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Issue 92 | May 14th 2010 Contact the Editor | How to Contribute

Your Questions Answered
RunRev CEO addresses your questions on the way forward for revMobile

by Kevin Miller

In the wake of our blog post regarding Apples new SDK licensing agreement, we have naturally received a great deal of feedback and many questions from our user community. We are very grateful for your overwhelming support and we know that some of you have sent letters to Apple. We'd like to thank you all for your confidence in our new direction. To help you understand more clearly exactly what our position is and where we are going next, we put your most frequently asked questions to our CEO.

Have you stopped development of revMobile?

No, we will continue to develop revMobile as part of our product line-up.

Will revMobile on iPhone/iPad continue to progress substantially or are we stuck with the existing functionality?

We will gradually add features and fix bugs to keep the product current, but future developments will be incremental.

What makes revMobile such a good prototyping tool?

The design phase of any application is typically one of the most time consuming aspects in the development cycle of any application. revMobile is the only tool for the iPhone and iPad that lets you put your application together quickly and test out the functionality on an actual device. Like the rest of the Rev family, revMobile uses a run-and-edit-live metaphor that is ideal for this sort of development. There are no other tools available that allow you to do this for the iPhone/iPad. Your product design team can utilize the iPhone/iPad APIs and you can perform usability testing on actual devices in house or in a focus group. Once all your design goals have been satisfied and you are sure that your application functions as you expect, you can then hand it off to an Objective-C developer to implement it prior to submission in the app store. Having a fully working application available as a specification opens a whole range of options including outsourcing the final development process inexpensively.

We'll be updating our website with some customer case studies showing how revMobile is being used as a prototyping tool today.

Why can RunRev not create a compiler that outputs objective C code or some other Apple approved platform that developers could then work from to get "native" apps for the store?

While it would be technically possible for us to provide such a solution, it still violates the license agreement that states that applications must originally be written in Objective-C, JavaScript or C++. What this means is that if you write a single line of code in any other language at any point during the development of your iPhone/iPad application, no matter what language this code is ultimately translated into, it is in violation of the Apple license agreement. Frameworks and translations layers of are also banned. You cannot use any other language or framework at any point in the development of iPhone/iPad applications under any circumstances regardless of the final output.

Given we would incur a further cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars of engineering budget to create a solution that outputs this sort of native application and the fact that we couldn't guarantee that Apple wouldn't be able to detect these applications in some way and ban them, it is not a project that it would be commercially sensible to undertake.

How come X other environment is still able to produce applications for the iPhone/iPad and you can't?

We're not going to comment individually on other environments. Broadly speaking, they seem to fall into two groups: those that use approved technologies and were always going to be fine and those that don't. It seems to us that there are a number of other environments that are in violation of this clause that have not yet accepted that their applications are going to be banned, either now or at some arbitrary point in the future. We are in the fortunate position of being able to get a response from Apple that clarifies that we will not be permitted to operate. Our understanding is that some of these other companies have not yet had a response. We are also fortunate in that we are in the early stages of creating a new product, which does not comprise our entire product line, so we are able to change strategy midstream.

Can we create our own RunRev exclusive app store to sell iphone apps outside of Apple? E.g.

This is prohibited according to the terms of the Apple license agreement.

Will you be focussing on Android?


Why focus on Android?

Android is the PC of the phone market and is forecast to overtake the iPhone and iPad.

Android outsold iPhone last quarter:

And its growing quickly:

There are a number of indicators of just how well this platform is doing. Here is another one in relation to advertising revenue:

We believe that Google's open-source business model for Android and their emphasis on working with partners makes this an enticing and exciting platform that our many customers will be able to rely on.

What are you going to be doing with Windows Mobile 6?

We will continue to develop revMobile for Windows Mobile 6.x.

Will we get socket control for Windows Mobile? Will we get IP connectivity and anti aliased text for Windows Mobile?


Will you approach the weTab guys? Others?

We will be making approaches to a number of potential partners in the coming weeks.

Do you think RunRev should become a hardware company and produce the RevPad?

We believe our experience set leaves us best placed to remain a software company. We will however be looking for hardware partners to work with as this becomes appropriate.

Our thanks to Kevin for taking the time to give us these detailed explanations. If there is still something that you the reader don't understand, please do feel free to email us and we'll see if we can get you some answers!

About the Author

Kevin Miller is CEO for RunRev Ltd.

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