With all the furor of the Google Voice iPhone app situation going on. I have had a few conversations about people wanting to port iPhone apps to other platforms mainly, Android and Windows Mobile. Going cross-carrier and platform seems to be the goal. Easier said than done especially depending on the app.
Check this case study: Ready to Port your iPhone App to Windows Mobile?
Solid read at the New York Times: Apps Are Booming as Companies Seek a Place on Your Phone. No surprise that apps are booming. This trend has been happening since the iPhone App Store was announced. A closed platform on one network with limited hardware versions gives the developer a tremendous advantage. Developing cross-platform and cross-carrier is extremely difficult if only because of the myriad of certifications required on each carrier network. After certifications the complexity can actually grow depending on the application. The App Store has caused carriers (including ATT Wireless) and handset makers to scramble and re-brand their existing “app stores”. ATT Media Net? Nokia’s Ovi? Just to name 2. Every major carrier and handset maker has announced their own “app store” initiative. None are likely to capture the development community’s attention they way the iPhone App Store has.
Jenna Wortham’s article features local Seattle iPhone App Store success story UrbanSpoon. I certainly congratulate UrbanSpoon on their success. First they created one of the killer apps for iPhone and then sold their bootstrapped startup to IAC. They have an enviable position. Personally, I would like to see less content specific applications and more applications that solve existing problems (i.e. cross-platform, carrier) with mobile devices. Try sharing a vCard from a non-iPhone to an iPhone. This type of problem is only going to grow as mobile devices become more complex.