Phil for Humanity Phil for Humanity
A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.

Standardizing Mobile Apps

Have you noticed that the list of cell phone apps are different for Appleís iPhones, Googleís Androids, and Research in Motionís Blackberries, and the quality of their similar applications are different too?

This is because software developerís are unable to implement a single application that will compile or run for any two or more devices from different manufacturers. In other words, if a programmer has an application that works for a single manufacturerís device, then the programmer has to port the application over to a different language and operating system if possible, or the programmer has to re-implement the application from scratch for a different device using a different programming language. As a result, programmers would have to write the same application three times if they want full converge on all three major cell phone devices.

I think this is a major handicap or design flaw for cell phone manufacturers that limits the number of quality applications for their devices. Instead of having programmers spend their time making a single application work on multiple devices, they could be using their time to improve the applications or implement new applications. Or worse, many developers would choose to just not support certain devices.

I think this would be an easy solution to fix. All the cell phone manufactures would have to do is agree on at least one single programming language that would work on all of their devices. As a result, developers would only have to be concerned with compiling their applications for different devices. Or maybe support an interpreter or script programming language that does not need to be compiled. Or migrate all downloadable applications to mobile web applications that do not need to downloaded or run locally on each device; however, these mobile web applications would also have to follow an industry standard for the different devices to easily connect and communicate with these mobile web applications.

As you can see, these solutions are both easy and obvious. So why donít cell phone manufacturers follow my advice and make their products better?

At first, I was thinking that manufacturers prefer unique applications on their devices as a selling point, however there are really only a few really popular types of apps and they exist on all three types of devices. The difference at the moment is having a large selection of games, social media applications, and other entertainment apps. So, I can see why the manufacturer with the largest number of apps (I believe that currently is Apple) would not want to standardize applications with their competitors, since that would make their competitors have an equal number of quality applications. That is why I think the other manufacturers (I think Google and Research in Motion) need to band together to standardize between themselves to give their products more applications than Apple; and at that time, Apple would want to standardize too to give their customers for options.

Basically, I believe that customers want more options and will quickly and easily migrate to other devices if their current device does not have the latest applications. It is an ideal situation for customers to standardize applications on all devices; however, manufacturers have not been pushing for this change. Fortunately, I believe this change will be inevitable just as web sites have come standardized in all modern web browsers. Standardization is key in all computer products where there is healthy competition.

by Phil for Humanity
on 12/13/2010

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