For quite some time, I’ve been wondering which platform I should take my development skills to next. Don’t get me wrong – Windows development is still fun – but the world is moving under my feet, and it’s past time I at least experimented with other platforms.
The most obvious choice would be to enter the world of web application development, but the idea of dealing with web server maintenance, etc., makes that choice far less appealing to me. Truth is, what I’ve really been wanting to do is try out mobile application development. It would be a unique challenge to create apps for a platform that enables access to a wealth of information whenever – and wherever – you need it.
But the existing mobile platforms and devices haven’t impressed me. Mobile devices are still far too geeky for mainstream customers, but I’ve long assumed we’d eventually see one designed for non-geeks.
So when I first heard of the Apple iPhone, I was excited. Here was a user-friendly, stylish mobile device designed with people in mind. As my colleagues at NewsGator can attest, as soon as I saw the iPhone, I wanted to develop for it.
Then I read Apple’s announcement at their developer conference that third-party iPhone development would be limited to apps designed to work inside the Safari browser. Apple can’t promise that the iPhone will be secure and reliable unless they limit third-party apps to running inside the browser? What a cop-out.
No SDK. No access to local storage. How disappointing.
There are scores of developers looking for a new platform, and the iPhone could’ve been it – but at this stage, the iPhone doesn’t offer me enough to invest time developing for it.