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iPhone SDK comparison chart

Nilay Patel
March 6, 2008
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So with hardware accelerated 3D graphics, an integrated database API, tightly integrated performance monitoring tools, and a highly specialized version of the Cocoa framework tweaked just for the iPhone and rechristened as Cocoa Touch, the iPhone's just-announced SDK sounds like a winner. But how does it compare to its well-entrenched competitors from Microsoft, Nokia, and the iPhone community itself? Let's have a look.



Apple iPhone SDK Toolchain Windows Mobile S60 Android
Cost

Free Free Free; could be more depending on tools used Free; could be more depending on tools used Free
Wide-scale app availability

June Now Now Now Depends on device availability
Native development

Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Languages suppoted for native development

Objective-C Objective-C C++, C#, VB.NET

C++ Java
Digital certificates

Required for distribution No Available, required for some phones Available, required for some phones No
Retail support

Full; 30 percent Apple revenue share; free apps allowable No Limited Limited No, but Android Developer Challenge offers money and publicity
Platform maturity

Immature Immature Mature Mature Immature
First-party support

Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Community support

Just getting started!

Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
App installation method

Direct (App Store), iTunes Installer.app, custom Direct, ActiveSync Direct, PC Suite Unknown; installation on emulator is not reflective of production devices
Emulator available

Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Remote debugging

Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Target device variety

Poor Poor Excellent Good Poor (that will change, though)
Touchscreen support

Multi-touch

Multi-touch Single touch Umm... soon? Single touch
App availability and variety

Poor (that will change, though) Good Excellent Excellent Poor (that will change, though)
Underlying architecture

Cocoa Touch / Mac OS X

Mac OS X

Windows Symbian Linux
Flash availability

No No Yes Yes No
Java availability

No In development Yes Yes Yes


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