AppForge, which makes wireless software and offers services, has released Mobile Visual Basic 4.0, a mobile and wireless development tool
that supports Palm’s operating system 5 and integrates into Microsoft’s
Visual Studio environment and the Nokia Series 60 devices, whose licensees
make up more than 60 percent of the mobile handset market.
MobileVB 4.0, which will be offered with a free runtime environment, lets
developers write cross-platform applications and distribute them on most of
the leading mobile and wireless devices, including Palm OS, Pocket PC, and
Symbian UIQ, Series 60, and Series 80 PDAs and smartphones.
Palm OS developers use MobileVB to create applications within Visual Studio.
MobileVB ships with more than 30 standard controls, as well as modules and
libraries for database synchronization, telephony, and gaming. MobileVB
applications can be tested from within the Visual Studio IDE and compiled
into packages for distribution.
Because MobileVB 4.0 supports Palm OS 5, Microsoft developers can create
mobile applications and deploy them on more than 90 percent of current
mobile and wireless gadgets.
For Atlanta-based AppForge, this means the company will be granted a lot of
exposure in the wireless development tools realm, where Symbian, Handango
and Palmsource all create products to prepare for what many research
companies believe will be an explosion in wireless device purchases in the
U.S. and worldwide in the future.
To compensate, developers in both the Microsoft .NET and Java camps have
been coding away to create applications for devices in the hopes of
garnering developer mindshare and customer marketshare. However, the
wireless device explosion has not yet happened.
The worldwide market for handheld devices continued to decline in the second
quarter of 2003 due to seasonality and sluggish demand from businesses and
consumers alike. According to IDC, worldwide handheld device shipments fell
by 10.7 percent year-on-year in 2Q 03 and dropped sequentially by 10.2
percent to 2.27 million units.
Despite sluggish handheld sales, Charlie Tritschler, vice president of
product marketing, PalmSource, said he anticipates the solution will further
advance the Palm OS platform in the enterprise market.
To bolster the number of applications available for mobile and wireless
devices, AppForge is making its runtime environment Booster, which enables
handheld devices to run applications written with AppForge MobileVB and
Microsoft Visual Basic, available for free.
Sony Ericsson Developer Program Director Ulf Wretling said offering runtime
licenses for free will make Booster an even more attractive solution for
applications developers. By extension, it should increase the number of
applications consumers can use.
AppForge’s MobileVB 4.0 version is listed at a suggested retail price of
$899 and will be ready for the public in October 2003. However, those who
purchase MobileVB between September 1 and the release of MobileVB 4.0 will
receive a free upgrade to 4.0. Other registered users of MobileVB can
upgrade for US $249.
When MobileVB 4.0 is released next month the AppForge Booster for Palm OS 5
can be downloaded free here.