Sunday, August 08, 2010

Adventures in Mobile Development

In my time away from this blog, I became heavily involved in mobile application development. I participated in Apple's SDK BETA program and released my first application shortly after its official launch in June 2008. It's been a bumpy road, and while I'm no fan of Objective-C, I can say that other than a few early bugs, the tools and api tend to work and work well.

Fast forward a couple of years, and I'm now dealing with a Blackberry application. Keep in mind of course that Research in Motion is a much more mature mobile computing platform than iPhone. They've had the chance to make and learn from their mistakes. The crazy thing is...Blackberry application development is a disaster. Don't believe me? Go spend some time on the developer forums and see if you can make heads or tails of it.

If I'm using XCode, I can build my application, run it in the simulator, switch to the device, run, basically whatever I want without things having to restart or me having to start the application manually. Under Eclipse, I'm constantly restarting the simulator or crossing my fingers and tossing salt over my shoulder hoping on-device debugging actually works, usually after a full system restart.

My favorite feature of the development environment is its stubborn refusal to run an application that crosses some magical size, a rather paltry size by today's standards. And, it does this silently as a gift to all overworked developers in serious need of sleep.

I could go on and on about my frustrations with the bugs, the lack of usable documentation on the website, the constantly shifting functionality in the Eclipse plug-in, but you would just get bored. Suffice it to say, Blackberry can't die fast enough for this developer.

Before I sign off tonight, let me just add that Android should be prepared to take its lumps. It's not as bad as Blackberry, but for a company the likes of Google, I expected more. The development experience doesn't even hold a candle to iPhone.

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At 4:19 AM, Blogger Harry said...

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