Chapter 1

Introduction to Android, Mobile Devices, and the Marketplace

What's in This Chapter?

  • A short history of Mono and its relationship to the .NET Framework
  • How Mono for Android opens the Android platform to .NET developers
  • Why Mono for Android is so attractive to developers
  • The history of Android and its mind share
  • Exploring cross-platform alternatives

The past several years have seen an amazing growth in the use of smartphones. USA Today recently reported on how smartphones have become an indispensable part of people's lives. With growth and popularity comes competition, and, unlike desktop computers, no single vendor or platform dominates the mobile device marketplace; devices based on Symbian, Research in Motion (Blackberry), Windows Mobile, Android, and other platforms are available. In addition, devices may run the same operating system and be presented to the user in separate form factors. This fracture in the marketplace is problematic for developers: How can they take a development framework or tool that they already know and use that knowledge in a device that has a large and growing market share?

This chapter looks at how the largest segment of developers (.NET/C# developers) can target the smartphone that has the highest mind share (Android). It also looks at how the smartphone is growing faster in market share than any other device.

Product Comparison

This section takes a quick look at the .NET Framework, Mono, and Mono for Android. These products have allowed ...

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