It's becoming clear—the future of the smartphone is intimately tied with app development, and that's something Motorola knows. It's trying to promote app building for the Android platform with a new MOTODEV program.
The developer program comprises new MOTODEV Studio software, an Eclipse-based development environment that dovetails with Google's own Android SDK. It's designed to facilitate app building, and it's tailored to suit Motorola's own Android handsets. There's also the App Accelerator scheme which gives developers "early access to a new suite of Google Android developer tools and programs" and through which you can attend the company's next MOTODEV summit. The App Accelerator also lets "select" developers submit their apps to Motorola directly, and if they meet with approval they could get distributed through "a variety of channels, including carrier stores, the Android Market, and third-party distributors."
It all sounds pretty promising, and considering the first Motorola Android-powered handset isn't due until later this year it's a good sign that the company is getting app development underway early (a lesson that perhaps Palm should have learned?). But remember, Android is open source, and available on a growing number of company's cell phones. Is it even possible to fix apps to work only on Motorola smartphones, and wouldn't that result in a terrible fragmentation of the app marketplace? With proprietary app stores and now company-limited developer programs, the Android app development scene is getting very complicated. And that can't be good news for attracting more developers, can it?
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