Introduction to the Mobile Development Landscape

In June 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone. There was no SDK. There was no App Store. Mobile development, particularly in the enterprise, was done mostly on rugged Windows Mobile devices or Palm devices provided by the company to the users that needed them to do their jobs. The applications weren't glamorous, but they got the job done, and the centrally provisioned model of device and application distribution worked well. The iPhone hit the market with little notice in business circles. It was just another consumer device — a novelty more than anything.

In summer 2008, Apple launched the iPhone 3G and with it the App Store. On that first day you could download any of the 500 available apps using your iTunes account and your existing credit card. Within 3 days there were 800 apps available, with more than 10 million downloads! The iPhone quickly became the device to have, and “there's an app for that” entered our popular lexicon. But Apple wouldn't be the only game in town for long.

By August 2008, Google announced the Android Market. By summer 2010 there were 80,000 apps in the Market, with 1 billion downloads! But Apple wasn't ceding any ground; by then the App Store had 225,000 apps and 5 billion downloads. The mobile app wars were now in full force; and one more player wanted in.

Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 in October 2010, including the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the Windows Phone SDK. By July 2011, Windows Phone users ...

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