As the number of Apple Dashboard Widgets, Google Gadgets, Microsoft Gadgets, and Yahoo Widgets being created grows I hope that emerging telephony hardware device manufacturers are comparing and contrasting what it currently takes a developer to make one of these apps vs developing a full-blown mobile application. Frankly, it’s just too hard to develop on mobile and combined with the poor carrier distribution options it can be pointless for many to waste cycles innovating here unless they are seriously funded.
So, what about developer simplification?
The companies mentioned above could start encouraging hardware developers to support (and soon help roll out) portable devices that run all the necessary local software sandboxes and free things like Gadgets/Widgets from the PC desktop and extend them onto portable mobile devices. Even better, if mobile devices ran something like the traditional LAMP architecture many developers could migrate their projects right over. Granted, there are some heavy browser, CPU, memory and HD requirements in my proposal but it feels like things are heading in this direction anyways.
While this only solves a part of the problem it immediately increases the size of the telephony application developer base (which I think is a good thing for everyone.) If a web developer can start creating mobile apps imagine the opportunities for cool new services, especially if hardware dependent telephony and GEO APIs are easily exposed?
Flash Lite, Mobile Processing, Python for S60 and Motorola’s Open Source Initiative are standout leaders making development easier but I’m still left hoping for mobile sandboxes that look and act like my webservice developer environments. If they initially look a lot like the widget engines out there, that’s good step in the right direction.