Cross Platform Tools Report

visionmobile.gifVision Mobile has a new, free, large report on cross-platform developer tools. They bravely conclude that  "cross-platform tools will become “business as usual”".

Incidentally, only today, I read about AppSpotr a cloud based app generator and how it doesn’t live up to expectations of developers, end users and clients. This is typical. Some of the cross platform tools seem to have large developer bases but these are the people evaluating them which isn’t the same as those using them in non-trivial commercial apps. As Vision Mobile themselves uncovered, there’s a significant amount of experimentation and churn.

However, I do agree with Vision Mobile when they say… "Now is the time for well-funded vendors with great tools to prove themselves and establish a firm beachhead."

I think that many cross platform tool vendors have under-estimated the complexities of being able to provide a fully featured tool that provides, technically and visually, more than a web site might provide. It’s a huge undertaking to map to the majority of APIs, cross platform, while retaining a native look and feel. It’s also an ongoing undertaking because APIs change and new devices become available. This needs huge funding to do it well. I don’t believe it’s impossible but we are long way from it being "business as usual".

As I previously mentioned, I think it might be necessary to move away from HTML and Javascript in order for tools be suitable for professional use. I also have Tips for Assessing App Generators if you are considering this path.