Ideaworks Labs’ Airplay SDK is a unique application development tool and environment that will allow developers to create one application via the SDK and publish to the major smartphone operating systems, including Android, Java, Linux, iPhone, Brew, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Flash. What this means for consumers–like you and me–is that if you use a Windows phone and find yourself green with envy that there is a specific iPhone application that isn’t available in Marketplace for Mobile, you can beg developers of your favorite program to develop using the Airplay SDK and make that specific platform more ubiquitous.
Microsoft, at the same time, has been working with iPhone apps developer to make it easier to port their iPhone apps to Windows Mobile. However, it looks like Airplay’s application development SDK is more powerful than Redmond’s attempts, making it easier for developers to develop for more platforms and save time and money.
We caught up with Airplay’s Chief Technology Officer several weeks ago at CTIA and he demoed the SDK, which is very simple and easy to use for developers, but also promises to deliver powerful applications, 3D programs, and software that can take advantage of hardware features like a GPU, accelerometer, or different sensors. You can see how easy it is to develop for Airplay in the video below:
After the developer compiles their applications to different smartphone platforms, here’s what a possible game example would look like shown on an iPhone, which supports great 3D graphics:
According to Airplay, the SDK toolsets will save developers time in learning a new programming language specific to a mobile platform. Development is done in standard C++ programming language, saving developers about 40% of the development cost and 90% of the porting and testing costs and time. Developers need to compile for ARM code and the Airplay deployment tool will output a .SYS file for symbian, a .APP file for the iPhone, a .CAB file for Windows Mobile, and so on.
With the time and cost savings, hopefully developers will pass along some of the savings to consumers.
If you’re a developer and are interested in this simple but powerful development tool, please visit the Idea Works Lab webpage.
Hit the break to read the Airplay SDK 4.0 Press Release.
the wider smartphone market for mobile application developers
Airplay SDK 4.0: Rich Apps, Richer Developers. Full free evaluation available online.
27 October 2009, 9am London UK: Currently it is prohibitively expensive for independent developers to create and port mobile applications across a wide range of handsets. Developers therefore target only a few devices, seriously limiting their opportunity for revenue. Today, most choose Apple’s iPhone as it has a high market share, a solid SDK and an attractive business model, provided the developer can ensure that their product does not get lost in the daunting catalogue size. However the market for mobile applications is much bigger than just the iPhone. What developers need is a cost-effective way of creating applications for the wide array of operating systems (OSes) and devices.
To solve this problem, Ideaworks Labs is now licensing its cross-platform Airplay SDK, enabling indie developers to deploy applications across hundreds of smartphones and featurephones at an affordable licensing cost. Airplay SDK 4.0 allows them to compile their application once to native CPU instructions, then deploy with a single click to all iPhone, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile and BREW devices. Airplay takes care of the vagaries of the various underlying OSes so that developers need not be steeped in detail; it also deals with handset differences such as screen size and input type, again simplifying the task for the developer.
Indie developers can now multiply their addressable market by over 10 times, from 50m Apple devices to the installed base of over half a billion smartphones and featurephones globally, as Airplay SDK slashes the costs of porting and testing almost to zero. By reducing such costs, more budget can be poured into development of better user experiences and sharper marketing, again increasing the developer’s revenue opportunity.
“Airplay SDK has been a bit of an industry secret for some time”, explains Alex Caccia, CEO Ideaworks Labs, “as we’ve licensed it to some of the largest mobile games publishers worldwide. With the addition of native support for Android, a sophisticated UI framework, GPS, HTTP and more, Airplay SDK 4.0 is now an extremely powerful development solution for all types of rich mobile applications. We’re hugely excited to be able to offer Airplay SDK 4.0 at an affordable price to all developers, and look forward to seeing great applications from the iPhone and other app stores making more money for their creators by migrating to Android, Symbian, BREW and other platforms.”
“Airplay SDK helps solve the fragmentation problem for developers by focusing on the core commonality between all devices ARM® CPUs”, said Ian Drew, EVP of Marketing at ARM. “We invested in Ideaworks Labs earlier this year to help them prepare for launching Airplay SDK 4.0, and are greatly excited by the prospect of opening up huge numbers of ARM technology-based devices to apps developers for the first time”.
José Carlos López, Technical Director at Virtway Software, said “Several months ago we made the decision to adopt Airplay SDK for the development of a next-generation social networking application for ICYOU, initially targeted at iPhone. We were amazed to see that, with a single click and without even recompiling the application, we were able to generate an Android build that runs beautifully on multiple devices. For zero additional cost, we can now target all Android devices, and that will certainly open up a huge additional market for our application
“We chose the Airplay SDK for our first iPhone title Backbreaker’ due to its support for standard C++ libraries, which enabled us to easily port our animation engine morpheme’ to the platform”, added Torsten Reil, CEO at NaturalMotion. “This also allowed us to use assets straight from the PS3/360 version for the game, which played a major factor in the commercial success (#1 app) of the title.”
Developers with annual revenues of less than $50,000 can use Airplay SDK for iPhone development absolutely free, or deploy to all platforms at a cost of $99 per seat per year. Those with an annual turnover between $50,000 and $1m pay $999 per seat per year, and receive an increased level of support. For organisations earning over $1m annually, a per-application fee is payable, available on request.
All developers can register and download a full free evaluation of Airplay SDK 4.0 by visiting www.airplaysdk.com.
About Ideaworks Labs
Ideaworks Labs is a privately held technology company headquartered in London. Founded in 1998 with a strong Oxford and Cambridge computer science and electronic engineering pedigree, the company has an unparalleled track record of creative innovation and technical leadership in the field of cross-platform mobile applications. The Airplay platform is the result of over eight years of research and development into high-performance native multimedia applications on mobile devices, and has powered ground-breaking and award-winning titles such as Konami’s “Metal Gear Solid Mobile”, which won “Best Game” and “Operators’ Choice” accolades at IMGA 2008. More information can be found at: