, and a few custom ones as well). I could probably write about those experiences for pages, but in a nutshell from a developers perspective and I have absolutely no bias one way or the other, windows mobile was the easiest and best from a development perspective. The IDE (Visual Studio) is rich and easy and full of GUI tools and db development was a snap. To compare the ability to develop real-world data drive apps to all of the other scenarios is simple--they just are not there yet. I will tell you that I love Java development both SE, EE and ME. But comparing windows mobile development to android development is nearly impossible. Should be interesting to see what happens over the next 12 to 24 months as people are still moving to the mobile environment at this time, and then the energy will shift back to desktops or cloud apps next.

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