Software designers and programmers have long bemoaned the issue of fragmentation across smart phone operating systems. As mobile devices running different software increasingly flood the market, the incentive to create über apps that operate on multiple platforms grows. Writing apps for different OSes takes extra time and money, and developers often ignore certain platforms altogether. What if programmers could simply write app code in one language and automatically port it over to another—or even more than one? That’s the goal of startup Particle Code’s new product.
The company has a software development kit called Particle Platform, and it’s touted as the solution for both OS and hardware fragmentation. Particle Platform lets developers design apps for multiple devices using languages they are familiar with, including Java, ActionScript3, and C#. Supported operating systems include Android, BlackBerry, iOS, J2ME, Symbian, and Windows Phone.
Why the Competition Should Care
In this app-crazed age, the benefits of building a mobile application just once and then porting it swiftly to multiple smart phone OSes is hugely compelling. It could level the playing field, helping small shops and even individual developers get in on the app game. Particle Code’s direct competition is telecom giant Alcatel-Lucent, which acquired a similar platform called OpenPlug.
Currently in beta, Particle Code has plans to open its platform to more users in the coming months, and eventually to the public sometime this year. Particle says its solution is more streamlined than OpenPlug, which it described as “less click-to-compile.” Since Particle Code does its translation at the source code level, few tweaks in the target app are required.