Mobile Development Tools
Appforge's Chris Tyburki
Mobile development is hot, hot, hot. The proliferation and penetration of handheld devices is astounding. So is their diversity, and if you're a developer tasked with cross-platform mobile development—well, the aspirin is over there in the cupboard. Or you could use Crossfire.
AppForge's development environment lets you work in Visual Studio, C#, VB.NET, or VB 6, and create polished device-centric applications that deploy on Palm OS, Pocket PC, Symbian, and BlackBerry. Working with Crossfire, you keep getting the feeling that AppForge really does its homework, that it has hit the bumps in the road and smoothed them out for you, whether it's device sync, multimedia, or GPS support.
Productivity Award Winners
Carbide Express is Nokia's free Eclipse-based IDE for developing Symbian applications. Symbian apps typically consist of compiled C++ code with metadata files that configure how the app is provisioned and installed. Carbide wizards manage those artifacts and streamline the build/packaging process with debugging support and emulator integration, letting you focus on the application code.
Flash Lite 2.0
Developing in Macromedia's Flash offers two big advantages over traditional systems-language programming: The user experience is rich, and programming in ActionScript is less arcane than, say, Java or C++. Flash Lite 2, the device edition of the Flash 8 platform, delivers on both counts. The 2.0 release supports a clean object-oriented syntax more in line with what ECMAScript developers have come to enjoy.
NetBeans Mobility Pack
Sun Microsystems (www.netbeans.org/products/mobility)
The NetBeans IDE is built on the NetBeans platform, thereby inheriting NetBeans code editor, build management tools, and refactoring tools. Bundled with it is the Mobility Pack, which includes Sun's J2ME Wireless ToolKit (WTK). The Mobility Pack supports code preprocessors that let you customize source code for individual build target. NetBeans also supports server-side application development.