Last week I attended the CTIA conference; the USA mobile phone industry conference. At the conference, Eclipse announced that Sony Ericsson and Ericsson had joined our Pulsar initiative. I also spent the week talking to developers and learning more about the mobile developer community. Mobile development is definitely on the upswing, so I think it is an interesting opportunity for the Eclipse community.
Some thoughts about the conference:
- Android has lots of momentum. Most of the big announcements at the show were about new Android based handsets. Motorola hosted their MotoDev Summit which was predominately Android related technical content. Lots of developers seemed to think Android is an easier platform to create and deploy apps, at least when compared to Apple iPhone. However, the show is US centric, so Symbian really didn’t have a big presence.
- Platform fragmentation has been and continues to be a big issue for mobile developers. Lots of people are looking to the ‘mobile web’ to help solve some of the issues; frameworks like Bondi, PhoneGap, RIM’s Widget SDK and others seem to have potential. However the native vs ‘web’ discussions seem to be a topic of hot debate. I wonder if better tools would help? It still feels like the developer tools are immature in this market, so I see an opportunity for Pulsar and other potential solutions.
The mobile developer space is obviously an interesting area to watch. Over time I can see enterprise development and mobile development coming closer together. I see Eclipse being well positioned to be a dominant tools platform in this market.