“..The Patron Saint of Mobile developers..”

Whilst at the Thinking Digital 2008 conference, I had the opportunity to speak to many people including some very influential bloggers and journalists. During a conversation with Mike Butcher of UK TechCrunch, I started talking about developer communities and how important it was to support mobile application development. We discussed my experience of operator apathy towards third party developers and how much of an uphill struggle it was and still is to get people to consider the space seriously.

Immediately I was reminded of an interview I gave to ComputerWeekly, following the launch of Source O2 (an O2 business now sadly defunct.) It was part of a month long PR drive to push O2‘s commitment to mobile application developers and to deliver an i-Mode style service, which we named O2 Revolution. I’ve had the opportunity to work with the finest software developers in the World and I know what is required to make great software on virtually any platform. My exuberance and passion for the Source O2 programme and the goals we were trying to achieve, prompted the journalist to call me the developers’ Patron Saint. I immediately laughed-off the comment and used the full power of the O2 press office to ensure the article was serious and noteworthy.

Today however, I see that there is no such developer champion or patron saint inside the mobile operator community. Google Android comes closest to answering the prayers and wishes of the die-hard many, still struggling to get a decent foothold on the handset. After all, the reason for persistence in this space obvious. There are millions of games consoles and PCs but soon there will be billions of mobile phones. It will become the primary computing device for most of the planet, with features and functions unique to its mobile nature.

It’s clear to see that despite virtually no support from handset vendors, mobile operators and phone OS providers, mobile developers the world over may soon benefit from a company who truly realises the value third party application developers bring to any platform. Google Android – Are we having fun yet?

Tags: developer, developer communities, Google, handset, handset vendors, i-mode, mobile application developers, mobile application development, mobile operator, mobile operators, mobile phone, Opera, phone, T-Mobile

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