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 developerâ€™s revenue opportunity.
â€œAirplay SDK has been a bit of an industry secret for some timeâ€, explains Alex Caccia, CEO Ideaworks Labs, â€œas weâ€™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. Weâ€™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.â€
â€œAirplay SDK helps solve the fragmentation problem for developers by focusing on the core commonality between all devices â€“ ARMÂ® CPUsâ€, said Ian Drew, EVP of Marketing at ARM. â€œWe 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 timeâ€.
JosÃ© Carlos LÃ³pez, Technical Director at Virtway Software, said â€œSeveral 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 â€˜Backbreakerâ€™ due to its support for standard C++ libraries, which enabled us to easily port our animation engine â€˜morphemeâ€™ 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.