Write a mobile application once and have it run across every platform? Yeah right. It’s a problem that has been holding back mobile software and application development for years. But a startup by the name of Rhomobile thinks it has found an open-source way to change everything.
Ready to release Rhodes 1.0, Rhomobile says the open-source framework can be used to write applications that will run natively on the iPhone as well as Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Blackberry phones. It could be an amazing development for the mobile industry, enabling developers to save an incredible amount of time and money as they won’t have to alter an application to work with each separate platform.
The Rhodes framework uses a light version of Ruby on Rails combined with HTML to build applications and I’m sure it’s pretty simple to use for most developers used to building web-based applications. The company plans to hit the enterprise industry head on, charging a per-user-per-year fee for IT apps deployed using the platform, and given the money crunch most corporations are feeling these days I’m sure Rhomobile shouldn’t have too much trouble getting companies to adopt the open-source technology.
The company also plans to target independent developers and hobbyists. Hobbyists won’t pay for use but will have to release their application as an extension of the original platform, while indie developers will have to give Rhomobile 5 percent of the revenue they bring in from Rhodes-developed apps.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what enterprise apps emerge from the Blackberry App World, and it’ll be great for enterprise developers if they can get a Blackberry app onto the iPhone and Android devices with no extra work. There’ll be more incentive for developers when they can actually support themselves developing mobile apps.