Developers of applications for Google's Android phone are gearing up for increased customer demand for applications, even as some continue to create apps for the competing Apple iPhone. Meanwhile, developers also discuss hacks to enable greater access to Android phones.
NEW YORK -- Developers of applications for Google's Android phone
are gearing up for increased customer demand for applications, even as
some continue to create apps for the competing Apple iPhone.
At a meeting of the New York Linux Users Group (NYLUG) here, Nathan
Freitas, a partner with Oliver Coady, a New York-based consulting and
application development firm specializing in mobile development, said
he expects the advent of paid-for applications for the Google Android
to boost both quality and quantity of Android applications.
"I think that 'for-pay' applications will certainly help to increase
Android development," Freitas said. "Right now I'm throwing in Android
ports for applications I write for the iPhone, because I do iPhone
development, too," Freitas told a crowded room of current and
prospective Android developers at the Feb. 18 NYLUG meeting. "I think
the market is becoming more forward-looking and there is a good amount
of interest in Android apps. The iPhone is wildly successful, but
Android is catching on."
Indeed, Brian Gupta, a developer with the system administration
support firm, Brandorr, said that within 12 months or so, "I think
Android is going to be wildly successful" and will cut into Windows
Mobile's market share and will provide realistic competition for the
iPhone. Gupta said he expects that the prospective adoption of Android
by Sprint also will boost the platform.
Meanwhile, Freitas, who has worked at Palm as a program manager
building Java code, said he appreciates Android as "the first open
mobile platform. There's really a lot to hack on. It's really the first
open platform developer-tools-wise. No one's ever put the effort into
delivering a fully cross-platform development environment."
Moreover, Android features a "great SDK [Software Development Kit]"
in Android 1.1 SDK Release 1, with or without the Eclipse IDE support,
he said. Freitas said he likes having the ability to either hack code
by hand or to use the Eclipse IDE, particularly for debugging code
written in different languages. Freitas then discussed various favored
features, including the Android Emulator, which is a virtual mobile
device that runs on a developer's PC.
Making a comparison to the iPhone development environment, Freitas
said, "There's a big difference between APIs and a thoughtful
platform...The iPhone is a beautiful device and a great user
However, the iPhone world does not focus as much on providing an
ecosystem of services for developers like Android does, Freitas said,
noting the OpenIntents.org site, which is a place to collect, design
and implement open intents and interfaces to make Android mobile
applications work more closely together. In addition, Freitas mentioned
the PhoneGap project, which is a development tool that allows Web
developers to take advantage of the core features in the iPhone,
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.