Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Five Million .NET Developers Can Now Cross Over To The iPhone

Novell released MonoTouch on September 14 2009, that allows developers to create C# and .NET based applications that run on the iPhone while taking full  advantage of the iPhone APIs as well as reusing both code and libraries that have been built for .NET as well as existing skills.  That means the door is opened to a lot more developers. "...the big win with it is that it opens the door for some 5 million .Net developers to begin to do iPhone applications" according to analyst Al Hilwa, program director for application software at IDC, as reported in the ComputerWorld article Novell offers iPhone .Net app development kit.



This is all based on the open source Mono Project, which enables Microsoft .Net applications to run on Linux, Unix, and the Macintosh, and now the iPhone. And with Mono, developers can run binaries produced by Visual Studio on other platforms. There's even a Mono Migration Analysis tool to check if everything that an application uses has been implemented in Mono or if there are special considerations to keep in mind. This should mean that more applications, written in .NET or C#, can migrate to the iPhone. Supposedly developers can take advantage of native iPhon3 APIs, while a cross-compiler turns .Net executables into native iPhone apps.

Monotouch is integrated with Apple's IDE so that developers can test their apps on the iPhone simulator.  Bottomline: developers that don't know Objective-C but have programmed in .NET or C# can now use their skills to create iPhone apps. There's even a "Hello World" app available that can get you started at the Monotouch Tutorials page.  For more information visit the Monotouch website.

2 comments:

Grok2 said...

What about the legendary problem with having the humongous .NET runtime/library installed for .NET apps to be able to run. Has monotouch simplified the size needs for the iPhone?

Sandy said...

@Grok2 my understanding is that only the libraries you use are linked into your application bundle. I heard somebody say it was ~5MB hit for their application.

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