Things always change. I’m sure it’s true for any tech company, though I think it’s more true for mobile developers than for those who develop desktop apps. I’ve lost count of how many versions of Windows Mobile (formerly Windows CE) and Palm OS we’ve been through, not to mention different screen sizes and shapes, color depths, and even basic interface components like touchscreens and navigation controls. But I think the next few years, with the iPhone and Google announcements, will change the world for mobile software developers even more than any in the past. My guess is that Microsoft and Blackberry will split the business users, while Apple and Google split the consumers, but given that my last 2 predictions (both of which I was fairly confident of) were:
- Apple will never release or announce an SDK for the iPhone
- the Broadway stagehands union will never strike
were both wrong, I’m pretty much batting zero for accuracy. (That may qualify me for a paid position at one of the mobile market analysis companies; they’re always wrong too. Maybe I’ll look into that.)
But another big change this week is the announcement that PalmGear is being merged into PocketGear. PalmGear was, if not the first mobile software portal, the first one of any significance. Motricity (formerly Power by Hand) bought them, as well as PocketGear (formerly CEShopper and one other name that I’ve forgotten) and Smartphone.net. For years, PalmGear was their flagship brand, and I’d assumed it still was, but apparently it’s not. Here’s a really interesting graph, courtesy of Alexa:
So given that they’re combining the two sites, which makes a lot of sense, I guess they’ve picked the smartest way to do it. But it seems to me like a pretty loud statement of what at least Motricity believes the successful mobile OS’s of the next few years will be.