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Android

  • Open platform
  • Can compile custom firmwares - good for hackers and others
  • Good framework, extended on each new firmware
  • Supports multitasking
  • Nice IDE - Eclipse, NetBeans
  • Development SDK is free
  • Easy to debug, can send logs to developers
  • Programming language is Java but bridges from other languages exist (C# .NET - Mono, etc.)
  • Java is a high level language that appeared in 1995. Android supports Java 1.5 and translates the byte code to its own custom Dalvik byte code optimized for mobile devices.
  • For the hardcore programmers, Android offers the possibility of programming in C using the native dev kit NDK
  • Can run script languages like LUA, Perl, Python, etc.
  • Can install third party applications from sdcard, random sites - not locked to a specific market
  • Applications can hook and override everything - email interface, SMS sending, custom keyboards, etc.
  • Supports widgets
  • Can publish applications on the Android market instantly - initial one time registration fee is 25E
  • User has access to the sdcard and can use it as a USB disk
  • no Adobe Flash support yet. Probably will be available in Q2 of this year



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iPhone


  • Closed platform
  • No multitasking except for some Apple applications. Multitasking is probably going to be introduced in the next version of the iPhone, the iPhone 4
  • Development kit costs ~90E
  • Programming language is Objective C - but bridges exist from Java, C#, etc.
  • Objective C appeared in 1986
  • Next version of iPhone is supposed to only allow Objective C code, this means the bridges are out and you must program in Objective C if you want to create an iPhone application
  • Applications are not allowed to duplicate the iPhone functionality - i.e. no custom email interface, etc.
  • Does not support widgets - unless the phone is jail broken
  • User does not have access to the sdcard - user can only do synchronization via internet or LAN
  • Third party applications can only be installed from the Apple store. For testing the applications, developers can use Ad Hoc publishing
  • Publishing on the store is a very lengthy and tiresome process. Apple has many and bizarre rules. Many applications were rejected for strange reasons.
  • No Adobe Flash support



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Nokia


  • Opened Symbian and says the future will be QT and WRT - they will cut support to any other environment including J2ME
  • QT is a framework that adds a layer of abstraction over GUI, network, gps, etc.
  • QT is cross platform and cross programming language - C++, C#, Java, etc. the licenses are GPL and LGPL.
  • QT runs on Maemo, MeeGo, BlackBerry, Symbian, Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile, desktop PC, consumer electronics, car entertainment, etc.
  • WRT - web runtime - a cool feature that allows users to write applications in HTML, JS and CS. You build the app like a normal web page, and you interact with the phone platform/hardware using the WRT bridge.
    No need to learn any other technology. Just HTML, JS and CS. Very important: JS can call native code, but also the other way around. It seems you can call WRT JS with native code.
  • Supports widgets
  • Supports Adobe Flash Lite




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BlackBerry



  • As it is now, the programming environment is Java native and J2ME - not worth mentioning since they will probably be extinct pretty soon.
  • no Adobe Flash support yet. Probably will be available in Q2 of this year.
  • We expect a new OS so we will just have to sit patiently and see what's going to happen.



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Windows Mobile 6.x


  • Native C, C# with PInvoke - not worth mentioning since Microsoft will release WM7 and will totally break compatibility with 6.5



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Windows Mobile 7


  • Closed platform
  • Microsoft breaks compatibility with WM 6.x - this is very bad
  • Programming environment is Silverlight and XNA
  • No native programming, i.e., no hooking and overriding keyboard, etc. - they removed PInvoke
  • Nice IDE - Visual Studio 2010
  • does not support multitasking for third party applications
  • Third party applications can only be installed from the Microsoft marketplace
  • No Adobe Flash support