The world of smartphone app development is a frustrating, constantly changing place. To get a feel for what developers have to put up with, you needn't look any further than the iTunes App Store. For the longest time, developers were allowed to churn out their creations using third-party software... until they weren't. Out of the blue a little while back, they were once again. Should they be victorious in the long uphill battle to complete an application, that app has to go through a stringent approval process, where it could very well be disallowed, forcing the developer to either scrap her project or tweak it to Apple satisfaction. Throughout this process, developers make no money from the sweat of their brows. Worst of all, should the developer want to deploy his wares to a number of App Stores, she'll be forced to jump through a number of similar hoops once again. With such a development environment, nobody wins. Innovation is stifled by strict and oft-times frustrating App Store rules, consumers yearning for an application available on one platform to come to another often goes unsated, as developers spend so much time fighting through red tape that they're too busy to transfer their work to a different OS ecosystem. Fortunately, things may be looking for individuals interested in cross-platform mobile application development, as a number of players in the mobile telecommunications game have banded together to sort out a universal web-based approach to application development. Their solution is one that will seem very familiar to long-time iPod touch or iPhone users: Web Apps.
I've been a Verizon customer for ten years now, since before you could purchase a monthly texting plan and unlimited minutes. I was with the company when they switched from black-and-green cell phone displays to color ones, and when Motorola was still considered one of the top tier mobile handset manufacturers. I remember my first phone with a color display--the Motorola T720i--and marveling at the phone's texting and mobile web capabilities (back then, it only cost $5 a month to get on Mobile Web). But then, as the phones became more colorful, and might I add "smarter", Verizon introduced its own app store of sorts, called Get It Now.
Of the various cloud storage services out there, we're most partial to Dropbox. The interface is simple, the uploads fairly quick, and the app works beautifully. Plus, with their open API, Dropbox can sync with tons of our other apps and software making it our number one floating hard drive. Today, it seems, is update day.
So, you want an Android phone, but you don't want to admit your weakness to your iPhone touting friends? That's cool, your secret is safe with us. Instead, we're going to tease you with this Droidthing website that compares what kind of phone you might want to adopt from the Android family.
This morning, Google announced several updates to its widely used mobile services, including Google Apps Premier, mobile editing capabilities for Google Docs on the iPad and Android platform, and Retina Display support for Google Earth.
Everyone wants to get into the smartphone market it seems. First Apple brought the heat with the iPhone which challenged earlier pseudo-smartphones like Blackberry and Palm to step up. Then Google put pressure on Apple with their array of Android-based devices. Now it seems someone else might be wanting to jump in the game.
It seems that no matter how popular the iPhone 4 has turned out to be, it would appear that so long as the smartphone availability remains exclusive to AT&T, its marketshare's gonna take a beating. According to a report from market watcher ComScore, Apple's share of the American smartphone market is dwindling, despite strong sales of its flagship mobile phone. The report revealed that during a three month period ending last July, Apple's smartphone market share dropped by 1.3 percent while handsets powered by Google's Android OS clawed an extra five percentage points out of the American people.
As we previously mentioned, the Unreal Engine that powers many console-quality games was going to make the move into the hands of iPhone and iPad developers, allowing game developers to create more graphically-rich games for iOS devices. But as Know Your Mobile reports today, the UDK (Unreal Development Kit) may make it's way into the hands of iOS developers very soon.
HTC held a press conference today to announce a few new products that will definitely expand the Android presence in the smart phone sphere. For those of you that have decided to go the way of the Android, HTC has announced that it will introduce two new handsets into the smartphone sphere. The first handset is the Desire HD, which will have a 4.3-inch screen, run Android 2.2 and will be fueled by a 1GHz 8255 Snapdragon processor. It will also have a, now standard, 8-megapixel camera and use HTC's Sense UI.
One of the great things about Google's Android OS is that with its open platform, hardware manufacturers can slap it on any device they darn well please. They can modify it to suit their needs and skin it to their heart's content.
But this is also one of the rotten things about Android. If pushed too far, the OS might still boast top-level functionality, but can often lose much of the stability and flexibility it had when Google let it out of the gate. If you cram Android into a device it's not meant for--a tablet computer, for example--plenty of important features, such as the ability to use third-party applications available in Android Market, will simply refuse to work.